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The Programme is a collaborative venture between the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Save the Children, Child Protection Working Group (CPWG), and UNICEF. The project was premised on an academic / practitioner partnership where the CPWG, represented by Save the Children and UNICEF, provides the field experience and expertise, while the University (UKZN) provides academic rigour and enables accreditation of students through a formal system.
Important features of the project included that: after the pilot year, the course at UKZN will be self-sustaining through participant fees and regular university subsidy formula subsequently. the course will be replicable by other universities since the course material will be open access the course had to be provided in distance mode so that participants could undertake it while working
Flexible elements Changed Pedagogy – e.g. Flipped Classroom Devices - BYOD
The move from traditional face-to-face to online and blended delivery using supporting ICT requires careful consideration, with the preservation of the integrity of the teaching and learning environment being a non-negotiable premise. In this case, a traditional on-campus university sought to satisfy a particular need for the provision of the CPiE PG Dip to field-based practitioners. The countries in which the respondents were working during the period of the running of the online module included: Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Somaliland / North Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, and Zimbabwe. Taking into account the spatial separation of the students with respect to each other as well as to the location of the facilitating university, the extent of supporting ICT use needed to be determined. Other factors taken into consideration included class size, learner demographics, and the pedagogical approach (Mallinson, 2014).The fully online mode of provision was decided upon due to the distributed nature of the course participants, the necessity for them to remain within their work environment while studying, the small class size, and the agency logistical support likely to be available to the students in terms of internet access. However, as anticipated by Mallinson (2014), this required an important transition for the lecturers in adjusting to the asynchronous online mode, including concepts and practise surrounding teaching and learning interaction, engagement, and facilitation.
Purpose: The purpose of the evaluation was to inform the deployment of the subsequent CPiE modules with the focus on how to use the institutional platform effectively for teaching and learning in a fully online mode, while taking into consideration the geographic environment and context within which the participants were undertaking their studies. UKZN deploys a branded version of the Moodle open source software (OSS) virtual learning environment (VLE): Learn@UKZN, which is being used for the Diploma. As such, this formed a component of the evaluation, in addition to the changed teaching and learning environment. Instruments: The principal evaluation instrument was developed as an online questionnaire using Google Forms. The questions in this survey were largely sourced and adapted from Mtebe and Raisamo (2014). A secondary evaluation exercise took the form of an online one word concept encapsulation activity to be developed into a ‘Word Cloud’ or ‘wordle’. Lecturer: In addition, an interview was conducted with the module facilitator in order to learn from their experience as a novice online developer and facilitator.
All categories had space for associated free comments Based on Mtebe and Raisamo (2014) A Model for Assessing LMS Success in HE in sub-Saharan countries EJISDC 61, 7, 1-17
The countries in which the respondents were working during the period of Module 1 were: Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Somaliland / North Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan (x2), Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Zimbabwe, and no response (x2). This is a representative selection.
In the face-to-face interview, the facilitator emphasized that a great deal of flexibility had been required for the pilot in terms of extending the module start date, assignment deadlines, and considerable support to keep all participants on board. Despite never having facilitated online previously, the facilitator rapidly developed an online presence and proactively used a smartphone to respond to forum posts. It was noted that the time needed for online facilitation was significant, and this needs to be acknowledged in assigning workload. The introductory ‘Learning development with Moodle’ workshop for staff proved to be beneficial.
With the VLE system and the online teaching mode being new to both the facilitator and the many of the students, there is time for the various module elements identified to be improved and enhanced with respect to the teaching and learning of the course online for subsequent modules. The provision of administrative, technical and academic support required by the students in this situation was critical to the success of the online mode, although there is still further room for improvement. Although the academic staff group all participated in the Moodle training workshop, sufficient funds and resources were not available for needed capacity development in online facilitation techniques, and neither did they have the opportunity to practice in a virtual classroom prior to the pilot experience with real students. As the facilitators gain more experience in deploying modules in the online mode, their increased confidence will enhance the overall teaching and learning experience, which should alleviate the administrative and technical support layer to some extent.
Facilitators, students, sponsors, Professor Thokozani Xaba (centre).
Preserve the integrity of the teaching and learning process and environment by: using ICT to support (not drive) teaching and learning Employ flexibility to ensure the ICT support is appropriate for: the topic, level of study, student context and the expertise of the teachers / tutors / learners
ICDE 2015 Brenda Mallinson CPIE evaluation
Evaluating an Online Learning Experience
Child Protection in Emergencies Practitioners
14th October 2015
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
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
Features of the Project
Open Access licence
Physical work location
Factors informing Mode of Provision
Preserve the Integrity of the Teaching and Learning environment.
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
Agency logistical support likely to be available wrt internet access
Online mode chosen (primarily)
Required important (non-trivial) transition for the lecturers
Modes of Provision
Unit Name Mode Credits
#1 Principles of Child Protection in Emergencies Distance 16
#2 Theoretical Foundations in Child Protection in
#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
#6 In-Service Placement in Child Protection in Emergencies Placement 32
Evaluating the Module 1 Online Experience
To inform the effective deployment of the subsequent CPiE modules
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
Nature of Learning
24 (complex) questions covering the areas of:
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)
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
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,
Aligning expectations of affordances of a virtual learning environment
(system/platform) with respect to layout, usability, and interactivity.
Specific information - Students
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
Time management a challenge
Enabled studying while working
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
Adopted a flexible approach from the outset
Overall – a very accomplished transition to online mode
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
that the lecturer
sensitive to the
context of the
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.
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.
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.
Embrace the opportunities afforded by ICTs while preserving pedagogical
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