Testing instructional design for Indian farmers


Aman Bhardwaj is part of the extended family of Digital Green. He is a student of visual communication at National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad and is interested in linguistics, ethnography, and technology and is curious to learn more about how design interventions are carried out at the grassroots level in the Indian development sector.

Aman is interning with us on a project on training rural community intermediaries to use pico projectors (small handheld projectors) to effectively disseminate video screenings on best practices within community groups.

Aman convinced his faculty at NID to support him on using this hands-on experience to learn how print-based outcomes may be an effective tool to consolidate the training of the Village Resource Persons (rural community intermediaries working with Digital Green) as the paper is a familiar learning medium that is always available and flexible to the users’ requirement.

What followed is an amazing journey of learning, which enriched his understanding of how urban and rural India can connect and learn through traditional and new technologies.

Here’s an early post from his blog:

Meeting with Rikin Gandhi

Having sent in the official proposal to the VTI team, my supervisors from Digital Green, I got the opportunity to meet the CEO, Rikin. After discussing my work and studies, we discussed the vision and some details about my role here. Fortunately, our visions matched and we agreed on the broad direction I would work on. Here are some points that got established:

We agreed that the paper-based deliverable I’m working on would consist of as few pages as possible as opposed to a weighty manual.

We also agreed that it would more effective for me to work with the VTI team so that my deliverable would consolidate the work that has been and is being done on an instructional video, trainings, and assessment games.

{By the way, I’ll mention at this point that the team permanently located at Bihar and working on the field has already come up with a manual and some games to test the grasp of the pico users (VRPs/CKWs). These would be good to study and build upon applying my graphic design skills.}

Rikin mentioned that though I am planning to focus on a few particular projectors, the list being used by Digital Green is already 5 strong and only going to grow, so it would be ideal if whatever I come up with can be flexible for that. This reminded me of something Tarun, my faculty guide, had already mentioned that one level would be explaining projectors in general, how to use them and the next would involve explaining the particular projector being worked on.

He also stressed, like most DG employees I’ve interacted with so far, that its important to go to the field once there is something to validate. Given the time frame and the empirical nature of the project, this makes sense to me. So I’d like to come up with something by next Monday.

It was great to meet Rikin and be welcomed on board with an open mind and a smiling face. Looking forward to the work I’m going to do starting now!

You can read more about Aman’s experience of working with us on his blog – that he maintained as a reporting tool for his college project.


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