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The ‘Indicators’ Project – developing ‘Stakeholder Audits’

LONG LEARN has matchless expertise in the successful management of Lifelong Learning and Learning City/Region projects at local, European and global levels. Examples of recent projects are:

What was the ‘Indicators Project’?

While lifelong learning is a burgeoning field throughout the whole of Europe, very little work had been done to help measure and monitor it in action, particularly in the towns and cities where most of it takes place. This is where the Indicators Project came in. It addressed five of the stakeholder groups in the city and aimed to help them understand the key principles behind lifelong learning and the changes that need to be made in order to implement them in their everyday activities. In other words how could they become learning organisations helping in the construction of the learning city. Key to this was the Stakeholder Audit, a self-assessment tool which identified, through a specially designed interactive questionnaire, the main characteristics of that institution as a learning organisation, and helped it to measure and monitor its performance as such. Each Audit was tailored to the stakeholder’s function as a lifelong learning organism in the city and region, and examined both how its internal structures were being adapted to meet the lifelong learning age and its part in the development of the Learning Region.

 

Tell me more about the content of the ‘Stakeholder Audits’

  indicators

 

Five audits were developed.

  • Secondary Schools from 11 to 18 Years - the elements that transform a school into a lifelong learning organisation. They included indicators on attainment, success and transition, monitoring of education and resources and structures, together with the desirable school characteristics, identified in ELLI literature, of continuous education of teachers, involvement of parents, relations with the community, use of technology, environmental awareness, active learning and citizenship etc.
  • Higher Education - the indicators by which a university can measure its commitment to a lifelong learning approach internally within its own administrative and academic structures, and externally in the community within which it resides as well as the national and international commitments it makes.
  • Adult Vocational Education Organisations (non-degree level)- indicators for those organisations responsible for non-degree adult education, including internal administration and responsibility to the wider community, support structures, personal plan development and so on. The emphasis was on the accepted concepts of lifelong learning and its effect on adult education institutions.
  • Small Enterprises  - indicators for the use of small businesses and industry. At an individual level, they included the lifelong learning elements that can be developed for workers in collaboration with other social partners, which produce a flexible and highly motivated workforce that generates the transferable skills necessary to ensure individual competitiveness and employability.  At a corporate level they are the indicators that signify that the enterprise as a whole is playing a full role within its community with respect to lifelong learning, including its role in relation to sustainability, corporate responsibility and community development.
  • Local Government - indicators by which the city and regional administrations can measure their performance and progress in the development of the Learning Community. It included those factors isolated by the TELS project such as information, resources, wealth creation, contribution, celebration, citizenship, partnerships, leadership etc and include new elements such as the political, cultural, environmental, social, economic and administrative elements which fashion the modern learning city, town and region. This was be an overarching audit which brought together the features of a learning city/region.

Each one is in English, French and Italian and each enables the stakeholder organisation to measure itself as a learning organisation contributing to the development of a learning city. In fact two versions of each were produced – a short audit and a long one. Stakeholders interested in the concept can find out more about their performance by completing the short one. Those serious about becoming a learning organisation can then use the longer version to help devise an implementation strategy.

How can the audits be used?

They can be used for several purposes.

  • to establish a ‘dialogue’ between the designer and management and staff in the stakeholder organisation, since the designer will not be present  while the audit is being completed.
  • to pass over essential new knowledge and ideas to management and staff in the stakeholder organisation that will provoke reflection and stimulate insight (this may be done through the use of quotations from expert reports etc)
  • to allow the opinions, experiences and ideas of management and staff in the stakeholder organisation to be freely expressed and meshed with the requirements for change within the organisation
  • to act as a driver for change – emphasising the dynamic nature of stakeholder organisations
  • to act as a staff training stimulator, for example as the basis for focus group discussion on particular topics and  
  • to provide ideas for the development of innovative internal policies and strategies to accommodate learning organisation principles
  • to energise stakeholders to contribute to learning region development according to their role and ability 

Links to Short Audit documents

  1. Local Authorities (MS Word document 263KB)
  2. Adult Education (MS Word document 226KB)
  3. Small and Medium Companies (MS Word document 262KB)
  4. Schools (MS Word document 452KB)
  5. Universities (MS Word document 589KB)


Further information can be obtained from Professor M.J.Osborne at the University of Stirling m.osborne@educ.gla.ac.uk