About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2588-2596
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain

LEARNING FROM FIELD EXPERIENCES OF EXPERT EDUCATION PROGRAM EVALUATORS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

A. Zgambo1, M. Kanaris2

1University of Georgia (UNITED STATES)
2University of Missouri (UNITED STATES)
In Sub-Saharan Africa, HIV/AIDS has taken a toll on people infected and affected by this devastating disease. The toll is at epidemic and pandemic proportions. Health education programs appear to provide a critical means by which to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS. International aid agencies are relying on HIV/AIDS health education programs to act as "social vaccines" to mitigate the impact of this devastating disease. These agencies depend on evaluators to assess the merits and value of educational programs in order to determine the factors and conditions, which promote or undermine the success of mitigating the risks associated with HIV/AIDS. The findings resulting from these evaluations have the potential to inform other existing educational programs as well as assist in the development of future educational programs.

Expert education program evaluators’ need to possess a certain degree of subject matter competence, have the necessary skills to communicate with diverse stakeholders, and perform evaluations in real world environments. Similar to educators, they address challenges and opportunities as they emerge in the field. Furthermore, "evaluators bring to the negotiating table their own style, experience and professional experience.” Expert education program evaluators’ field experiences provide an opportunity for educators to learn how to negotiate the demands present in the academic ecosystem.

The purpose of this study is to share the outcomes and conclusions from a research study on expert evaluators’ field-based decision-making. Stakeholder/program, evaluation, context, and real-world factors shape evaluators’ decision-making. We suggest that these factors also influence educator decision-making. By sharing these factors, educators can understand not only evaluators’ experiences but also provides educators with an opportunity to reflect on their practice.

We blend the methods from the following research approaches: Critical Decision Method, Phenomenography, Narrative Inquiry and Case-Study to understand expert evaluators’ decision-making practices. We interviewed seven expert HIV/AIDS evaluators that specialize in the assessment of HIV/AIDS programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. During the interviews, they recalled their experiences during program evaluations. In particular, we conducted two one-hour, semi-structured individual interviews where participants shared their stories and the critical incidents they encountered when conducting typical, atypical, and complex evaluations. We then transformed these findings into co-constructed narratives.

Based on our findings, we generated reflection questions that can improve educators’ practices. For example, expert evaluators reported that real-world demands colored their decision-making such that satisficing emerged as the only evaluation option. The following reflection question can help educators to contemplate on how real world demands shape their practices: Based on your education experiences, how often has the attainment for perfection prevented you from reaching your goals?
@InProceedings{ZGAMBO2014LEA,
author = {Zgambo, A. and Kanaris, M.},
title = {LEARNING FROM FIELD EXPERIENCES OF EXPERT EDUCATION PROGRAM EVALUATORS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA},
series = {6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN14 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-0557-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {7-9 July, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {2588-2596}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Zgambo AU - M. Kanaris
TI - LEARNING FROM FIELD EXPERIENCES OF EXPERT EDUCATION PROGRAM EVALUATORS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
SN - 978-84-617-0557-3/2340-1117
PY - 2014
Y1 - 7-9 July, 2014
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN14 Proceedings
SP - 2588
EP - 2596
ER -
A. Zgambo, M. Kanaris (2014) LEARNING FROM FIELD EXPERIENCES OF EXPERT EDUCATION PROGRAM EVALUATORS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA, EDULEARN14 Proceedings, pp. 2588-2596.
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