Developing shared European policies for learning and performance support analytics at the workplace


On 15th April 2015 LACE project members organised the Spring Briefing and Workshop event on Policies for Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics, held in Brussels. The event was followed by 67 people, including representatives from different institutions/organisations with different interests, skills and backgrounds.

Large part of the afternoon was dedicated to 3 separate workshops, one for each area of interests of the LACE project (Schools, Workplace and Universities), in which the interested participants have had the opportunity to discuss on what the policy-makers can and should do about Learning Analytics implementation in the training and educational landscape.

In particular, in the workshop session related to workplace learning and training, several subjects and institutions have joined the brainstorming, such as representatives of EU institutions, universities, trade & commerce institutions and industrial subjects, as shown in the table below.

List of participants to the workplace workshop session.

Name Organisation
Fabrizio Cardinali (moderator) Skillaware – sedApta Group, LACE Project
Marieke van der Schaaf (rapporteur) University of Utrecht, WatchMe Project
Maren Scheffel Open University of the Netherlands, LACE Project
Marco Paini sedApta Group, LACE Project
Melissa Vanarwegen CVO HBO5 Antwerpen, Belgium
Jasmine Glaser EU Representation of the Federal Austrian Economic Chamber
Mihaela Georgieva EU Parliament, assistant
Denise Janssen Mateum
Gabor Kismihok University of Amsterdam
Patrice Chazerand DIGITALEUROPE
Fiorella Belciu DG CNECT, EC, Trainee
Susan Flocken European Trade Union Committee for Education

Fabrizio Cardinali, the moderator of the workshop and CEO of Skillaware (, the new company for workplace learning and performance support analytics solutions of the sedApta Group, suggested to arrange the brainstorming about the role of EU and national LA policies for the development and the implementation of learning analytics in the workplace on the ROMA model(1) (Rapid Outcome Mapping Approach). This approach, presented in the morning joint session by the new president of the Society for Learning Analytics Dragan Gašević (the presentation is available here), is constituted by a cyclical process divided in six checkpoints, which allows the definition and re-definition of the policy targets which EU and national institutions should put into practice for the implementation and the improvement of workplace-based learning.


ROMA approach

Rapid Outcome Mapping Approach (ROMA) graphical representation (1)

As first point, the group members discussed about the current political context, indicating that EU and national policies on Learning Analytics (LA) should enforce decision taking, problem solving, process digitisation skills and capabilities & competences of workforce, with the aim to enhance employability and entrepreneurship in the European Union industrial world.

EU and national policies should then identify, engage and support the main stakeholders for transformation, and all the participants agreed that all the parts, like institutions (governments, education authorities, education and trade unions, etc.), social partners, teachers and industrial actors (industrial leaders, employers and also workers) can play an important role as driving force for transformation in the EU scenario.

As third point, the group discussed about behavioural changes that should be adopted by EU and single EU members, indicating that these institutions might uptake in a rapid way the 21st century working skills which involve the key stakeholders, such as collaboration & networking, problem solving, leadership, entrepreneurship, analytical and data analysis, privacy and security skills.


Discussion on EU policies for LA in the workplace

With regard to engagement strategies (the fourth point suggested by the ROMA approach), EU and national LA policies should foster awareness, behaviours and investments amongst all stakeholders. In particular, these policies should make them understand that the cyber-physical ecosystems which characterize manufacturing today, and more and more in the future, imply the developments of new working methods and conditions, and that these features requires and enhance a human workforce with higher skills and competencies.

The discussion then focused on the role of EU and national policies on the management of change towards the industrial landscape, indicating that European institutions should encompass all contexts of lifelong learning from K12 to further education, higher education, vocational & individual informal learning.

As final checkpoint of the ROMA model, the workshop participants suggested that as a key monitoring and learning framework for change, EU and national LA policies should foster open and interoperable data-driven ecosystems for accelerating the data/model/transform(2) life-cycle (developed by McKinsey & Company, and available here) in order to improve workflows.

At the end of the brainstorming, Marieke van der Schaaf (University of Utrecht and member of EU project WatchMe), as rapporteur of the workshop, reported the results to the plenary session of participants of the Spring event, becoming part of the final discussion about research issues, topics, directions and future perspectives of Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining.

Marco Paini

Skillaware – sedApta Group


(1) Macfadyen, L. P., Dawson, S., Pardo, A., & Gasevic, D. (2014). Embracing big data in complex educational systems: The learning analytics imperative and the policy challenge. Research & Practice in Assessment, 9(2), 17-28.

(2) Barton, D., & Court, D. (2012). Making Advanced Analytics Work for You. Harvard Business Review, 79-83,

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About Author

Marco Paini is a member of the EU-Projects team of the sedApta Group. During his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Marco has developed extensive knowledge on different industrial and manufacturing processes and has participated in several EU project proposals. Marco has also worked in R&D Projects for Siemens and for other national and international companies.His participation in the LACE project will provide support and ideas in the development of learning and LA in the workplace, related to WP5.

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