Online education is indispensable for bridging educational gaps and fostering global competency. With an aspiration to unlock the potential of digital learning, an ambitious project for developing a Certificate Course for English Proficiency was initiated. In partnership with NAMCOL (Namibian College of Open Learning), a Namibian Ministry of Education unit, this project aimed to transform static content into an engaging, interactive online course using the Moodle platform. To design and develop an effective and engaging online course, the Successive Approximation Model (SAM) was employed as the instructional design framework. Through SAM’s iterative process, the team was able to adaptively plan, develop, and refine the course content and structure.
The project’s primary goal was to develop an online course that was engaging and robust in its educational offerings. The project involved:
- Crafting a comprehensive course structure.
- Devising a grading system.
- Converting static text content into interactive assessment and multimedia content.
As the Product Manager, my responsibilities encompassed coordination with NAMCOL, instructional research, selection and appointment of a Moodle expert and an internal instructional designer, and collaboration with an external service provider for video content creation.
- Course Structure: In accordance with the ‘Preparation Phase’ of SAM, we collaborated with a Moodle expert to lay out the course structure and establish assessment components. This phase in SAM is crucial for setting the foundation for the iterative development that follows.
- Content Selection and Conversion: In the ‘Iterative Design Phase’ of SAM, our internal instructional designer selected content for digital conversion and developed multimedia content to complement the course material. This reflects SAM’s emphasis on prototyping and iterative refinement.
- Multimedia Content Creation: Still within the ‘Iterative Design Phase’ of SAM, we collaborated with an external service provider to create video clips. The iterative nature of SAM allowed us to evaluate and enhance these multimedia elements to ensure their effectiveness and alignment with learning objectives.
- Course Assembly: In the ‘Implementation Phase’ of SAM, we integrated all elements and uploaded them to the Moodle platform, ensuring that feedback gathered through iterations was incorporated and that the course met the established criteria for effectiveness and engagement.
Managing an international project that involved diverse teams in Namibia, the United Kingdom, and India presented logistical and communication challenges. Additionally, budget control was of paramount importance. The SAM model’s flexibility was instrumental in addressing the challenges of managing an international project. The iterative nature allowed for effective communication and collaboration despite geographical barriers, and enabled efficient budget control through incremental development.
The successful launch of an engaging and dynamic online Moodle Certificate Course for English Proficiency marked the project’s culmination. Tailored for post-secondary learners in Namibia, the course represented a landmark in online education, offering an accessible and enriching learning experience.
Throughout the project, a range of skills were put to the test and further developed. These included project management, stakeholder management, instructional design, Moodle course management, and cross-cultural communication. The project also offered insights into navigating the unique challenges of international collaboration.
One of the pivotal elements of this project was collaboration. I had to adeptly manage an international team, including internal colleagues, an instructional designer, and external service providers. The Moodle Certificate Course for English Proficiency epitomizes the power of digital learning in transcending geographic and cultural boundaries. Through international collaboration and a commitment to educational innovation, this project has enhanced English proficiency among post-secondary learners in Namibia, empowering them to thrive in an increasingly globalized world.
By utilizing the SAM, this project was able to transform traditional content into an engaging and interactive online course for post-secondary learners in Namibia. The iterative approach of SAM allowed for continuous adaptation and improvement, ensuring that the course was not only dynamic and engaging but also met the educational objectives. Additionally, SAM’s emphasis on collaboration and feedback was invaluable in navigating the challenges of international project management. The Certificate Course for English Proficiency is a testament to the efficacy of utilizing a systematic and adaptive instructional design model like SAM to create educational innovations that can have a global impact.