Title Simulazioni INterattive per l’APprendimento di Skill Individuali
Project Number LLP-LDV/TOI/08/IT/477
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text The goal of SINAPSI- Simulazioni INterattive per l’APprendimento di Skill Individuali - is to deploy and test an innovative online tool and methodology for the teaching of “soft skills” such as negotiation, entrepreneurship, creativity, motivation, teamworking.
The goal of SINAPSI- Simulazioni INterattive per l’APprendimento di Skill Individuali - is to deploy and test an innovative online tool and methodology for the teaching of “soft skills” such as negotiation, entrepreneurship, creativity, motivation, teamworking, etc. To achieve this goal, the project will bring together a 3D simulation platform, developed in an earlier Leonardo project (SISINE) and a classroom-based methodology for the teaching of soft skills, already field tested by one of the partners (an Italian training company). The tools and methodology provided will be suitable for use in small and large organizations in both the public and the private sector.
The project is motivated by increasing European interest in soft skills, which many European organizations perceive as a way of improving overall effectiveness and efficiency as well as the performance of individual worker. Today, however, effective training in soft skills is still relatively rare. There are many reasons. Some of the most important are the limitations and high cost of traditional teaching methods, which mainly target small groups of managers. Another factor is the inability of small companies to make the required investment. Cultural and economic factors also play a role: even today, managers in some European countries are less aware than others of the advantages to be gained from effective training in soft skills.
SINAPSI will circumvent these difficulties by exploiting the specific advantages of the platform developed in SISINE and the general advantages of e-learning. These include a strong ability to motivate learners, ease of use, the elimination of geographical barriers to access, and the lowering of training costs. At the same time, however, the project teaching methodology will maintain the advantage of traditional face to face teaching, assigning a strong role to specialist tutors and maintaining a focus on the differing needs of individual participants.
The project will be coordinated by the Istituto di Scienze della Cognizione – Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche (ISTC-CNR), the same organization that led the SIISINE project and developed the SISINE platform. ISTC-CNR will be joined by Entropy KN, an Italian training company that will provide and adapt the teaching methodology and by three additional partners from Italy, France and Slovakia who will plan and manage trials of the platform and methodology. In Italy the trial will be conducted by the Dipartimento di scienze relazionali of the Università Federico II, Naples – a department which has always had a strong interest in novel teaching methodologies. The French trial will be managed by MF & Partners Consulting, a training and business consultancy which already uses online technology in its training activities. The Slovak trial will be managed by PDCS, the partner responsible for the successful Slovak trial in SISINE.
The trials will test the project in three distinct settings: high schools (in Italy), SMEs (in France) and the Public Administration (in Slovakia). The goal is to show how simulation-based e-learning can effectively satisfy learning needs that usually require face to face teaching. The project will facilitate the spread of training in soft skills, making it accessible to target populations who do not benefit from current offerings, contributing in the longer term to a broader shift in European training, with a new emphasis on innovative curricula and training methods.
SINAPSI (Simulazioni INterattive per l’APprendimento di Skill Individuali / Interactive Simulations for Personal Skills Learning) aims to make available to every organization (private and public, small, medium or large) an innovative training tool for workers’ personal skills development, such as negotiation, personal initiative, creativity, motivation, etc..
This didactic tool is based on the matching of an on-line simulation 3D environment, developed in a previous Leonardo project (SISINE), and of a training programme on personal skills development (also called “soft skills”), used by an Italian enterprise for business/company training.
The idea of the project is based on European socio-political and economical changes analysis of the latest years, after frontiers fall, single currency introduction and globalization process.
This transition has led to a huge change in working, organizational and formative system and practice. The “human factor” has been taken into account and also its influence on the company efficacy.
Mc Clelland was the first author who studied this process in the Seventies. Boyatzis, in the Eighties, translated this awareness in a Theoretical Model (“Model of the Skills Development”). According to Boyatzis, the individual’s working performance doesn’t depend only on its technical skills (Hard Skills), but also on its personality skills (Soft Skills).
The modern companies need to focus on training systems that consider both technical and personal improvement. The Model of the Skills Development foresees a variety of training courses, all characterised by didactic training calibrated on single individuals and according to a previous needs analysis.
Nowadays this kind of training is still weak in Europe. The preliminary study carried out by the project partners highlighted the factors that make this training proliferation difficult:
1. Fruition mode: this training is experienced in a traditional way, that is to say in a face-to-face mode and with high costs. This affects also the number of people that could join the training.
2. Belonging nation: this kind of training is advanced in those nations sensitive to company dynamics such as United Kingdom, France and Germany. In East Europe the effective employment of this kind of system is less applicable even if desirable. In the other countries, such as in Italy, the innovative training clashes with national economic system based on hierarchy.
3. Company dimension: the approach to individual’s training is also related to company size (both state and private).
SINAPSI aims to dull some of these problems through costs reduction, large-scale proliferation and training systems modernization.
SINAPSI employs two different products that share a similar methodology:
1. Entropy’s training programme: based on the analysis, attainment and improvement of workers’ personal skills in relation to their belonging company. Time management, problem solving, teambuilding, internal communication, leadership, etc… are some of the skills on which the programme is based. The delivery of training follows three paths: face-to-face training, outdoor training and coaching.
2. On-line simulation environment: developed in SISINE project; a technological tool based on MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) that allows people to join simultaneously online training in virtual 3D environment. It is suitable for role-playing, where people can put oneselves in somebody’s shoes within a scenario created by a tutor for training sake.
This new tool validity will be tested in two different moments, within three target groups belonging to three European countries: teachers and school operators in training phase (Italy), small and medium company employees (France), State Administration (Slovakia).
This primary target group is joined by a secondary target group made by bodies and organization to which primary users belong.
Open and distance learning
Sectors Other Service Activities
Product information SINAPSI realized several products, all considered propaedeutic to the final outcome of the project activity, that is to say the Training Kit SINAPSI. The training kit provides soft-skills training at a distance through an on-line platform. With the term soft skills we refer to such competencies as communication, empathy, leadership, team building empowered to achieve good relational and professional skills within working context. The system is based on the Skills Model Theory, a widespread approach employed in face-to-face vocational training. This model facilitates the identification of lacking transversal skills with the aim of helping users to improving their professional growth. This model has been modified to be integrated with a e-learning approach to training. A blended process has been realized. The final methodology was inserted in a high tech and innovative platform based on 2D and 3D interactions finalized to realize multiplayer on-line training with a tutor able to follow each user in a customised way. The platform employs a dedicated server to collect data and it is made up of several software all easily downloadable.