The year 2020 has been exceptional for all of us – for the C³ Unit for Better Learning it meant that none of the training and learning activities could be
implemented as planned. Due to Covid-19 everything had to be digitalized. Amazing was the steep learning curve that we went through, including the C³ team. The decision to dedicate this years’
newsletter to e-learning was hence self-evident. Fortunately, the C³ Unit had decided in December 2019 to set up a Moodle platform for e-learning courses. When the lockdown came in March 2020 and
with it the increasing demand for online formats, everything was in place to get started. Read on the following pages about some of the many success stories on e-learning: How we set up a full
virtual Train-the-Trainer scheme in Honduras, which is currently being rolled out to several hundred education professionals; how we trained government officials from ten African countries in
Internet Governance; and how the online communications course for Ukrainian Public Health Centers has provided evidence, that also soft skills can be trained with virtual formats.
E-learning allows us to reach larger numbers of participants. And:
E-learning is here to stay – even after Covid-19. With this newsletter, we hope to pass the message that we are here to create opportunities for better learning despite all challenges and restrictions!
Head of C3 Unit for Better Learning
HONDURAS: C³ DEVELOPS VIRTUAL TRAIN-THE-TRAINER SCHEME
Honduras faces the challenge of improving access to the entire education system, providing inclusive, high-quality education for all and reducing inequalities in the education sector. Increasing the efficiency of the education system, especially at the decentralized level, and improving transparency are necessary in this context. APRODE II (Decentralization in Education and Quality in the School System) supports this endeavor by working with the Honduran Ministry of Education on topics such as transparency in the sector, support for school networks, integration of children’s rights, as well as indigenous and gender equality. Last, but not least, APRODE II supports the design and implementation of a regional training program for both technical specialists and managers within the administration of Honduran education.
GFA’s team is tasked with designing and rolling out this training program. Although it was originally planned to be run in a blended-learning format, the approach and concept were altered to strictly digital training, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Education requested training courses for virtual tutors for the two modules “Rights Approach in Education Management” and “Virtual Didactic Competence”. The modules were developed in cooperation with the Gender Committee of the Ministry of Education and the COIPRODEN network for children’s rights with technical support from APRODE II of GIZ, the C³ Unit for Better Learning and the GFA Governance department. To date, a total of 84 professionals from both the regional training centers and from the Ministry of Education successfully completed the Moodle-based interactive sessions. Also, the courses are in the process of being officially certified by CADERH, an independent Honduran certification agency. An additional 225 professionals will be trained over the next few months on topics such as “Decentralized Education Management”, “Education Sector Regulations”, and “Continuous improvement in Education Management”.
Lisette Ramirez, the project team leader, participated herself in the ToT – her first experience as an e-trainer. “An e-trainer needs to possess strong
communication skills and be empathetic towards the participants”, Lisette noticed. She observed that many participants had to overcome their fear of the digital format. Therefore, she concluded
that both qualities had an immense impact on the participants’ continued participation. The biggest challenge for Lisette was ensuring the participation in spite of Covid-19 cases among the
participants and their families. In addition, Honduras was hit by two hurricanes in that period that resulted in plenty of connectivity problems and material losses on the participants’
One of Lisette’s tasks was the continuous monitoring and evaluation of participants on Moodle. She appreciated the easy use of Moodle, as the App made it possible for her to follow up on her students via her smartphone. She especially enjoyed the forums and the interactive content created with H5P. Most rewarding for her was to see the increase of technical skills among her e-trainer colleagues, including herself. As the pilot phase has now ended, Lisette draws some lessons learnt: 1) The possibility to participate in the course via smartphone allowed the inclusion of participants lacking other digital devices, 2) the Moodle features are really user-friendly and 3) participants’ knowledge of the training topic has increased but requires further measures to deepen the application in practice.
During this past Covid-19 year it became evident that Moodle-based e-learning, targeted towards both national and decentralized education admi-nistrators, is possible in Honduras. We are confident that despite the global pandemic the project’s goal of training at least 30% of the administrators in the six partner departments will be reached. We are also optimistic that the new training modules will be repeatedly rolled out through the selected permanent training centers.
AFRICAN UNION: C³ ENHANCES INTERNET GOVERNANCE
Due to a tiny virus, the world of education has transformed. Skills in online course design and online facilitation are now in high demand! The GFA team from the
successful online course in Internet Governance delivered across ten African countries would like to share their approach and inspire you to try these new skills yourself!
Face-to-face classroom training sessions based on the C³ approach to better learning are dynamic, interesting and engaging. We know the approach works across cultures and disciplines. We replicated that student-centered approach to learning in our online course using the Moodle Learning Management System. The main objective of the course was to introduce the topic of Internet Governance and to help create a national dialogue where all internet policy issues are discussed in a multi-stakeholder’s fashion. We recognized that participants in this course have knowledge and experience to share with each other about how Internet Governance affects their lives. So the course was designed to create opportunities for participants to share their concerns and needs in a welcoming and respectful place. We used a simple Moodle forum to ask each new person to create a profile description for their buddy. This set up a great atmosphere of peer support and interaction, as it does in a classroom. Another method to build a community was our Padlet course map indicating participants’ locations. As we know, asking participants to create content and share it is a key part of the C³ approach. Padlet offers a timeline template that we used to co-create a timeline of significant events in each of the countries: Botswana, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Egypt, Eswatini, Cape Verde, Liberia, Djibouti, and Comoros.
We could have made a separate new Moodle course for each country but then we would miss out on the cross-border collaboration opportunities that Internet Governance
is all about. Participants could read forum posts from previous countries who had completed the course. Reading through these discussions shows that they felt very connected and motivated to
address internet issues together as a continent. Mission accomplished.
Using a gamification design approach, the participants were asked to self-assess the level of their knowledge of Internet Governance before they started and after they finished taking the course. The image provided shows the considerable shift in the numbers of participants who at the beginning of the training say they were "Novice" to the subject matter, later on moved to being a "Master" or even "Mentor" and "Influencer".
Overall, nearly half of the participants who started the course received a certificate. This is simply amazing! Especially if one considers Covid-19 challenges of low internet, families sharing small spaces while working from home, and many participants living in remote areas (including the legen-dary course co-ordinator Nyambura Ndung’u who made this all possible). Aside from great content from the subject matter experts, the very supportive tech support, and engaging course design, these results also reflect the inspiring dedication of the participants. Many of them were young and so eager to learn and be connected. E-learning is opening up the way for this very powerful new generation to reach our sustainable development goals together as a global society.
UKRAINE: PUBLIC HEALTH CENTERS IMPROVE COMMUNICATION THROUGH E-LEARNING
The project “Support to Ukraine for Developing a Modern Public Health System” was one of the many examples in 2020, where ready-for-rollout presence-based training
courses had to be converted into online formats. The training course on communication techniques for the Ukrainian Public Health Center (UPHC) in Kyiv and its regional equivalents was
successfully implemented in an online format between September and December 2020. More online training courses are still to come.
The project in Ukraine started in May 2019 and forms part of the Health Department portfolio. It aims at developing a sustainable public health system in order to ensure disease prevention and control standards in line with EU legislation, requirements and practices.
One key project partner is the Ukrainian Public Health Center (UPHC). The communications training had originally been developed as a presence-based course for the communication staff of the UPHC. Four experts (two communication experts and two training/didactic experts) jointly developed the five modules in Kyiv in February 2020 following the C³ methodology. It soon became clear that – due to the Covid-19 outbreak – course implementation in summer 2020 would not be possible.
The Covid-19 pandemic, on the one hand, created a situation in which the communication staff of the UPHC was extremely busy. On the other hand, the training module on Crisis Communications and Response had become highly relevant for dealing with the pandemic.
Our online training concept
It was hence decided to convert the Crisis Communications module into a pilot online training at the end of September 2020. Positive reactions from participants after the first live session led to the decision to convert also the remaining four training modules into the following online format:
- Each module consists of two live session of three hours each.
- From the first to the second live session, participants complete a task for homework.
- Participants’ completed tasks, as well as training materials, are uploaded on the UPHC learning management system. However, due to technical issues an interim solution (Google Drive) had to be used.
- Live sessions are conducted via Zoom by using interactive tools, such as Mentimeter and break-out sessions. In the Media Relations modules, the homework task consisted, for example, in recording a short interview between a journalist (performed by the main trainer Dmytro Konyk) and a director. The videos were presented and analysed in the subsequent live session.
- Each module is concluded with an evaluation by participants.
- The first two modules involved directors in addition to communication officers with the aim of improving cooperation within the public health centers.
The evaluation revealed that expectations had been met for the majority of participants. Some added that they now feel more confident in dealing with media
representatives, in formulating key messages and in organizing media events or communication campaigns.
More e-learning courses
Following the successful implementation of the communications training, the project organized further training and learning events like a series of Master Classes covering topics, such as the prevention of non-communicable diseases and a three-hour training course on diphtheria epidemiological surveillance. In addition, the C³ Unit will conduct a Train-the-e-Trainer course for UPHC staff members in Kyiv and the regions in the beginning of 2021.
As often in new situations, some of the partners first expressed their reservations that online formats might not work in this particular context and for topics like upgrading soft skills. The active engagement and positive feedback of participants has proven that the effort has been worthwhile!
Visible Learning in the C³ Trainer Network
Between February and September 2020, the GFA C³ Trainer Network further enhanced its better learning mindframe through the Professional Training course.
Prof. Dr. Zierer, University of Augsburg, and co-author of the publication "10 mindframes for visible learning" (J.Hattie / K. Zierer) provided valuable insights during the presence-based module (28-30 September) on the basis of which participants developed a wealth of ideas on how to improve existing and future C³ training courses. 16 proud participants are now holding in their hands the University Certificate Professional Training issued by the Institut für Berufliche Hochschulbildung (IBH) in Cologne.
Natalie Denmeade is an e-learning consultant to GFA. During the past two years, she has developed and managed
gamified blended-learning and training programs in partnership with GIZ and the ECOWAS region (West Africa) as well as the recently successful course on Internet Governance in ten African
countries. Natalie’s personal motto is: The edge of the unknown is the best place to play. This believe has driven her approach to learning – as a teacher, instructional designer, gamification
and web technology expert – for the last two decades.
Tina Nassr joined GFA in 2019 as an intern for both the C³ Unit and the PR / Marketing department and is
employed as an assistant since 2020. She is currently the administrator of GFA’s Moodle platform and supports the C³ training projects and in-house courses with the setup of e-learning courses.
Tina was recently involved in implementing the virtual ToT scheme on the Moodle platform with the APRODE project in Honduras and serves as Moodle support for the experts of the Hydropower project
in Indonesia. She additionally assists the C³ Unit in administrative matters.
Languages: German, English, Spanish
DIGITAL GFA IN-HOUSE COURSES
In 2020 not only our projects faced the challenge of transforming their training courses into virtual formats but also our in-house trainings were affected. In March and April, Anke Küsel and the C³ Unit jointly developed two GFA virtual onboarding courses: “GFA Core Processes” and “Introduction to GFA Security”. The courses were held on MS Teams and included tasks and materials on GFA’s Moodle platform combined with group work during live sessions. Our trainers made use of several tools to make the course as engaging as possible, for example fun quizzes on Moodle, Mentimeter polls and brainstorming exercises on Padlet. The evaluation showed that participants enjoyed the use of different tools but that it is necessary to familiarize oneself with the Moodle platform before course start. We are proud of our virtual offers and are currently working on setting up more in-house courses virtually.
C3 newsletter, edition 13 / December 2020
Published by GFA Consulting Group GmbH
Eulenkrugstraße 82, 22359 Hamburg, Germany
©All rights reserved 2020
Phone: +49 (0) 40 60306-440
Fax: +49 (0) 40 60306-199
Authors: Christine Fröhlich, Christine Fenz,
Natalie Denmeade, Jan Prothmann, Tina Nassr
Layout/production: Tina Nassr
Responsible for content: Christine Fröhlich