Jordan develops e-learning platform for 2 million students with AWS
Earlier this year, as schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Jordan wanted to quickly help students across the country reconnect with their teachers and classmates and resume their education. Through a multi-faceted collaboration led by Mawdoo3.com, the largest Arabic-language platform in the world, the Darsak.gov.jo e-learning platform was built in just one week to help provide remote education to Jordanian students. Since it went live on 22 March, darsak.gov.jo has seen more than 35 million views of classes.
Multiple entities came together to deliver the end-to-end, cost-efficient platform, including Jordan’s Ministry of Education, Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Three Jordanian content providers were also part of the collaboration, including the Abwaab online learning platform, the Jo Academy e-learning platform, and Edraak, a nonprofit, open online course portal established by Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah Foundation for the promotion of knowledge in the Arab world.
Launched in March 2020, the Darsak.gov.jo e-learning platform provides free-of-charge lessons in Arabic and English for all public school students for grades 1 through 12, including the Tawjihi (Grade 12) general secondary education certificate examination, which is the last stage of school education in Jordan. Lessons are loaded daily for students between 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., including a variety of tracks for Arabic, English, physics, mathematics, computers, history, Jordanian history, and financial literacy.
Mawdoo3 also offers an online assessment solution, exams.darsak.gov.jo, that enables students grades 4 to 12 to login securely for interactive assessments. This helps the Ministry of Education evaluate students’ progress, and assess opportunities to enhance online learning experiences.
The Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, His Excellency Mothanna Gharaibeh, said, “In order to solve the problem faced by students in Jordan due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jordanian government came together with the startup Mawdoo3.com and Amazon, a company that has believed in Jordan’s potential and created hundreds of jobs. Together, Mawdoo3.com, content providers and AWS worked to create a platform to help students continue their education online. This was all completed in a record time of one week with high-quality standards, reflected in the great results in traffic reaching millions of daily views of the online classes. This really proves how capable, efficient, and digitally resilient we are in Jordan. Technology and startups were of great support to solve many of the challenges we faced.”
“Despite working with a tight deadline, we are very proud and grateful to have made a positive impact on education by providing more than 2 million Jordanian students with the tools necessary to continue their education online, from the safety of their homes,” says Rami Al-Qawasmi, CEO at Mawdoo3.com.
The solution delivered by Mawdoo3.com and AWS provides a complete video workflow, including content ingest into Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), transcoding using AWS Elemental MediaConvert, and delivery using Amazon CloudFront. With this cloud-based workflow, Mawdoo3 has been able to focus on delivering compelling learning experiences for students across Jordan, without having to worry about the complexity of building and operating a separate video processing infrastructure to support the Darsak.gov.jo e-learning platform.
This blog discusses the basics of setting up a video on demand (VOD) workflow. It contains an AWS CloudFormation template that you may find helpful. In addition, further performance and bandwidth optimization can be applied by defining the optimal bitrates and resolution as needed, using the QVBR feature of MediaConvert, which offers substantial savings in storage and bandwidth.
“The AWS content delivery network as the Darsak video streaming backbone allows us to deliver a highly scalable and reliable e-learning experience to Jordanian students,” said Ahmed Jaradat, Technical Director at Mawdoo3. “An increase in average user traffic indicates the platform’s success, with students using the system on a daily basis.”
AWS Elemental MediaConvert and AWS Lambda services have enabled development of simple yet powerful automatic media transcoding in formats for high-quality viewing with small file sizes on multiple mobile devices. Amazon CloudFront provides fast, secured, high-quality, and high-reliability delivery of video-based classroom content to students across Jordan, while AWS Elastic Beanstalk facilitates an easy deployment process.
For educators who are exploring ways to implement or augment remote learning solutions, AWS has the following materials that may be of help:
- AWS has expanded access to its suite of tools to support remote learning and teaching.
- Visit the Media for Education web page for additional content.
- The Solutions Guide to Media in Education explores use cases of media for educational organizations.
- The Ravensbourne University London case study summarizes how its students were able to deploy streaming video to broadcast live events.