The unfolding of the experience of developing and implementing the TAMAM Capacity Building Program is reported in a series of technical reports that outline the actions and the design decisions that the TAMAM Steering Ream took. Part of these experiences were published as journal articles from these technical reports.
Monitoring the implementation of an innovative intervention: the case of enhancing Microsoft Office skills in fifth grade English class at a Lebanese public school – 2020
MA Thesis by Layal Abdallah Abbas Fayad
This study aimed at understanding the benefits and challenges of implementing a small scale, technology integration intervention in a Lebanese public K-6 school. The purpose was to examine the implementation of a small scale innovative intervention with the aim of improving its design and making it responsive to the context of the school. A Technology Integration English Unit using UbD framework was developed based on the official Lebanese curriculum for Grade 5 along with an implementation plan which contributes to school improvement within a specific context. The unit emphasized using technology tools such as Microsoft Office tools in the learning activities and was integrated in Grade 5 English classes over a period of four weeks. This study employed an action research design and covered pre and post methods of data collection such as test scores, observation tools, and teachers’ and students’ interviews. Data were analyzed using quantitative and qualitative analysis methods. The results indicate a positive impact of the intervention on student learning and a positive change on the teachers’ views on the usefulness of integrating technology in their English classes. Moreover, teachers’ reflections on the facilitating and hindering factors that affected the implementation of the technology integration intervention were in alignment with what the literature has previously recorded on the factors that are influential to the success of innovative interventions at schools. The study concludes with implications for practice and suggestions for future research.
An Evaluation of the Design of the Civic Engagement Component of the First Cohort of the USAID University Scholarship Program at American University of Beirut – 2019
MA Thesis by Jennifer Cristine De Knight
The aim of this study is to evaluate the alignment of the design of the civic engagement component of the first cohort of the USAID University Scholarship Program (USP) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) by conducting a responsive evaluation on Cohort II. USP is a scholarship program for high achieving, financially needy Lebanese public school students from economically disadvantaged communities in all regions of Lebanon to attend Americanstyle universities in Beirut, including AUB, and is funded by USAID. Students are required to complete a civic engagement program. USP II provides a case study to examine the design of a civic engagement program in higher education to inform both practitioners and add to the literature on design and evaluation of civic engagement programs. The study uses a responsive evaluation methodology to address two research questions: 1) How does the design (objectives, activities and evaluation practices) of the civic engagement component of the first cohort of the USAID University Scholarship Program at AUB align with the program’s objectives? 2) How do evaluation practices of the first cohort of the USAID University Scholarship Program at AUB compare to standards of program evaluation? Existing data regarding the design and evaluation of USP II was collected from USP and analyzed using templates designed for the study to evaluate alignment of the program and compare to the identified framework for evaluation. Findings suggest that the design and evaluation practices of the civic engagement component of first cohort of USP are only partially aligned internally, and only partially aligned with the framework for program evaluation, and therefore do not best highlight the impact of the civic engagement component relative to the overall program. The results indicate a lack of coherence in the program design, whereby objectives of the civic engagement component are not clearly stated and mapped to program objectives and the evaluation plan was scattered in multiple places. This likely contributed to identified gaps between design and practice, misalignment at times between data collection and objectives and a lack of precise reporting to highlight the impact from evaluation data that was collected. In addition, the results show that evaluation practices only partially address the five suggested levels of program evaluation. Recommendations developed based on the study can guide practitioners that design, implement and evaluate civic engagement programs at AUB and other higher education institutions. The case adds to the growing body of literature on civic engagement in higher education by providing an analysis of the design and evaluation practices of a program in the Arab world. The methodology developed can be used to evaluate other similar civic engagement programs.
An Investigation of the Perceptions of Lebanese School Leaders and Teachers of Building School Capacity for Sustainable School Improvement – 2018
MA Thesis by Stephanie Gabriella Jamil Jureidini
This study examined the perceptions of Lebanese leaders and teachers about building school capacity for sustainable school improvement. It has a threefold purpose: (1) to identify the perspectives of teachers and leaders regarding building school capacity for improvement, (2) to analyze the perceptions of the leaders and the teachers through comparing their perspectives with what the literature recommends regarding building school capacity, (3) to come up with an action plan that would support the school in better building its capacity for sustainable improvement. The study adopted a qualitative case study design and employed the grounded theory methodology. Data included relevant school documents, semi-structured individual interviews and focus group interviews, and journal notes. Data were analyzed and coded using the constant comparative approach. The findings of the study reveal that the perception of the leaders and the teachers regarding building school capacity for sustainable improvement converges in some aspects with the recommendations of literature while in others it does not. However, even though there is some alignment with what literature proposes as effective ways to build the school’s capacity for improvement, participants do not seem to have a framework from which they are operating purposefully, as people’s actions and ideas seem reactionary and on prompt rather than strategically thought off. Drawn from the study results, recommendations for practice are suggested in the form of an action plan and recommendations for research are also proposed.