Assessment of the effectiveness
of the CAD eLearning Certificate at the University
Anne Munene- Kabanyan Marilyn Lee and Spoon Mafote,
Educational Technology Unit (CAD), University of Botswana
of eLearning in higher education has brought a challenge
for institutions to train their faculty to equip them
with the necessary skills needed to embark on eLearning
activities. The University of Botswana (UB) first
introduced eLearning in 2002 to enhance instruction
and students' learning. eLearning at the University
of Botswana has been defined as the "appropriate organisation
of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
for advancing student-oriented, active, open, collaborative
and life-long teaching-learning processes". (Educational
Technology Unit, n.d.a)
To ensure that international standards of quality
in eLearning are met, EduTech decided to follow a
four-step approach to provide (1) extensive staff
training through workshops, (2) one-to-one Instructional
Design support (3) frequent monitoring of the eLearning
design, development and delivery process and (4) assessment
of the quality of the eLearning courses after course
delivery through an external reviewer using a specially
developed assessment instrument.
This study focuses on measure (1): the "Centre of
Academic Development (CAD) eLearning Certificate",
a workshop series on eLearning related topics that
has been offered since 2003.
These workshops are conducted by the Educational Technology
Unit (EduTech) in collaboration with UB staff. The
four areas covered in the workshops include: Online
Learning, Information and Computer Skills, Multimedia
Production and WebCT Training. After completing a
minimum requirement of eight workshops, academic staff
are required to produce a portfolio that demonstrates
how they apply the skills and knowledge they acquired
from the training before they are awarded the CAD
eLearning Certificate. By July 2005 around 600 lecturers
and support staff from UB and Affiliated Institutions
have been attending one or more of these workshops.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness
of the CAD eLearning Certificate and its individual
workshops in relation to its objective, to promote
more learner-centred, active, collaborative and lifelong
teaching and learning. The study employed both qualitative
and quantitative data collection strategies.
Results showed that the majority of lecturers participated
in four or less modules. Around 16 % of the participants
have been able to meet the requirements and were awarded
the CAD Certificate by July 2005. Main reasons to
participate in the Certificate were to acquire technological
skills and the use of eLearning in Teaching and Learning.
A high number of respondents also indicated the completion
of the Certificate as a reason to participate in it.
Workshops were perceived as useful and well done.
Course Design, PowerPoint and Introduction to eLearning
scored the highest ranks, followed by Management Information
Techniques and Online Information Management. A majority
of 74% of respondents claimed to have applied skills
and knowledge acquired in the workshops, mainly the
use of PowerPoint, search engines and information
management techniques. Only 13% had developed online
courses. Non-completion of the Certificate is mainly
due to time constraints and the heavy teaching load
The study provides recommendations on ways to improve
the CAD eLearning Certificate. It is suggested to
offer online learning and collaboration in addition
to face-to-face workshops and continuous mentorship
to best support lecturers and build a community of
practice between staff active in eLearning at UB.
The parallel development of an online course could
also help in the immediate application of knowledge
and skills acquired.