The CF4DEV MOOC: new learning paths towards unconventional financing for development

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From our colleague Alessia Messuti

Between May and June 2015, ITCILO launched and implemented its first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on the topic of Crowdfunding for Development (CF4Dev).

The CF4Dev MOOC represented an interesting opportunity for ITCILO to assess the learning and knowledge sharing potential of the MOOC format. This adventure was fully documented by the Distance Education Learning and Technology Applications (DELTA) Programme.

Watch the video below (03.15 min) to get an insight about the CF4Dev MOOC length, learning objectives, methodology, participants’ background, learning tendencies, and crowdfunding projects.


Credits: Nora Soler Pastor

An extensive visual report is also available here. It provides a summary of both qualitative and quantitative data about the Crowdfunding for Development (CF4Dev) MOOC, its participants and activity. The following are a list of general conclusions, reflecting in part on this first experience not only with data but with the course team behind the MOOC.

Main results & conclusions:


  • In the CF4Dev MOOC 35% of students came from Africa, whereas only 12% come from North-America. For most of them, this was the first MOOC and almost everyone (92%) had no experience with crowdfunding. Their motivation to attend the MOOC concerned networking with other development professionals, brainstorming to plan a campaign and apply crowdfunding as mobilization channel.


  • To qualify for a certificate of completion, CF4Dev MOOC participants needed to complete 80% of the course activities and participate at least minimally in discussions. At the end of the course, 68 participants (8%) qualified for a Certificate of Completion.

Assessment of learning

In the CF4Dev MOOC the following elements were considered indicators of an effective and meaningful learning experience:

  1. Throughout the whole course, forum-based activities were the most active. Overall, 1299 posts were created; therefore, interaction was actually a key feature. Participants confirmed that it provided an opportunity to exchange with other professionals from different backgrounds. The tutors’ competences in facilitating discussions were appreciated.
  2. 51% of the Final Survey respondents indicated “Readings” as their preferred method to access new information.
  3. 59 crowdfunding for development ideas were conceptualized in Module 1.
  4. Participants found the course offered a practical overview to crowdfunding, highlighting the complexity of the topic. They confirmed that the course equipped them with knowledge related to plan a crowdfunding campaign. 24 crowdfunding for development projects were created in Module 7. The projects addressed the following areas: agriculture, education, human rights, health.
  5. 83% of the Final Survey respondents agreed that learning objectives were achieved.
  6. 8 out of 10 of the Final Survey respondents were satisfied with the overall quality of the MOOC.
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8 years ago

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