Case Study: Developing Learning for the Developing World

Sonata Learning helped the International Livestock Research Institute train affiliates to collect more and better data on local livestock feed resources for the benefit of smallholder farming communities worldwide.

Harvesting Data to Help Small Farmers Around the World

As part of their mission to increase the productivity of small farms worldwide, scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) created a set of data collection and analysis utilities known as the Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) to assess communities’ access to quality livestock feed. However, many of the front-line survey workers employed by ILRI’s partner organizations had limited experience using software of this kind. These skill gaps impacted the quality of the data collected and constrained the benefit to farming communities.

To address this challenge, ILRI contracted Sonata Learning to improve the training and support offerings provided to users of the Feed Assessment Tool. Among other services, Sonata Learning helped ILRI to:

  • Identify key skills necessary to successfully apply the FEAST tool in a research project
  • Revise classroom training materials with a learner-centred approach, incorporating hands-on activities and computer-based simulations
  • Develop self-guided e-Learning versions of the training to expand the reach of the program
  • Define metrics and produce assessments and surveys to track the effectiveness of the training
  • Create job aids and redesign the FEAST materials to provide additional guidance at the point of use

Thus far, the revised training course has been deployed at multiple sites in Asia and Africa. Sonata Learning continues to work with ILRI to refine and expand its training offerings related to FEAST and other programs.

ILRI farmers
Photo Credit: ILRI – Zerihun Sewunet

ILRI trained
Photo Credit: ILRI – Ijaz Khan

“Sonata Learning has been a valuable and reliable partner in our efforts to apply world class instructional design, adult learning theory and technology to benefit the lives of smallholder farmers globally. In addition to knowledge and a versatile skill set, Sonata’s team bring a great deal of creativity to the process, both in the artistic sense and in their approach to problem-solving. They are prompt, reliable, and push the boundaries of what can be done in the learning space – especially taking into account the often (technologically) challenging environment we operate in across Africa, Asia and Latin America.”
– Iddo Dror, PhD, Head of Capacity Development, International Livestock Research Institute

World-Class e-Learning Development

The “Selecting Farmers for Focus Group Discussions” e-Learning simulation created by Sonata for ILRI was selected as a case study for a presentation on e-Learning game and simulation design by Sonata senior learning strategist Emil M. Heidkamp at the Lectora Users Conference 2015.

Lectora Users Conference 2015

Play Simulation

Sonata Learning ePlayer Simulation

ILRI Training LMS

Custom Solutions to Unique Challenges

Because many of the training sites were located in areas without reliable Internet access, Sonata developed an offline e-Learning player capable of running from a USB drive without the need for installation or a particular web browser.

This enabled ILRI to use the same e-Learning activities and quizzes from the online version of the course in regions with limited or no connectivity.

Pictured to the left is training in Uganda using the Sonata “Offline” e-Learning Player.

Sonata Offline e-Learning Player

a standalone e-Learning player capable of running with or without Internet access on Windows XP SP2 or later.

Back to Top