Developing a Multi-stage Assessment Framework to measure e-skills level of community development workers in South Africa
Opeyemi, Fasasi Ridwan
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Community Development service practitioners in South Africa have been increasingly burdened with a broader range of responsibilities. Using ICT proficiently could enhance their productivity. The use of ICT is prevalent in almost every organization, therefore, it can also serve as a major factor in providing flexibility of service to communities, but only if the practitioners possess adequate skills in retrieving, presenting and disseminating valuable and adequate information within the workplace to the parties involved. Training interventions are however not always successful and their impact need to be measured. This study focussed on developing a Multi-Stage assessment model to measure the impact of an ICT training intervention, to provide evidence of the effectivity of the training. A syllabus was developed, based on the European e-Competence Framework for ICT Users - Part 1 (CEN, 2013) and contextualized to suit the work environment of Community Development Workers (CDWs) from KwaZulu-Natal, training material was created and a Learning Management System was used to deliver the training. A self-assessment questionnaire was used to determine the pre-training skills level of the CDWs, 189 CDWs from KwaZulu-Natal were trained and a second questionnaire was used to measure the impact of the training. Results were analysed using Item Response Theory, which provided a way to measure not only overall competency but responses to specific items. Classical Test Theory measuring frequencies and averages were also use and the two sets of responses were compared. The training was found to be effective. Recommendations towards the development of a Multi-Stage assessment model are made.