E-learning for WASH systems strengthening: lessons from a capacity-building platform
Research was undertaken to evaluate the performance of the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Systems Academy, a free e-learning platform. The course, ‘WASH systems strengthening: The basics’, was assessed in three different learning arrangements: Case 1: MOOC (Massive Open Online Course, self-paced and self-guided), Case 2: MOOC with structured support, and Case 3: MOOC with blended learning. In each of these cases, the extent to which e-learning can contribute to improved understanding and application of WASH systems strengthening was investigated. The research was conducted between October 2020 and July 2021 using a modified Kirkpatrick model supplemented by the Outcome Harvesting methodology to assess which MOOC format was successful in performance and application. The study analysed data from the e-learning platform, user surveys, and interviews with water and sanitation e-learning experts and selected users. A comparison of the cases demonstrated that overall, the three learning arrangements were effective based on the reactions of the users, with completion rates of 21, 65, and 100% for MOOC, MOOC with structured support, and MOOC with blended learning, respectively. The MOOC with a blended learning approach was the most effective in terms of performance. This approach allowed participants to have a better understanding of the content with extra face-to-face support while completing the course.