Work Integrated E-Learning in Public Administration: The Portuguese School Libraries Network Case Study

Jorge Tiago Martins (The University of Sheffield, Information School, UK) and Rosa Maria Martins (Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science, School Libraries Network, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 422
EISBN13: 9781466643994|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3676-7.ch021
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This chapter describes the experience of the Portuguese School Libraries Network (SLN) – an agency of the Ministry of Education and Science – as a case study in the development of work integrated e-learning in Public Administration. In 2008, SLN developed the School Libraries Evaluation Model (SLEM), with the objective of collecting information about how school libraries (SLs) across the country operate and contribute to effective teaching and learning. Since 2010, schools have been invited to identify and self-evaluate performance across key domains, for which a set of critical success factors, assessment indicators, and performance levels is established. The application of SLEM implied that schools would have to deal with new management concepts and techniques, and become conversant with working methods that were until then unfamiliar to them. Two professional groups were pivotal in this process: (i) inter-municipal advisers (IMAs), and (ii) teacher librarians (TLs). These were the two sets of civil servants who benefited from the design and implementation of a work-based online training program specifically designed to familiarize them with the rationale and with the particulars of SLEM. The following sections of this chapter contextualize the operation of SLN, provide insight into application of SLEM, and discuss in more detail the key characteristics of the trainee-centered e-learning environment that has been established to facilitate the training of IMAs and TLs. Particular emphasis will be given to the issues of organizational support, instructional design, and alignment of instructional contents with performance requirements.
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