It is a staggering statistic that close to 80% of Grade 4 learners in South Africa cannot read for meaning.

One of the organisations working to address this challenge is the Click Foundation. Click runs online English literacy programmes in under-privileged primary schools across the country.

Through a growing network of over 160 computer labs, Click provides learners with a fun, self-paced learning programme that is delivered online to teach them literacy, numeracy and technology skills.

Having reached over 90,000 learners in 2019, Click plans to expand its programmes to 1-million learners by 2024.

Although the software Click uses to deliver its programme tracks individual learners and provides a rich source of learner data, to determine the programme’s full impact and effectiveness, Click needed a flexible and scalable way to assess learners independently. Given that learners already access the literacy programme online, it made sense for the assessment to be administered through the same familiar interface. As the determination of the learner’s literacy level was the key objective of the assessment, the tool needed to be incredibly simple and intuitive for learners to use. Instructions needed to be delivered using audio and video content to ensure each learner clearly understood what was being asked of them without relying on their reading level – a key unknown being evaluated. The assessment also needed to grade learners as they progressed, posing more difficult questions to more advanced respondents.

The Mobenzi tools, which allow for sophisticated surveys and forms to be designed and captured using any web browser, were selected by the Click team to build and deploy their “eQuiz” assessment. Questions could be easily configured to include images, audio and video content and have advanced validation and skip logic applied. Despite the assessment’s sophistication, no custom coding or bespoke development was required and the eQuiz setup was completed in a matter of days (including content production, review and testing).

The eQuiz setup was completed in a matter of days…

Video and audio content was produced by the Click team and embedded into the assessment to guide learners through the eQuiz, step by step. Interactive example questions were also included allowing learners to practice listening to instructions and taking action, with real-time feedback to ensure they were on the right track before the actual assessment began.

The eQuiz was split into two parts and administered to almost 30,000 learners over a two-week period. Using the Mobenzi reporting dashboards, the national roll-out of the assessment could be monitored in real-time to provide operational insight and identify any logistical or technical issues in the field.

The eQuiz was split into two parts and administered to almost 30,000 learners over a two-week period.

Data analysis could begin on the same day that schools were assessed allowing useful insights and learning to be gathered almost instantly.

Response rates to the eQuiz were excellent and the success of the assessment has demonstrated the potential of using this type of technology for large-scale testing and assessment. The Click Foundation intends to expand its use of the technology across its programmes in 2020.