PADILEIA (Partnership for Digital Learning and Increased Access) is a project consortium that produces and delivers blended higher education programmes to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon and to local Jordanian and Lebanese students. In the early months of 2020, PADILEIA was required to adapt its courses to enable fully-remote, online course delivery in response to national lockdowns and the related closure of universities in Lebanon and Jordan due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Jigsaw was commissioned by PADILEIA to conduct a rapid evaluation to capture learning from this period in order to inform future programming and share knowledge with the wider sector.
The approach for the rapid evaluation followed a mixed method design, incorporating: available data from the project, a digital student survey, remote in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with students, delivery team members, and project management staff. As a result of travel restrictions and health and safety concerns related to conducting in-person research due to Covid-19, an entirely remote approach to data collection was adopted for the study, with interviews and FGDs conducted via voice or video call.
The evaluation explored student access to education during remote learning, the challenges and benefits that students experienced with online learning, student satisfaction, the effectiveness of the technical, learning and psycho-social support provided, and the experiences of facilitators and instructors.
Findings from the rapid evaluation demonstrate that overall, and in a difficult set of circumstances, PADILEIA was able to successfully manage the transition to remote online delivery of its courses following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and related national lockdowns and university closures in Jordan and Lebanon. The majority of student learning experiences remained positive during this period for facilitated PADILEIA courses, though there were multiple significant challenges that students faced in continuing to study during this time. The evaluation identified recommendations for how to improve future remote delivery of PADILEIA courses, particularly as forms of lockdown and/or social distancing measures are likely to continue for some time.
You can read a summary of findings in the Community Report on the PADILEIA website, including an English version and an Arabic version.