Calculating the relative effectiveness of expert coaching, peer learning, and cascade training

Calculating the relative effectiveness of expert coaching, peer learning, and cascade training

Reda SadkiGlobal health, Theory

A formula for calculating learning efficacy, (E), considering the importance of each criterion and the specific ratings for peer learning, is:

\text{Efficacy} = \frac{S \cdot w_S + I \cdot w_I + C \cdot w_C + F \cdot w_F + U \cdot w_U}{w_S + w_I + w_C + w_F + w_U}

This abstract formula provides a way to quantify learning efficacy, considering various educational criteria and their relative importance (weights) for effective learning.

Variable DefinitionDescription 
SScalabilityAbility to accommodate a large number of learners 
IInformation fidelityQuality and reliability of information 
CCost effectivenessFinancial efficiency of the learning method 
FFeedback qualityQuality of feedback received 
UUniformityConsistency of learning experience 
Summary of five variables that contribute to learning efficacy

Weights for each variables are derived from empirical data and expert consensus.

All values are on a scale of 0-4, with a “4” representing the highest level.

ScalabilityInformation fidelityCost-benefitFeedback qualityUniformity
Assigned weights

Here is a summary table including all values for each criterion, learning efficacy calculated with weights, and Efficacy-Scale Score (ESS) for peer learning, cascade training, and expert coaching.

The Efficacy-Scale Score (ESS) can be calculated by multiplying the efficacy (E) of a learning method by the number of learners (N).

\text{ESS} = E \times N

This table provides a detailed comparison of the values for each criterion across the different learning methods, the calculated learning efficacy values considering the specified weights, and the Efficacy-Scale Score (ESS) for each method.

Type of learningScalabilityInformation fidelityCost effectivenessFeedback qualityUniformityLearning efficacy# of learnersEfficacy-Scale Score
Peer learning4.002.504.002.501.003.2010003200
Cascade training2.
Expert coaching0.504.

Of course, there are many nuances in individual programmes that could affect the real-world effectiveness of this simple model. The model, grounded in empirical data and simplified to highlight core determinants of learning efficacy, leverages statistical weighting to prioritize key educational factors, acknowledging its abstraction from the multifaceted nature of educational effectiveness and assumptions may not capture all nuances of individual learning scenarios.

Peer learning

The calculated learning efficacy for peer learning, (E_{\text {peer}}) , is 3.20. This value reflects the weighted assessment of peer learning’s strengths and characteristics according to the provided criteria and their importance.

By virtue of scalability, ESS for peer learning is 24 times higher than expert coaching.

Cascade training

For Cascade Training, the calculated learning efficacy, (E_{\text {cascade}}), is approximately 1.40. This reflects the weighted assessment based on the provided criteria and their importance, indicating lower efficacy compared to peer learning.

Cascade training has a higher ESS than expert coaching, due to its ability to achieve scale.

Learn more: Why does cascade training fail?

Expert coaching

For Expert Coaching, the calculated learning efficacy, (E_{\text {expert}}), is approximately 2.20. This value indicates higher efficacy than cascade training but lower than peer learning.

However, the ESS is the lowest of the three methods, primarily due to its inability to scale. Read this article for a scalability comparison between expert coaching and peer learning.

Image: The Geneva Learning Foundation Collection © 2024