A word about measuring impact
Assessing any one particular organization’s impact on a large-scale societal issue such as poverty or illiteracy is a complex and costly effort.
The ultimate measure of our success would be to look at our impact on society as a whole in 20 years time.
Right now Dyslexia International can and does measure results by means of evaluation forms which are in-built into our training courses.
Qualitative feedback from Coursera MOOC ‘Supporting children with difficulties in reading and writing’
Overwhelmingly positive feedback from ‘Supporting children with difficulties in reading and writing’ has been sent in. Over 32,000 teachers and parents have enrolled in the course. From 195 ratings end-users gave the course an average of 4.8 stars out of 5.
It is clear that this course is having a real, positive affect on teachers and pupils in the classroom around the world. We are currently assessing the course and distribution channels in order to reach an even wider audience. Click here if you would like to contribute financially to this project.
‘Absolutely wonderful overview of how to support poor readers or dyslexics. Great for teachers and parents who want to learn the nuts and bolts of dyslexia in order to help their students/children read. Especially loved the book on how the brain learns to read! Easy to understand and tremendously interesting.’
Click here for more ratings.
Case study from ‘Basics for teachers’ in Belgium
The francophone Belgian Ministry of Education integrated the online course into their programmes for teacher training in collaboration with our teacher-training consultant Vincent Goetry. These blended learning programmes are ongoing.
To date nearly 2000 principals, teachers and specialist services have taken the course. 1,750 schools took part. Belgium planned to have 2,400 schools using the course by the end of 2014.
A sample of 958 participants gave feedback on the course between 2011 and 2013. 97,9% of these participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the knowledge and skills acquired. They described those as “intensive” and “significant”, in direct relationship with the classroom.
95% of the participants said they thought that the objectives of the training were achieved, among others:
- understanding the difficulties of dyslexic learners
- identify dyslexia
- acquire tools and techniques to help dyslexic learners in the classroom
- making other students and teachers aware of dyslexia and of its consequences on school and social life
Most of the participants firmly believed that “Basics for teachers’ should be part of training programmes, and regretted not to have been informed about dyslexia during their initial training.
95% of participants said they thought the objectives of the training had been reached, including:
1. Understanding the difficulties learners with dyslexia experience
2. Identifying the signs in order to detect dyslexia
3. Acquiring the knowledge of how to adapt teaching methods and use specific tools in order to teach a learner with dyslexia
4. Sensitizing others in the school (students and teachers) as to what dyslexia is and how it impacts lives.
Most participants strongly believed that the course should be part of initial teacher training programmes and regretted not receiving such training earlier on in their careers.
Other countries take up ‘Basics for teachers’
France: In January 2012, Dr Vincent Goetry, Director of the course and DI teacher-training consultant, was invited by the ‘Ministère de l’Education nationale’ and representatives of all the associations of parents (‘Fédération Française des DYS’) and ‘ANAPEDYS’ on how the course is being implemented in the Belgian francophone system. The ‘Directeur général de l’enseignement scolaire’ later expressed his enthusiasm and discussed how a plan could be made to pilot the adapted course before its wider introduction in teacher-training programmes. A MOOC version is under consideration in a university.
Grenada: The delegate of the Grenada Special Education Needs Officer, Ministry of Education trialed the course with teachers and reported, ‘The content of the online training package was excellent. It covers almost all aspects that teachers will need in order to offer support to students with dyslexia. Additionally, the content can easily be used across the curriculum. All students and teachers stand to benefit from the strategies used in the course. The teachers in Grenada who participated were thrilled with the content’.
Ireland: The online course was reviewed and adapted to the Irish school system. It continues to be used in training colleges and has been added to the Special Education Support Services (SESS) website, an initiative of Teacher Education Section of the Department of Education and Skills, funded by the Irish Government.
Kenya: Kenya are in the final stages of setting up pre- and in-service teacher training on dyslexia programmes using the course.
Lebanon: Following a very positive evaluation of the course by Professor Ahmad Aoueini, it is now being used at the Department of Education of the Lebanese American University as a mandatory module in the training of Masters students. Professor Aoueini also agreed to oversee the adaptation of the course into Arabic, which is much in demand.
Morocco: University professors examined the course and provided positive feed-back.
South Africa: a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Professor Angela Fawcett, gave a training at the University of Johannesburg, where she introduced the course. It was then evaluated by the University and approved. From September 2011 it was used by Honours and Masters students in psychology and education and thereafter for the ongoing training of 200 in-service teachers from the Southern African Association for Learning Differences (SAALED). More than 100 course evaluation forms were returned with very positive feedback and comments.
Read a letter of appreciation from Dr Jean Fourie, Lecturer, Department of Educational Psychology. She intends to run a new course in the Autumn of 2014.
St Lucia: a teacher who participated in the World Dyslexia Forum 2010 at UNESCO subsequently facilitated a workshop with teachers from one education district with the aim of introducing the course more widely. The District Education officer was “more than pleased” with this initiative.
Swaziland: The Ministry of Education Delegate, a Senior Inspector for Special Education, attended the World Dyslexia Forum 2010 and sent a list of teachers to trial the course, which was well received.
The content of the course was then adapted to local cultural settings and school systems, and incorporated in professional development in-service training manuals, also in courses offered in the three teacher-training colleges.
Swaziland will soon be setting up a Bachelor in Special and Inclusive Education; one of the modules will include the online course.
Switzerland: 12 representatives attended the World Dyslexia Forum 2010 from colleges, local associations and a university. The French course was positively evaluated by the ‘Centre Suisse de Pédagogie Spécialisée’ and was received with enthusiasm at the ‘Conférence Intercantonale de l’Instruction Publique’ who authorized its use throughout the Cantons.
The adaptation of the course into German by the Belgian germanophone Ministry would extend its dissemination into the German-speaking parts of the country.
United Kingdom: Besides enthusiastic feedback from individual teachers, the course is being used as a mandatory part of teacher training in a school in Kent. See the video below for what Anne Kelly, Head Teacher, says about the course.
Burkina Faso: Our Teacher training consultant, Dr Vincent Goetry, delivered a training course in 2014.
Ghana: Professor Linda Siegel completed a successful formal training visit to Ghana.
Mali: the input of a Malian teacher, Fatimata Yattara, assisted the adaptation of the online learning course in the Brussels office, which she described as ‘excellent’.
The course guide was adapted for local use in Mali.
Dr Goetry also met a representative of the IFM (‘Instituts de Formation des Maîtres’), which trains future teachers who will adopt our training. More to follow…