Saturday, March 16, 2019

Capturing Safe Water Learning with Digital Tools

16th March 2019, Bangalore


INREM foundation is working on the issue of fluoride contamination close to a year now in Bagepalli taluk, which has the highest fluoride affected habitations in the district of Chikkaballapur. Last year, we organised a stakeholders meeting where officers of education, health department, women and child welfare showed interest to train their staff with us.  

The education department was first to request and we prepared ourselves for the training. But it was postponed due to some official work. We planned to deploy our new course Fluoride ABC which is available on ForWater knowledge platform. It is a combination of 24 safe water cards to give basic information about the issue of fluorosis to learners. Last week, Mr Subhaan Saab, Senior Officer with the health department in Bagepalli informed us to do a training for their team on the 14th March 2019.

Why are we doing this?

Over the last year, our field team members Manjula, Manjunath (former team member) and Naveen have done many training to several frontline workers using safe water cards. These trainings have been happening in their field visits i.e. in schools, angaanwadis, Primary health centre or meetings at public point in villages. But we have no clear information about learners and most importantly their understanding. A beginning is made to document such learners with the help of digital tools in our recent training.

How are we doing it?

All of us in our learning career have come across the use of OMR (Optical Mark Recognition), darkening those circles with pen/pencil used for evaluation of our learning. We are trying to integrate the same methodology in our trainings. We work in places which are often very remote, have poor access to internet and smart devices. We are trying to bridge this gap making evaluation of learners easier.

Using OMR Evaluator app, questions with multiple choice for assessing the learners was set. Right answers were marked and OMR sheet was generated. One cannot enter the questions in the app, the questions are set outside the app. The group of 20 members was divided into two groups i.e. one with doctors and other with ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife). 24 cards in 2 rounds were circulated among the group members. Small discussion about the topics took place for about 5-7 minutes after first set of cards were completed. 

Post the discussion, questions to assess the learning were distributed among the participants. The responses of the learners were recorded in the OMR sheets. These sheets were later scanned by clicking upon the exam set created in the app. The app captures responses only by comparing with the ‘marked right answers’ and give result of the participants instantaneously. It doesn’t give wrong responses of the participant, but shows number of the right ones.

The app tabulates the results and create excel sheet with roll number, their scores, which question number is marked right or wrong using 1 and 0 coding respectively. Such excel sheets can be sent to your linked email id and simple analysis as shown below can be done.

What we learned?

  • This kind of evaluation is useful to capture the learning of hundreds of participants in training, within a very short period.
  • It is useful to have a pre and post quiz to capture the learning from the training. Due to last minute changes, we could not do this.
  • The font of the question set generated is small. We relied on enlarging the font by doing photocopy of the original copy. The app could not capture responses in such zoomed copies. It must be enlarged in the original document using appropriate scale. This is important to ensure alignment of the borders is not disturbed and the scanning for responses is easier by the app.
  • There will be confusion to assign roll numbers. In a larger group, it is advisable to assign roll numbers upfront on the sheet and give clear instructions to darkening the circles preferably with pencils.
  • Other details like adding labels for collecting contact details needs to be written in the master copy.

Kiran Kumar Sen


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