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Evaluation meeting on the Facilitating Effective ICT-Pedagogy Integration Project

© UNESCO/H.Schmid

From 2010-2012, UNESCO Bangkok implemented the “Facilitating Effective ICT-Pedagogy Integration Project” to create an enabling environment for facilitating students’ direct and effective use of ICT. A host of activities on capacity building, policy advocacy, supporting national efforts and knowledge sharing were carried out in the last three years with support from the Korean Funds in Trust (KFIT), Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Government of the Republic of Korea.

The Project involved stakeholders who share the common goal of advocating and facilitating the pedagogical use of ICT to enhance student-centered learning. It looked into piloting and demonstrating an institutional strategy for facilitating students’ use of ICTs by designing and facilitating student-centred ICT-supported activities, building capacity of teachers on ICT-pedagogy integration, and advocating the development of a whole-school support strategy on integrating ICT in Education.

The Project officially closed in March 2013. Prior to this, an Evaluation Meeting was convened from 18-19 March 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand to take stock of the overall project implementation, challenges and achievements; collect feedback and evidences; evaluate the impact of the activities to teachers and teacher educators; analyze data towards formulating constructive feedback; validate lessons learnt and good practices and synthesize the project’s overall contribution to ICT-supported student-centred learning in Asia-Pacific region.

Represented in the meeting were teacher education institutions and champion teachers from Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, UNESCO field offices (Uzbekistan via teleconference) and national institutions involved in the project. The meeting served as a platform to share multidimensional reflections on the project’s lessons learnt, challenges, activity-based interventions, findings from monitoring and evaluation activities by TEIs and sustainability plans. Teachers trained under the project were also given the opportunity to share their actual experiences in designing and implementing project-based learning (PBL) activities and exploiting telecollaboration or the use of technology-supported collaboration tools and applications to extend the classroom using PBL approaches. A reflection report from Vietnam was also shared during the meeting.

UNESCO Bangkok Director Gwang-Jo Kim in his opening message emphasized UNESCO’s efforts to engage education stakeholders in shaping education agenda beyond 2015, particularly since the process calls for quality and efficacy of education system in the context of learning outcomes. ICT, according to him, has the potential to deliver the new set of measurable skills demanded in the world of work once it is ingrained in the pedagogy. This is consistent to what the UNESCO project tried to model in the past three years of implementation. Mr. Kim underscored that the Project’s evaluation would be important to assess the Project’s scalability and sustainability. Once the outcomes proved beneficial, he said, the Project should be able to convince partners to support similar student-centred initiatives in the region on a wider scale. 

The meeting was led by the four-member Evaluation Committee from Australia, Malaysia, UK and the Philippines. The meeting evaluated the activities within the project framework and interventions made based on reports from the TEIs, teachers and the Project Team. The evaluators validated the lessons learnt particularly from each of the PBL project and related activities. At the end of the meeting, the Evaluation Committee shared the set of findings and recommendations in the areas of policy, PBL concept, content, partnership and school-level indicators that are intended to serve as guideposts for designing future student-centred activities and for scaling up some of the components of the KFIT Project.  

Noted as best practices of the Project are the activities carefully designed and regularly monitored; timely modifications in both content and delivery of those activities addressed some challenges met in the course of implementation. The “pedagogy first” approach where pedagogy was placed ahead of ICT in all training was another remarkable best practice highlighted. Partnerships with TEIs to address training customization according to teacher requirements and the establishment of local partnerships between TEIs and teachers also received high commendations from the Evaluation Committee.

Moreover, strong points of the Project’s capacity building component include (1) focus on PBL that employs powerful form of learning, (2) ICT use with PBL that makes it pervasive and (3) PBL link with tele-collaboration for modeling synergy between TEIs and a network of teachers and cementing their relationship.

In conclusion, the Evaluation Committee found the Project highly successful in terms of meeting its objectives, evidenced by the high satisfaction ratings generated from activities with focus on relevance, usefulness, level of interest drawn among teachers, and degree of new insights gained. The meeting also served as UNESCO’s platform for conveying the Project Team’s appreciation to all project stakeholders and partners for the cooperation extended.

A consolidated report drawn from the capacity building workshops, international meetings and fund mobilization for national project implementations was prepared by the ICT in Education Programme of UNESCO Bangkok and is available here.