The first time I learned online

March 16th, 2018

It was early 2017, seven months after I graduated in Rural Development and Agribusiness. I saw the advert on Job in Rwanda. It was for a company manufacturing e-based learning materials. They offered an internship for a project called Gender in Agriculture. From the description, I understood that the internship would be more computer-based than agricultural, but I thought, Why not? A combination of both won’t hurt me.
“Do our demo course on Sex and Gender, then add your comments,” the advert said. “Only applications containing all three elements (motivational letter, CV and comments) will be taken into consideration.”
“Comments on what?” I asked myself.

What happened when I started the course

I was expecting a lot of boring, long text when I clicked to start the course. Instead, guess what I found there? Very little text and a lot of images.
I must admit, initially I hadn’t got a clue about the difference between sex and gender. I knew the definition of sex (I mean, who doesn’t?), but the definition of gender they gave was far from what I expected. For me, gender is uburinganire, which literally translates as equality for both men and women.
The course was full of information that was new to me. Things I had never paid attention to, like gender in proverbs, how gender roles are defined by the society we live in and how gender roles can be changed. So, yes, I learned a lot.

How was it?

Doing the course was fun. It was like a quiz. First, I received some information, then I answered questions about that information. After I answered those questions, there was a pop-up window telling me whether my answers had been right or wrong, and why. If I gave the wrong answer, I could try again until I got it right. I almost forgot this was part of the application. I did the course in Review Mode, meaning there was a comment button for each question where I could leave feedback and ideas on how to improve the course. This is what they meant when they asked us to complete the demo course and leave comments.
It was challenging, but apparently I did reasonably well because I was invited for an interview. Now I’m doing this internship and I’m designing questions myself. I love it!
That was my first experience of learning online. How was it for you? If you’ve never tried it, I think you should. Why learn the hard way? Learning online is easy and fun.

Gretta Ishyaka

Intern at Three Mountains learning advisors.