The impact of educators' training in photovoltaic solar energy in developing countries

Rim Razzouk, Anshuman Razdan, Ambika Prasad Adhikari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The Vocational Training and Education for Clean Energy (VOCTEC) program, at Arizona State University (ASU), delivers training workshops to support the global objectives of sustainability and security of energy supply in developing countries through educating, training, and preparing the people to use their energy resources to enhance their quality of lives. In 2011, VOCTEC received an award from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for creating and delivering a long-term vocational education and training in solar photovoltaics (PV) energy systems in the Pacific islands and Africa. Through this paper we report the effectiveness of three train-the-trainer (educators) vocational PV trainings that were delivered by the VOCTEC program in Fiji (2013 and 2014), and Kenya in 2014. The expectation by the end of each training was that the educators (trainees) would show an increase in learning outcomes (knowledge and skills acquisition), and demonstrate an enhanced ability to conduct future technician/workforce trainings on solar PV in their respective countries and communities. A total of forty two participants in Fiji and Kenya, selected from different institutions, attended the training workshops. They engaged in a 10 day long program that comprised an array of training modules on basic and advanced technical topics (e.g., installation of solar PV system), hands-on exercises, non-technical (e.g., gender inclusion), and educational games to reinforce specific concepts taught in the training. The process of curriculum development was based on specific set of learning objectives, which motivated the development of the assessments. A framework based on Kirkpatrick's evaluation model was used for the assessment and evaluation of the training intervention. This framework consists of four different focus areas: 1) reaction assessment: measures the participants' perception of and satisfaction with the design of the training program and delivery of the content; 2) learning assessments: measures the extent to which the participants acquired new knowledge and skills from the training; 3) behavior evaluation: measures the participants' ability to apply the newly learned knowledge and skills; and 4) impact: measures the long-term effect of the training intervention on the educators' knowledge and skill acquisition within 6 months of the initial training. The data used to assess the first three areas was collected via ten different assessment instruments administered at various times during each workshop. Results from the data analysis indicate a high degree of participant satisfaction with the training workshops. In terms of learning, results show significant increase from pre-to post-assessments in all content areas. The performance measures for the hands-on exercises, and participants' impression of their learning, triangulate the data and support this finding. Regarding the behavior measure, the participants' perception about their preparedness and confidence in their abilities to train technicians were also high. As of now, the long-term impact measures were collected for only the first two training (Fiji, 2013 and 2014), and results show that educators' knowledge and skill acquisition were maintained even after 6 months of their training. The data for the long-term impact of the third training is being collected/analyzed. Overall, despite certain challenges, which will be discussed in the paper, the trainings were effective as evident from the results. Feedback and insights gained from the trainees allow us to continuously improve future trainings and the VOCTEC program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
StatePublished - 2015
Event2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Seattle, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2015Jun 17 2015

Other

Other2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle
Period6/14/156/17/15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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