Developing digital capacity with the Path-model
The Path-model includes two levels – an Organizational Path and an Individual Path.
An organization requires different types and levels of digital competence. It is not reasonable to try to have everyone on the same level, but instead the organization should ensure that every employee has the skills and competences that best support their working roles and objectives. As a result, the Organizational Path includes a definition of minimum organizational competence requirements, and the Individual Path is built from the organizational requirements onwards.
The Organizational Path determines the organizational minimum requirements for digital competence. In practice this means that the organization defines and determines its core competence areas and their levels. The core competences are those that are needed to support the core operations of the organization and are mandatory for all employees regardless of their job functions. When determining the minimum requirements, it is important to consider broad competence areas and only the basic functions, for example core digital programs. It is also important to keep in mind that digital tools and programs develop and change, sometimes quite rapidly. Therefore, the minimum competences should focus on competences that are considered relatively stable.
The Individual Path is built from the organizational minimum requirements on. First, each employee evaluates their digital competence in relation to the organizational minimum requirements and determines their development objectives based on the evaluation. The rest of the competence development objectives are selected based on the individual's job-related needs and interests. The competence development activities may include trainings, self-learning, experimentations or personal/group mentoring. The schedule of the competence development activities is also individual, each employee makes their own timetable. The Individual Path emphasizes small steps – the learning goals should not be too ambitious, but instead the individual should proceed with small steps that are rather easily achieved. This creates feeling of success and accomplishment, which in turn motivates to learn more.
In the Path-model, the role of the manager is emphasized. The manager enables, supports, and provides resources, the manager is something of a coach. The manager also encourages their employees to support and help each other, understanding the importance of peer-to-peer mentoring. Furthermore, the managers and the leaders should show example and participate in the competence development process themselves.
The Path models are regarded very suitable for competence development. The individual learning paths with their step-by-step progression generates well-being as employees reach their goals and see their competence growing. And as their competence develops, they feel more confident, more capable, and more eager to try out new tools and methods. By succeeding in learning a new digital tool or programme, they are more and more confident in trying out new tools also in the future. An organization is as successful as its employees. By investing in the development of employee's competence, the organization invests in its competitiveness and general well-being.
The Path-models were created in an Erasmus+ -project “Digitalized Learning Path for Educational Organizations”, which was coordinated by TAKK Tampere. Although the Path-models in this project were developed specifically for educational organizations, the models are easily adapted to any type of organization.
For more information: https://eulearningpath.com/