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ICDE 2015 Brenda Mallinson CPIE evaluation

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Evaluating an Online Learning Experience for field-based Child Protection in Emergencies Practitioners.

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ICDE 2015 Brenda Mallinson CPIE evaluation

  1. 1. Evaluating an Online Learning Experience for field-based Child Protection in Emergencies Practitioners BRENDA MALLINSON 14th October 2015
  2. 2. Background to the Online Programme  Post Graduate Diploma in Child Protection in Emergencies  Collaborative academic / practitioner venture between:  University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)  Child Protection Working Group (CPWG), represented by  Save the Children and UNICEF  Objectives: To improve child protection responses to emergencies through: 1. Strengthening the capacity of existing staff within national child protection systems 2. Increasing the number and capacity of deployable child protection mid-level staff in international organisations
  3. 3. Features of the Project  Programme Sustainability  Open Access licence  Learner demographic Field workers Physical work location
  4. 4. Blended Learning Spatial ICT Mediation Sync vs Async Digital Devices Pedagogy Teaching & Learning Flexible Dimensions
  5. 5. Factors informing Mode of Provision  Guiding principle:  Preserve the Integrity of the Teaching and Learning environment.  Considerations:  UKZN is a traditional on-campus university  But needed to provide the CPiE PG Dip to field-based practitioners.  Spatial separation, location and nature of the participants’ work  Extent of ICT-mediated support possible  Other factors included: cohort size and pedagogical approach  Mitigating factor:  Agency logistical support likely to be available wrt internet access  Online mode chosen (primarily)  Required important (non-trivial) transition for the lecturers
  6. 6. Modes of Provision Unit Name Mode Credits #1 Principles of Child Protection in Emergencies Distance 16 #2 Theoretical Foundations in Child Protection in Emergencies Residential 32 #3 Research Methods in Child Protection in Emergencies Distance 16 #4 Project Planning in Child Protection in Emergencies Distance 16 #5 Management and Coordination in Child Protection in Emergencies Distance 16 #6 In-Service Placement in Child Protection in Emergencies Placement 32
  7. 7. Evaluating the Module 1 Online Experience  Purpose:  To inform the effective deployment of the subsequent CPiE modules  Instruments:  Lecturer: F2F Interview (Online questionnaire also offered but not completed)  Students: Online Questionnaire using Google Forms  Students: ‘One word’ concept capturing exercise using 7Cs course features categories (University of Leicester) Guidance & Support Content & the Learner Experience Communication & Collaboration Reflection & Demonstration Nature of Learning Experience
  8. 8. Questionnaire data 24 (complex) questions covering the areas of:  Learner demographics  Prior online learning experience  Module Quality (Relevant content)  System Quality (User-friendly)  Quality of support / service  User satisfaction with VLE  VLE System use (what for?)  Perceived system benefits  Final thoughts (free comments)
  9. 9. Evaluation Outcomes - Students  Areas of Success:  Good quality content in the online module  Student satisfaction with most aspects of the virtual learning environment  Perceived benefits in using the online system for undertaking the course while in the field  Challenges experienced:  Access to video resources was difficult for a variety of reasons  Access to and provision of journal articles proved to be problematic  Insufficient training in advance of using the platform (Moodle)  Areas for improvement included:  Aligning expectations with respect to areas of support (academic, administrative, technical)  Aligning expectations of affordances of a virtual learning environment (system/platform) with respect to layout, usability, and interactivity.
  10. 10. Specific information - Students  Internet access  All but 1 of the 14 respondents reported they had reliable access  Prior online learning experience  Only 4 reported no prior experience  Others mostly short work-related courses  Quality of support  Flexibility of admin & facilitator mostly appreciated  Students supported each other through Skype (text chat)  No system training received  Other:  Time management a challenge  Enabled studying while working
  11. 11. Evaluation Outcomes - Lecturer  Areas of success:  Novice facilitator rapidly developed her online presence  Proactivity used smartphone to respond to forum posts  The introductory ‘Learning Development using Moodle’ workshop proved beneficial  Adopted a flexible approach from the outset  Overall – a very accomplished transition to online mode  Challenges experienced:  Module start up was slow needing much flexibility throughout  Start date needed extending as well as assignment deadlines  Time needed for facilitation was significantly more than anticipated Nature of the discipline meant that the lecturer was highly sensitive to the context of the learners.
  12. 12. Concluding Remarks  With the evaluation being conducted at the conclusion of Module 1, there was time planned to improve and respond to the particular online learning elements that were initial issues.  The residential module (2) provided a timely opportunity to cement relationships F2F that had been initiated online in Mod 1.  Sufficient advance preparation is desirable for both facilitator and students in transforming to online mode.  The provision of all three kinds of support – administrative, technical and academic – is crucial to the online course success.
  13. 13. Thank You & Discussion BRENDA MALLINSON Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/brenda6 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. With thanks to the South African Institute for Distance Education through whom the support to the CPiE project was provided.
  14. 14. Final Thoughts The way in which we use digital technology models particular values for our students and places particular kinds of demands both on them and on their teachers. Therefore, we need to make conscious choices to use suitable digital technologies in appropriate ways taking cognisance of both our learning purposes and the technology profile of our target learners and lecturers. Principles:  Embrace the opportunities afforded by ICTs while preserving pedagogical integrity  Promote the opening of education using appropriate supporting ICTs  Use ICTs to support (not drive) the teaching and learning process  Be adaptive to change and mindful of context when utilising supporting ICTs  Build capacity to promote sustainability in changing learning environments