Under the Education Survey Course, RTI International has developed curriculum for Ministry of Education staff to learn how to analyze and use data for decision making, with an emphasis on early grade reading assessments. The Ministry of Education of Gambia requested RTI to teach a course that will enable its staff to better analyze data from the early grade reading assessment follow-on data collection that the Ministry conducted. RTI Staff, Abhijit Nimbalkar, and Michael Costello, conducted a two-week Education Survey Course training for Ministry of Education staff in the Republic of the Gambia from August 16 to 27, 2010. The curriculum is a combination of the instructional materials developed for the online course as well as on-site facilitation and teaching. This activity is being funded by the World Bank.
The Education Survey Course was a one week introductory course on education surveys and statistics that had two primary goals. First, it sought to train education officials on how to design and carry out education surveys to collect baseline or monitoring data. Second, it sought to train them how to analyze, present and use this survey data to improve overall education quality by understanding the educational challenges and interventions involved. This course was taught by Dr. Luis Crouch and Ms. Medina Korda from RTI in Kenya in 2007 and by Dr. Crouch and Mr. Abhijit Nimbalkar in Liberia in 2009.
Under Task 3 of the USAID funded Ed Data II contract, an online version of this education survey course was pilot-tested in Kenya in mid-May 2010. It was taught using the Xerte online open-source toolkit that has been adapted for use of this online course by Mr. Nimbalkar and RTI's e-Learning Specialists, Ms. Sarah Pouzevara and Ms. Carmen Strigel. RTI partnered with Kenyatta University and the Kenyan Ministry of Education in the piloting of this online course.
The online course consists of instructional slides, reading materials and Excel exercises. Assessment exercises or quizzes will follow each component to ensure that the participants are understanding and mastering the course content. The course assumes a basic to intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Excel. To begin, select the module that you would like to view from the list below. If this is your first time, choose 1. Introduction to the course. You will have two options: "Online Module" or "Offline Module". If you have a stable and fast Internet connection, choose "Launch Flash Module" under the "Online" option. If you aren't certain that you will be able to maintain an internet connection throughout the course, choose "Download .zip file" from the "Offline" option. Once the download has completed, extract the files to a folder on your computer, and double-click on the file 'index.htm' to run the module offline.