Design and development of a digital farmer field school. Experiences with a digital learning environment for cocoa production and certification in Sierra Leone

Loes Witteveen, Rico Lie*, Margriet Goris, Verina Ingram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article reports on the design and development of the Digital Farmer Field School (DFFS). The DFFS offers a tablet-based digital learning environment for farmers and extension agents for knowledge sharing and knowledge co-creation. It provides an alternative to conventional agricultural extension training and monitoring. The prototype DFFS applies Farmer Field School (FFS) learning principles and is designed and developed following user experience (UX) design principles and user interface (UI) design principles from a responsible innovation perspective, using existing FFS material and tailored films which support and enrich the content. The prototype DFFS has been tested in Sierra Leone to assess its success in providing a substitute for face-to-face voluntary sustainability standard certification training for cocoa farmers. Results show that the DFFS as an off-line, telephonically connected and regular on-line updated learning platform offers an appropriate environment in which collective and individual learning is stimulated and facilitated. The DFFS prototype was socio-culturally and technologically appropriate and fitted the operational and strategic communication skills of cocoa farmers and other value chain stakeholders. Films capturing the testing are available as additional learning media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1673-1684
JournalTelematics and Informatics
Volume34
Issue number8
Early online date2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Cocoa certification training
  • ICT
  • Novice and low literacy users
  • Rural communication services
  • User experience (UX) design
  • User interface (UI) design

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