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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 1, No. 3 (2005) open journal systems 

Capacity building using an online training course

Cisco M. Magagula, University of Swaziland, Swaziland

This article reports the findings of an evaluation of an online course for policy-makers in Southern Africa. The objectives of the study were to determine (i) appropriateness and effectiveness of the management process leading to the development and implementation of the online course, (ii) the use of the platform and CD for online discussions, (iii) quality of the online course materials, (iv) the user-friendliness of the online system, (v) the worthiness of the different types of support systems, (vi) the learners’ views of the online course. Furthermore, the evaluator was asked to determine (i) the one week face-to-face workshop, (ii) the quality of the workshop structure, (ii) process and materials used, (iii) the integration of the workshop with the online course, (iv) the value of the workshop for the learners, and (v) the appropriateness of the facilitators. The results showed that (i) the design and structured of the online course was appropriate and well managed, (ii) the course delivery modes (Internet, CD-ROM, and face-to-face learning) were efficiently and effectively utilized, (ii) the course materials were challenging, (iii) the introductory activities properly prepared the learners, (iv) the support provided by facilitators was very useful, and (v) the reading materials in the CD were of high quality. Most of the learners viewed the online course worth taking. However, most learners were frustrated by the low bandwidth which made it difficult for them to browse and surf the Internet and download PDF files. Some learners were not necessarily literate in computer use, opening and sending emails, and surfing the Internet. It is recommended that before an online course is offered, course providers should assess the profile of the intended learners, whether or not they have access to computers, Internet, and know how to open and receive emails as well as download files.

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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556