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