Diji: Empowering African Youth Through Language-Specific Digital Learning

Diji is an innovative digital learning platform providing short, skills-based courses in African languages. The platform’s primary objective is to empower post-school, unemployed, or under-employed African youth by offering learning opportunities in their native languages. Delivered via mobile browser or chat applications, Diji makes learning accessible and practical.

Diji’s development process was guided by the Successive Approximation Model (SAM), an agile instructional design approach that involves repeated cycles of development and refinement. SAM’s iterative process allowed for a more tailored and efficient development of a learning platform aimed at empowering African youth through accessible content in their native languages.

The Challenge

During SAM’s ‘Preparation Phase’, a needs analysis was conducted to understand the target audience and identify the gap in accessible, skills-based learning resources in African languages. This phase established the groundwork for the platform’s objectives and informed the subsequent design and development stages.

The Solution

The ‘Iterative Design Phase’ of SAM played a critical role in the development of Diji. The feedback from over 8,500 people was vital in shaping the platform through several iterations. The content was designed to be data-conscious and tailored for accessibility on mobile browsers and chat applications. This iterative approach allowed Diji to refine its platform to meet the user’s needs effectively. Additionally, the partnership with Turn.io, who provide access to their messaging platform, exemplified how collaboration during this phase can enhance product development. The platform was piloted with Zulu and expanded to include Xhosa, Swahili, and Yoruba.

The Impact

During SAM’s ‘Implementation Phase’, Diji was launched and its impact measured through user engagement. The significant engagement observed was a testament to the earlier iterative phases which ensured the platform was attuned to the needs of its target audience. The agile and flexible nature of the SAM model allowed Diji to adapt and align its offerings with user preferences and requirements. The platform has already seen considerable engagement, welcoming over 1,100 learners a month in an early trial.

Future Direction

Diji aims to continue its mission of providing mobile access to relevant educational resources, improving literacy and skills, promoting African languages for learning, and contributing to job creation and the economy. To achieve these goals, Diji seeks strategic content and funding partners for future growth.

As Diji seeks to expand and grow, the continuous application of the SAM model will allow for ongoing evaluation, feedback integration, and refinement to ensure the platform remains relevant and effective in empowering African youth through education in their native languages.

Website: diji.africa

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