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Background

The ICT in Education in Asia and the Pacific Project

In the countries of Asia and the Pacific, the use of ICT in education has been developing rapidly. As the presence and use of ICT continue to expand, schools, universities and other educational institutions will need to develop performance indicators to monitor the use and outcomes of technologies, as well as to demonstrate accountability to education stakeholders, funding sources and the public. These indicators are needed to show the relationships among technology use, educational reforms, the empowerment of teachers, changes in teaching and learning processes and student learning. There is a need to show that technology education should be seen not only as an end in itself, but as a means to promoting creativity, empowerment and equality, producing efficient learners and problem solvers.

To study and assess the actual impact of the utilisation of ICT, UNESCO is conducting the ICT in Education in Asia and the Pacific Project, an international undertaking funded by the Japanese Funds-In-Trust (JFIT).

The Project will develop a structure of indicators to measure ICT use in education and provide a basis for policy planning and programme improvements, specifically demonstrating how ICT is raising standards in education, serving as a catalyst for educational change and empowering teachers and learners. To achieve this objective, the following strategies are being implemented:

(i) Undertaking a situation analysis on how existing projects/activities measuring the impact of the use of ICT in education within and outside the region and on this basis, identify an appropriate set of performance indicators which could be adapted or developed for application in the region;

(ii) Pilot testing this set of indicators in selected countries;

(iii) Developing a systematic mechanism and database for the collection, storage, analysis and dissemination of the indicators based on a network of regional, sub-regional and national focal centres;

(iv) Promoting data utilisation and undertaking advocacy work to convince educational policy makers and administrators to mainstream the collection and maintenance of indicators into their national educational policies and management information systems;

(v) Building national capacity in the collection, processing and dissemination of indicators; and

(vi) Implementing an information repackaging programme to ensure that the results/data collected dealing with these indicators are disseminated and utilised for policy and programme adjustments and improvements

An initial assessment of the indicators developed in earlier research showed their largely quantitative nature. While data that was collected from these initial indicators could provide an overall view of infrastructural support and ICT penetration, they did not delve into measuring how ICT has been used as a basic operational tool and as a communications tool to promote the development of creativity, interactivity, collaborative learning, critical thinking and problem-solving.

The ICT in Education in Asia and the Pacific Project will not stop at constructing new indicators; the Project will proceed to promoting the use of these new indicators by policy makers. The new ICT indicators will not only take a snapshot of current conditions; they will also point out directions for policy and thus be considered as the stimulus for change. Eventually, educational policy makers and administrators should mainstream the use of these indicators into their national educational policies and management information systems.

Consultative Workshop for Developing Performance Indicators
However, to be able to assess such relationships, appropriate measurement tools were deemed necessary. The measurements were to be a structure of performance indicators that would gauge the level of change brought about by the use of ICT in education towards the formation of a learning and knowledge society. The conduct of the Project would then require the exploration of certain issues: (a) the development of indicators which can represent both quantitative and qualitative improvements in education as a result of ICT use; (b) the measurement of ICT usage with a focus on equity which refers to widespread and equal access to ICT (e.g. between gender; between and within countries); and (c) methods of collecting data on the selected indicators.

To initiate the Project, UNESCO held a Consultative Workshop for Developing Performance Indicators for ICT in Education, held on 28 to 30 August 2002 at SEAMEO INNOTECH in the Philippines.

Objectives of the Workshop
The overall objective was to develop a set of core indicators to assess the impact of ICT in education. More specific objectives include the following:

1. To provide an understanding of how selected countries use computers in schools and of efforts to measure the effects of ICT use in education;
2. To present a regional situational analysis synthesising experiences and lessons learned in the use of ICT indicators in Asia and the Pacific;
3. To share the experiences and initiatives from other regions (e.g. Europe, the Baltic and CIS countries) to measure the impact of ICT in education; the set of indicators used in these various regions; the results of their use and pilot testing; lessons learned and implications of their experiences to Asia and the Pacific;
4. To recommend a set of indicators for measuring ICT use in education in Asia and the Pacific, including a rationale for each and methods of data collection and use;
5. To recommend methods and mechanisms for pre-testing, data collection, processing, storage and dissemination

Expected Outcomes:
This Consultative Workshop sought these following outputs:

a. A set of core indicators which will be pilot tested in selected countries to measure the impact of the use of ICT in education
b. Strategies, methods and work plan for collecting, processing, storing, and disseminating data from ICT indicators surveys
c. Best practices, successful experiences and lessons learned from selected countries in Asia and the Pacific and other regions of the world in the development and use of ICT indicators in education


Participation

The 13 participants of the Workshop came from:

  • Australia
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • The Philippines
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Uzbekistan
  • Viet Nam

The participants were either the head of the ICT programme of the Ministry of Education of their country, the official in charge of Educational Management Information Systems involved in the ICT project; or the head of the group evaluating the use of ICT in education.

A number of these participants will be in charge of pilot testing the set of ICT indicators generated by this Consultative Workshop.

Four resource persons from UNESCO Institute of Information Technology for Education in (Russian Federation); UNESCO Institute for Information Technology in Education (United Kingdom); the Research and Innovation Department of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Regional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology (INNOTECH), based in the Philippines; and the New South Wales Department of Education and Training (Australia) were invited to share experiences on ICT Indicators and provide technical advice to the Workshop in formulating the indicators.

Submission of Country Reports

Prior to the Consultative Workshop, the participants prepared a report on their country’s experiences on the use of ICT in education and their efforts to assess the impact of the use of ICT in education. The outline of their reports included the following:

a. Policy on the use of ICT in education, financial resources and partners
b. Goals and objectives of the ICT for Education programme
c. Scope of ICT use in education (what school levels and non-formal education programmes ICT were introduced; educational courses and non-formal programmes introduced; geographical coverage in the countries; how many schools and sites; numbers of students and teachers reached, etc.)
d. Manner of introducing ICT in schools and non-formal education – external supplementary learning and training materials (considering teachers' level of ICT literacy and willingness to use ICT), integration of ICT into required textbooks, use of online learning or face-to-face instruction using computers, listing of ICT-based teaching and learning materials used, use of the Internet in teaching and learning, the local development of ICT-based materials, etc.
e. Professional development – how many teachers had been trained and who are these teachers; what kind of training they have received and who gave the training; training materials being used, whether the teachers are using the skills trained in classroom teaching or non-formal education programmes; etc.
f. Connectivity – hardware and educational software currently used, connection to the Internet, telecommunication facilities available, etc.
g. Evaluation and indicators used – what monitoring system is being used and what evaluation had been or is being undertaken to measure the impact of ICT use in the teaching and learning process
h. Problems and how these problems are being addressed

The participants presented summaries of these reports, which are expounded in the next section.

Proceedings of the Workshop

1. The Opening Programme

The Workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Zenaida T. Domingo, Head of the Business Development Office and Senior Training Specialist, SEAMEO INNOTECH. Welcome Remarks were made by Dr. Eligio B. Barsaga, Programme Director for Research and Innovation, SEAMEO INNOTECH.

Ms. Carmelita L. Villanueva, Chief of UNESCO PROAP Information Programmes and Services and the Regional Clearing House in Population Education presented the Keynote Speech on behalf of Mr. Sheldon Shaeffer, Director, UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education.

Ms. Villanueva pointed out that the Consultative Workshop would generate a set of indicators which would provide benchmarks and guideposts to UNESCO's ICT and policy and strategy development, teacher training, ICT-based curriculum and materials development. These indicators will be used to monitor the use and outcomes of technologies and to demonstrate accountability to funding sources and the public. The indicators should show the relationships between technology use and educational reforms, empowerment of teachers, changes in teaching and learning processes and student learning. But there had not been systematic efforts in the countries of the region to measure the impact of ICT use in improving the teaching and learning process, not to say the educational system as a whole. In this point, this Workshop was a trailblazer, as it was the first study to assess ICT use in education using a holistic approach.

Overview of UNESCO's ICT in Education Programme
for Asia and the Pacific

By Mr.Cedric Wachholz,
Focal Point for Information and Communication Technologies in Education,
UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education

This Asia and Pacific programme on the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in education is based on the premise that the innovative and appropriate use of ICT can both help reach those excluded from learning and improve the quality of learning for all. Through ICT, disparities in educational access and quality can be reduced and education systems can enhance the knowledge and skills of their learners and promote creativity, critical thinking and learning how to learn.

Through this programme, ICT will ultimately have an impact on the structure, content, and outcomes of learning, both inside and outside school. The locus of this programme is in the “classroom”, in both formal and non-formal settings, where teachers, facilitators, and learners interact on a regular basis. Providing context to this teaching-learning process are elements which can maximize the potential of ICT in bringing about educational change. These factors are reflected in the core components of the programme:

  • The development of national policy environments -- including enlightened decision-makers, ICT-friendly policies, and adequate ICT accessibility and connectivity -- which promote effective, affordable and sustainable use of ICT in education;
  • Successful models which demonstrate the appropriate use of ICT and of relevant ICT-based curricula and teaching-learning materials in both formal and non-formal educational settings;
  • Policies and programmes which promote the training and professional development of teachers and other educators in the use of ICT in education;

Three additional activities to support these core components will be implemented in this programme, coordinated by the Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, again in cooperation with the Regional Bureau for Communication and Information. These include:

  • A meta-survey of existing reviews and research on the current situation of ICT use in education in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • A regional clearing house on ICT in education, supporting a viable system of information sharing, networking, communication and dialogue; and
  • The development and use of appropriate performance indicators and monitoring procedures related to ICT use in education.

 

Overview of the Performance Indicators Project

By Ms. Carmelita Villanueva
Chief, Information Programmes and Services
UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education

The general objective of the ICT Performance Indicators in Asia and the Pacific Project is to develop a structure of indicators that would measure the impact of using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education. These indicators would be constructed so that they would demonstrate if and how the use and integration of ICT are actually raising standards in education. These indicators then would provide a basis for planning policy and improving programmes, serving as catalysts for educational change and, ultimately, empowering teachers and learners.

The Project's immediate objectives, which were outlined earlier in this section as the Workshop objectives, are:

1. To examine existing projects and activities to measure the impact of the use of ICT in education and to identify performance indicators which could be applied in the region;
2. To develop a mechanism for collecting, storing, analysing, and disseminating these indicators through a network of regional, sub-regional and national focal centres;
3. To advocate the use of these new indicators by educational policy makers and administrators in formulating national educational policies and management information systems;
4. To develop and implement an information repackaging programme that would disseminate the results and data collected dealing with these indicators and use them for policy and programme adjustments and improvements

Strategies

In order to achieve these objectives, the following strategies will be followed:

  • Develop a situational analysis of indicators currently used to measure the impact of ICT in education (teaching and learning)
  • Learning from lessons learned and compilation of a set of indicators applicable to the region through Experts’ Group workshops;
  • Pilot-test indicators in selected countries;
  • Develop a prototype database to input indicators information;
  • Train country personnel on collecting, processing and analysing indicators’ data and on the use of the database software;
  • Research utilisation exercises through experience sharing seminars and information repackaging and dissemination.

Activities
The Performance Indicators Project will be implemented over period of three years in Australia, China, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam. The Project's timetable and project milestones are:

2002

•Undertaking a situation analysis to identify the (a) initiatives and projects already undertaken and (b) indicators used to measure ICT penetration, connectivity and usage in education in the region.
• Organising an Experts' Group Workshop to review existing indicators and develop an initial set for testing. In addition to experts, selected country representatives will also be invited to assist in testing these set of indicators in their respective countries. The Workshop will identify feasible indicators which could be used to measure both the quantitative and qualitative impact of ICT on education; to formulate a mechanism for collecting data and identifying network nodes for this exercise; and to prepare a work plan for information processing, repackaging and dissemination.
• Preparing and finalising the work plan and manual which will serve as the basis for implementing the pilot testing of indicators in selected countries.
• Pilot testing of the indicators in three to five countries within this year.
• Preparing a report on the findings of the project and submitting findings to UNESCO for processing, dissemination and eventually storage in a Regional Indicators database

2002

Undertaking a situation analysis to identify the (a) initiatives and projects already undertaken and (b) indicators used to measure ICT penetration, connectivity and usage in education in the region.
• Organising an Experts' Group Workshop to review existing indicators and develop an initial set for testing. In addition to experts, selected country representatives will also be invited to assist in testing these set of indicators in their respective countries. The Workshop will identify feasible indicators which could be used to measure both the quantitative and qualitative impact of ICT on education; to formulate a mechanism for collecting data and identifying network nodes for this exercise; and to prepare a work plan for information processing, repackaging and dissemination.
• Preparing and finalising the work plan and manual which will serve as the basis for implementing the pilot testing of indicators in selected countries.
• Pilot testing of the indicators in three to five countries within this year.
• Preparing a report on the findings of the project and submitting findings to UNESCO for processing, dissemination and eventually storage in a Regional Indicators database


2003

Further pilot testing of indicators in six additional countries.
• Preparation of reports and submission to UNESCO for processing, storage and dissemination.
• Developing an indicators’ database system.
• Presenting the indicators database software for installation in national institutions. Training on the use of software at the national level.
• Inputting of data sets generated from country surveys into national and regional indicators databases.


2004

Conducting a Regional Research Utilisation Workshop to present the findings of the pilot testing of indicators to policy makers and MIS personnel. In this Workshop, participants will identify problem areas confronted in data collection, processing and dissemination; suggest solutions; cull out policy and practice implications; and develop a plan for the utilisation, institutionalisation, maintenance and updating of this database.
• Revising and refining the first edition of the Manual on performance indicators. The Manual, which will be developed for administrators and implementers, will include instructions for installing and using the database. This material will be produced both in hard copy and electronic formats.
• Storing and maintaining the data in a regional database. Repackaging the data into fact sheets, policy briefs and ICT tools for policy makers for dissemination.

Outputs

The Project will develop a set of core performance indicators that countries could use and institutionalise for evaluating the impact of the use of ICT in education, specifically in improvements in teaching and learning. The set of core indicators will be geared towards improving and strengthening the capacity of governments to assess the effectiveness use of ICT in education and, accordingly, improve policy making and implementation of all aspects of ICT use in education

The specific outputs of this Project are:

1. A situational analysis paper on the use of indicators for measuring impact of ICT use in education in the region

2. A manual for the collection, processing and dissemination of ICT indicators developed for use in pilot testing

3. A set of proposed indicators generated from the Experts’ Group Workshop and for testing in the countries

4. Data derived from pilot testing of indicators at the country level

5. A database of indicators developed, installed at both regional and country level and data collected from pilot testing inputted into this database

6. The training of personnel in participating countries on the collection, processing and dissemination of ICT indicators data and in the installation and use of indicators database

7. A mechanism and system for collecting, storing, analysing and disseminating of indicators installed/institutionalized at the country level

8. The awareness of policy makers and personnel in the participating countries about the survey findings

9. A manual on the collection, processing and use of indicators, as well as installation and use of software revised and refined

10. A research utilisation strategy developed and implemented through a research utilisation workshop and repackaged materials such as policy briefs, info sheets; and an Infoshare Bulletin, uploaded on the ICT for Education Website.

Stakeholders and Partners

The major institutions which will assist the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education are the UNESCO Institute of Information Technology for Education (IITE) and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (INNOTECH).

The participants of the Workshop will comprise the core group of experts, while their outputs during this Workshop will be used as the basis for formulating a set of core ICT indicators. The Workshop participants will also assume further roles as the Project proceeds, and their involvement shall be to:

  • Pilot test the indicators in their respective countries;
  • Refine these indicators into a regional prototype model
  • Build national capacity, install and institutionalise the mechanism and system for the collection, processing and dissemination of ICT indicators data
  • Promote the use of the findings in the formulation or revision, improvement and strengthening of policies and the use of ICT in various aspects of education
  • Share lessons learned, best practices, and innovative strategies in the collection, processing, dissemination, as well as promotion of the use of data from ICT indicators to improve policy making and practice.