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Can massive open online courses fill African evaluation capacity gaps?

TitleCan massive open online courses fill African evaluation capacity gaps?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsMapitsa, C. B., Khumalo L., Engel H., & Wooldridge D.
PublisherAfrican Evaluation Journal
Date Published06/2019
Place PublishedCape Town, South Africa
KeywordsAfrica, capacity development, evaluation, Massive Open Online Courses., online learning

Background: Theory of Change for Development is a free online course developed at an African institution to strengthen evaluation capacity in the region. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide a platform for building skills at scale in the region. Scholars of evaluation have long pointed to a gap between supply and demand that frustrates both evaluation practitioners and commissioners. This article explores the possibilities and limitations of MOOCs to bridge this gap.

Objectives: This article seeks to explore the role open online training can play in evaluation capacity development. It considers the implications of one course’s experience of evaluation sector- blended learning and instructional design in Africa for strengthening regional communities of practice, and for evaluation capacity development.

Method: This article draws on current theories on online learning, specific course data from the Theory of Change course as well as experiential learning from two processes of revision and delivery of the MOOC to explore open online learning as an approach to evaluation capacity development.

Results: This study has found that MOOCs can play important roles in evaluation capacity development. They can raise awareness of methods and tools that are not part of traditional monitoring and evaluation curriculum, their reach for evaluation practitioners is wide and they build much needed networks in the sector. However, their role in skills development has limits, particularly if they are delivered in isolation of other accessible contact learning options.

Conclusion: Massive Open Online Courses should be one part of an evaluation capacity development strategy. They support blended learning, expand access to certain core practical skills and link evaluation practitioners to other real outlets of learning and exchange.

DOIhttps://doi. org/10.4102/aej.v7i1.372

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Short TitleAfrican Evaluation Journal
Refereed DesignationRefereed
372-3650-1-PB.pdf892.32 KB
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