Creating a Moodle Certificate Course for English Proficiency in Namibia

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.

Objective

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.

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Mathematics Education in South Africa: Blended Learning for Schools

Integrating technology into education is imperative in an era characterized by technological advancements. The Blended Learning for School Mathematics project aimed to utilize an existing Cambridge digital math platform to create a blended learning product tailored to the educational needs of schools in South Africa. This initiative marked a significant step towards revolutionizing mathematics education by combining digital learning with traditional classroom methods.

As the Product Owner, I decided to employ the Successive Approximation Model (SAM) for the instructional design process. SAM’s agile and iterative approach was deemed best suited for creating a blended learning product that seamlessly integrates technology into traditional classroom methods.

Project Objective

The project’s primary goal was to leverage the capabilities of an existing digital math platform and adapt it to the South African educational landscape. As the Product Owner, the responsibilities included:

  • Overseeing the project.
  • Appointing a project manager and mathematics specialist.
  • Conducting market research.
  • Aligning content to the local curriculum.
  • Creating complementary print workbooks and a teacher guide.
  • Handling product design.
  • Developing marketing collateral.
  • Conducting workshops for teachers.

In line with SAM’s ‘Preparation Phase’, the objectives were clearly defined and the requirements meticulously laid out. This phase included understanding the target audience and aligning the content with the South African curriculum. Moreover, the appointment of a project manager and a mathematics specialist was essential in gaining insights into the subject matter and educational landscape

Implementation

The project began with extensive research on competitor products and discerning the requirements of teachers. The content of the existing digital platform was meticulously aligned with the local curriculum, forming the foundation of the blended learning product. Additionally, print workbooks were developed to complement the digital platform and facilitate classroom learning. A teacher guide was also created to acquaint educators with the optimal utilization of the platform and workbooks. Product design, marketing, and teacher workshops were integral to the project’s implementation.

During the ‘Iterative Design Phase’ of SAM, we worked through repeated cycles of design, development, and revision. The content alignment, workbook creation, and teacher guide development underwent several iterations to ensure that they were fine-tuned to address the educational needs of South African schools.

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English Language Learning in Nigeria Through Digital Phonics Programme

In the diverse linguistic landscape of Nigeria, learning English is often a challenge for many, as it is a second or third language for most of the population. One of the critical aspects of mastering English is pronunciation, which is highly valued. To address this issue, Cambridge University Press has embarked on an innovative approach by developing an integrated digital phonics course alongside their print English textbooks for Nigerian schools. I was the instructional designer for this project.

Understanding Phonics

Before delving into the specifics of the digital phonics programme, it’s essential to understand what phonics is. Phonics is a method used globally for teaching reading and pronunciation through the development of phonemic understanding. The primary goal of phonics is to help learners associate the smallest units of sound, known as phonemes, with the spelling patterns they represent. Eventually, learners can decode new words by sounding them out.

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