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S. Quero1, M.A. Pérez-Ara1, C. Botella1, J. Bretón-López1, R.M. Baños2, S. Nebot1

1Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
2Universidad de Valencia (SPAIN)
Research concerning healthy organizations highlights the relevance of practicing an effective leadership, since this contributes to control work stress and to increase the employees’ wellbeing (Peiró & Rodríguez, 2008). Currently, despite the offer of leadership skills training programs, effective and validate training in these areas is scarce and usually tends to be available only in master programs of high quality or large corporations. In that sense, it is necessary to increase the availability of these programs as well as giving the person a more active role in the learning process. In the last years, a wide range of methodologies, tools and resources have been developed for the implementation of technology in learning in any discipline. However, its use remains low in practice; this is the case of leadership skills training. There exist online systems for the training of leadership skills, but many of these programs tend to focus only on one part of the skills (e.g., "Shipowners' of Gamelearn) or focus on specific target populations (e.g., Raybourn, Deagle, Mendini & Heneghan, 2005). In many cases the empirical evidence of these programs is absent. Therefore, testing this kind of training is needed. Learn to Lead (L2L) is a research project funded by the Lifelong Learning Program (502903-LLP-1-IT-LEONARDO-LMP) of the European Agency for Audiovisual, Culture and Education. Different European countries participate in the project (Italy, France, United Kingdom and Spain) with the main aim of developing a training program of leadership skills based in a serious game. The training is available to be applied in two different modes: 1) on-line self-administered training mode, and 2) blended training mode where the game is also self-administered but with the support of a tutor. The L2L learning system is composed of a series of components that are accessible from a website: online tutorial, lessons on leadership, forum, critical incidents and the L2L game. A pilot study conducted in Italy, France and Spain permitted identifying technical and methodological problems that could decrease the effectiveness of the learning experience, as well as obtaining preliminary data about efficacy and users’ satisfaction (Quero, Pérez-Ara, Botella, Bretón & Banos, in press). These results allowed the development of an improved final version of the system. The aim of the present work is to present the results obtained in the Spanish large-scale trial including more participants which is currently in progress. The main objective of this trial is to assess the learning outcomes and the opinion of the users in both modes (online and blended). The assessment protocol will include leadership efficacy measures (sef-report measures and objective data regarding performance and gain of knowledge registered through the game) and satisfaction measures (Game Satisfaction Scales, Game Assessment Questionnaire, Satisfaction evaluation of the L2L learning path). The data obtained in this large-scale trial could provide empirical evidence about the validity and utility of the Information and Communication Technologies in leadership skills training programs.