By Ezethu Mandlelize
Blended learning is the new buzz word gaining traction in the Evaluation Capacity Development (ECD) sector, conjoining the best of both classroom and eLearning methods. It is appealing to a far broader range of learners engaging varied learning styles, circumstances, needs and demands. It combines the support of classroom learning with the flexibility of eLearning. A number of benefits have been cited, in the main, that it is less time consuming, cost effective, greater learner engagement and it uses a combination of creative digital media channels. But, here’s the thing, through my personal experience in managing and delivering a CLEAR-AA MOOC that reached over 8000 online learners, on Results Based Management (RBM), I’ve decided to share with you, the reader, my personal experiences why MOOCs may not always receive the expected attention it deserves.
Wits has become the first university in Africa to offer MOOCs on edX, an online learning platform established by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012. The initiative is a response to the dire need for increased placement at South African universities and for access to quality post-school training. The Wits Vice-Chancellor touted our achievement as “a pioneering, innovative project that is unlocking new opportunities for South African universities.” The MOOC is an introductory RBM course targeted at public and development sector practitioners to design and implement results-based, public sector programmes that optimise the use of resources. (more…)
By Laurie Less
Renowned African literary laureate, Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi’s words ring so true to me, “The danger of a single story… Our lives, our cultures are composed of many overlapping stories, says Chimamanda who warns that if we hear only a single story, we risk a critical misunderstanding”, colloquially we may refer to this as having a limited viewpoint and this may effectively skew our thinking. For evaluators, the single story pose a number of risks in that although the evidence of a single evaluation may not be wrong…. it is however incomplete – ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ – and that is the fundamental difference Evidence Synthesis seek to remedy, in that it produces new knowledge and patterns; addresses complexity; and leads to policy making in support of positive social outcomes.
SAMEA is inviting all stakeholders to submit paper, panel or infographic abstracts presenting M&E systems, processes and practice within the broad theme of the conference. To find out more about the conference themes and the call for abstracts click here: Call_for_Papers_-_6th_Biennial_SAMEA_Conference_2017
CLEAR-AA contributed several interesting articles to the latest edition of the African Evaluation Journal. Click here to view articles in full text http://www.aejonline.org/index.php/aej/announcement
Wits University launched the first phase of massive open online courses (MOOCS) last month. Kieron Crawley of CLEAR-AA at the Wits School of Governance is responsible for Results Based Project Management – Monitoring and Evaluation which is one of the three courses on offer. Registration for the course opens 21 April 2017. To find out more about the exciting innovation click here