Here’s just a brief overview of our ELI research project. Our focus in on reviewing the training material currently used at conferences in the Pacific Island nations.
*We have a video that we presented in Australia but we’re still working on recording the audio for that but it’ll be up soon.
- We conducted online surveys with staff and students
- Interviews with long serving staff
- Observational trials of staff teaching our current material to students and afterwards giving their feedback on what they thought.
- This then led us to review the training material we’re using and also material from neighbouring Cru locations such as the US, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and even Papua New Guinea.
Some of the challenges that we faced during our data collection process were
- that we had a small pool of students that responded; compared to the actual number that were sent evaluation forms post-conference.
- In addition, their responses may have been too kind and not elaborate enough to give us an accurate look at the data.
- Another obstacle we faced was our team location and schedules. A new baby, settling down and getting married and new campus responsibilities too. These were the major ones we faced.
When we were able to meet we found out a lot of things from the data we collected. We found that given the choice, the top three topics of interest for both students and staff were:
- How to study the Bible (52%)
- The Spirit filled life (43.5%)
- Making Disciples and Prayer (33.3%)
We also discovered that students and staff both agreed that the training was lengthy.
However, our biggest finding was that there was a significant contrast between student and staff views with regards to:
- Overall satisfaction of the training
This meant that our training greatly relied on the trainer and how they delivered the material.
So, there is now a change in focus of our project. It’s no longer the content but the layout and delivery of the material.
As we navigate our way through these obstacles and key findings we’ve established some possible solutions to meet these needs by firstly simplifying the training material and focusing more on the format of the training.
These solutions will explore incorporating active learning activities such as;
- Culturally adapted case-base problem solving which is relevant and relatable to Pacific Islanders.
- Collaborative learning where students are engaged in group activities.
- Personal reflection and journaling times
- Giving staff the opportunity to practice coaching techniques and how to better facilitate group discussions.
Our hope is then to come up with a framework for future material formatting one level training as a sample next year and trialing it in 2020.