Each year a considerable amount of money is spent on the production of several national and international University rankings that may deeply influence the students’ enrollment. However, all such rankings are based almost exclusively on numerical indicators weakly related to the quality of the learning process and do not consider the perceptions of the “end users”: the learners. Recently, as part of the activity promoted by the Observatory on the Smart City Learning, we have produced an alternative approach to benchmark the learning ecosystems based on the satisfaction of the needs described by the Maslow’s Pyramid and on the achievement of the state of “flow” by the actors involved in the learning processes. Here below the first validation of such a benchmarking approach tested in six European Campuses. The critical analysis of the outcomes allowed us, among other results, to identify the set of the most relevant indicators out of those that were initially proposed and the identification of a “smartness” axis on the plan of the first two principal components derived from a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) applied to the collected data.

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Smartness of Learning Ecosystems and its bottom-up emergence in six European Campuses.
by Carlo Giovannella, Diana Andone, Mihai Dascalu, Elvira Popescu, Matthias Rehm, Giuseppe Roccasalva

Here below the list of further studies promoted by ASLERD to improve the method and to apply it as starting point for co-design practices aimed at improving the smartness of the learning ecosystem:

Evaluating the Resilience of the Bottom-up Method used to Detect and Benchmark the Smartness of University Campuses
by Carlo Giovannella, Diana Andone, Mihai Dascalu, Elvira Popescu, Matthias Rehm, Oscar Mealha
ICS2 2016, IEEE publisher, pp. 341-345

An investigation of actors’ differences in the perception of learning ecosystems’ smartness: the case of the Aveiro University
by D. Galego, C. Giovannella, O. Mealha
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Participatory evaluation as starting point to design for smarter learning ecosystems: the UTOV case history
by Carlo Giovannella
in “Citizen, Territory and Technologies: Smart Learning Contexts and Practices”, Springer publisher, 2017, pp. 64-74

Here the application of the same benchmarking method to measure the smartness of high schools:

Participatory bottom-up self-evaluation of schools’ smartness: an Italian case study
by Carlo Giovannella
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And here a description of the general framework to help in design and re-design of smart learning ecosystems
People Centered Smart Learning Ecosystems: frameworks of reference for optimal design and planning to support individual well-being and a learning by being model
by Carlo Giovannella and Giuseppe Roccasalva
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To recover the centrality of the schools with respect to their territory, to strenght the collaboration among educative agencies (schools, families and territorial context) and foster the growth of the social capital, to support acquisition of horizontal competences, social innovation and regional development we have developed an educative framework, design based, that foresees the development of incubators of projectuality in each school.

Here below few papers on the attempt to implement the Incubators of projectuality in Italian high schools and to carry on similar experience during the pandemic:

Incubator of projectuality: an innovation work-based approach to mitigate criticalities of the Italian massive alternance scheme for the school-based educational system
by Carlo Giovannella
IJDLDC, vol. 8(3), 2017, pp.55-66

An Analysis of Alternation Schemes to Increase Student Employability and the Smartness of Secondary Schools
by Carlo Giovannella
in Ludic, Co-design and Tools Supporting Smart Learning Ecosystems and Smart Education I, Springer, 2021, pp. 39-51

Smart alternation schemes and design practices during pandemics
by Carlo Giovannella
in Ludic, Co-design and Tools Supporting Smart Learning Ecosystems and Smart Education II. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, vol 249. Springer, 2022, pp. 3 – 14

During the simulations of the innovation processes developed within the project incubators, the micro-certification of skills and roles (junior design) with the issuing of blockchain anchored electronic certifications was tested for the first time in Italy, and among the first times in Europe.



Over the years ASLERD has supported various schools in realising small and large projects aimed at improving the learning ecosystems. Prominent among these is the project of a ‘Territorial Laboratory for Employment’ implemented at the I.I.S Marconi in Anagni called ‘Handicraft 2.0 on demand‘.
The aim of the project is the recovery of the craft tradition that, thanks to innovative production processes, the use of digital manufacturing technologies, 3D printing, numerical control machines, all networked, becomes craft 2.0, as well as industry 4.0, thanks to flexible and ‘smart’ processes that will connect all the environments of the production process and stakeholders (e.g. industries) to optimise customised production.
The project is also aimed at creating new professional figures, necessary for the economic revival of the area, who will deal with the design starting from a customer’s request up to the workshop realisation of the artefact, both digital and three-dimensional: models, sketches and prototypes.
The workshop was inaugurated on November 2021



During the outbreak of the pandemic, the ASLERD has promoted the monitoring and study of the effects induced by the digital shock on the learning ecosystems also to investigate the characteristics of the forced innovation process that ensued.
The study have been conducted initially on the Italian learning ecosystems (schools and universities

The Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Italian Learning Ecosystems: the School Teachers’ Perspective at the steady state
by Carlo Giovannella, Marcello Passarelli, Donatella Persico
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the study was then extended to a comparison of university learning ecosystems in three countries with very different characteristics (Iraq, Italy, Mexico)

A Model for the Attitude to get Engaged in Technological Innovation (MAETI) derived from a comparative study on the effects of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic seen through the lens of the university teachers of three different national learning ecosystems: Iraq, Italy and Mexico.
by Carlo Giovannella, Marcello Passarelli, Alaa S.A. Alkhafaji, Adriana Peña Pérez Negrón
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the study had a follow up during the whole two-year pandemic, see for example

The Year of Living Dangerously”, Preface to ‘Learning and learning ecosystems in the time of Covid-19
by Carlo Giovannella, Mihai Dascalu, Gabriella Dodero, Oscar Mealha, Matthias Rehm
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and is continuing at present with the aim to identify the effects that have stabilised and how they have weighed on the indicators defining the e-maturity of learning ecosystems

The Italian School Ecosystems two years after the lockdown: an overview on the “digital shock” triggered by the pandemic in the perceptions of schools’ principals and teachers
by Carlo Giovannella, Licia Cianfriglia and Antonello Giannelli
in “SLERD 2022: towards the polyphonic construction of a new normality”, Springer, 2022, pp. 47-76

The Italian School Ecosystems two years after the pandemic in the perceptions of schools’ principals and teachers – part 2 (a segmented analysis)
Carlo Giovannella, Licia Cianfriglia, Antonello Giannelli
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For a couple of years now (see also the section on schools), ASLERD has been trying to support the growth of smart learning ecosystems in schools, such as the Amaldi  (Rome), where a community pact has been set up, to potentially involve all the actors in the local community. The aim of ASLERD’s intervention is to identify which factors can drive the development of smart learning ecosystems and what role can be plaied by ICT to sustain the process.

Community pacts and we4SLE as tools to support the implementation of Smart Learning Ecosystems
by Irene Urbanetti, Carlo Giovannella, Vincenzo Baraniello and Maria Rosaria Autiero
in “SLERD 2022: towards the polyphonic construction of a new normality”, Springer, 2022, pp. 115-128

The school as a territorial learning ecosystem – Participatory evaluation of the boundary conditions: the case of the IIS Amaldi
by Carlo Giovannella e Maria Rosaria Autiero
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