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8. Course evaluation

The evaluation was carried out using two different methods. The first method involved asking the trainees to fill out a post-test questionnaire. Unfortunately it was difficult to compare the pre-and post-test results. The pre-test was given when trainees were fresh and many of them used their manuals freely to answer the questions. Those who completed the post-test questionnaire were tired at the end of the training course. In contrast, those who completed the pre-test questionnaire could work on it for as long as they liked, wherever they liked, whereas those who completed the post-test questionnaire had limited time. Also, whereas all participants filled out the post-test only, 12 participants, self-selected, completed the pre-test.

Before starting each day's activities, a mood meter was used to monitor the mood of the trainees. The idea was to alert the trainers to negative emotional states that might inhibit learning. If these were present the trainers would conduct an energising session before continuing with the training. The mood meter reading during the workshop is shown below.

The Mood Meter

The second method used to evaluate other aspects of the training involved using differently coloured index cards labelled "logistics", "flow", "methods" and "recommendations". The participants were asked to take the index cards and write comments on each. The results were generally favourable, some recommendations are:

· Training course should be shorter, as it exhausted a number of trainees
· Field visit should be better prepared
· WBT/cooking tests of the stoves should have been conducted during the workshop
· Sitting arrangements should be changed from time to time
· Mood meter should be used much more frequently
· Representatives of ARECOP should attend future national training workshops
· Fishbowl method of evaluation should be used
· A mid-course evaluation should be introduced

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