In 2015 our founder launched IndonesiaX which became the largest e-learning platform in the Republic of Indonesia attracting over 200,000 learners in its first year.
Most courses on IndonesiaX are free and open to the public however there are also paid courses and other programmes.
Scalability for 200,000+ learners
Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest country by population size with 270,000,000+ people. It is projected to soon surpass the population of USA and become the world’s 3rd largest population. The IndonesiaX platform was launched in 2015 and we saw an average of over 10,000+ learners register for each course run. Our IT team had to scale the Open edX® platform to ensure a smooth experience for teachers and instructors. In order to do this, we turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and leveraged their powerful and well-organised services to develop a massive back-end infrastructure to cope with the server load. One of the major benefits of using Open edX® is that it is massively scalable.
Private and Public Sector Collaboration
The launch of IndonesiaX was a collaboration between the two largest public universities, the Indonesia Stock Exchange, and a privately-owned TV station. Many more leading organisations joined soon after. In order to facilitate this process and maintain a sustainable strategy, we created an Advisory Board made up of the country’s leading academics and business persons. This includes, but is not limited to, Prof. Dr. Ir. Mohammad Nuh, DEA, former Minister of Education, Mr Ito Warsito, President Director of the Stock Exchange, Prof. Rhenald Kasali, Pd.D the country’s number 1 marketing expert and TV show presenter, Prof. Iwan Jaya Azis, an Indonesian-born economics professor at Cornell University, and Prof. Ir. Tian Belawati, M.Ed., Ph.D, President of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) from 2012 until 2015. The Advisory Board meets twice per year to decide on new educational partners, course and platform direction.
The launch of IndonesiaX attracted public and private universities, edX, HarvardX, local and international banks, TV stations, property groups, government agencies and more. In order to help learners search for courses from different partners, we developed a Partner Page using the Django framework, the same framework that Open edX® is developed on. The Python programming language is used to power this development.
As Indonesia is one of the world’s largest users of Facebook and other social media, it was important to develop single sign-on capability in order to make the logon process more seamless for our learners and instructors.
Single sign-on allows a learner (and instructor) to sign into the Open edX® platform using their secret credentials from another site, such as Microsoft or Google and many more.
For IndonesiaX we selected single sign-on for Facebook, Google as well as LinkedIn. This allows learners to logon to IndonesiaX seamlessly using their username (email) and password from those selected social media sites. The users need to do a one-time connection on their Open edX® profile page in order to set up the connection (i.e. give their permissions for Open edX® to link to their social media accounts) and once this is done, the users can logon using their existing credentials. This means the users don’t have to create a new password for their IndonesiaX platform but rather just login via their social media.
Learners needed an easy way to search for courses. In order to solve this challenge we developed a course discovery feature that allows learners to search courses by category, by keyword, and by sorting alphabetically or by start date. This feature improved the user experience and made it possible for IndonesiaX to scale up the number of courses and at the same time making course discovery sustainable for the learners.
We needed a way to film videos in a sustainable way. To solve this challenge we built different sets in a green studio that matched the theme of each individual course. Our video production team built custom branded sets that allowed for TV-quality production of video content.
Instructors were flown in from across the country to film on set, where they were given access to quality support like screen readers, make up artists, film directors and of course delicious and nutricious meals during takes!
In order to achieve a certificate, learners have to pass a series of tests and exams. To do this we leveraged the built-in Problem Sets in Open edX®. There are over 10+ different Problem Sets in Open edX® to choose from. There are basic ones like multiple choice, and more advanced problems like anonymous peer graded essays.
Collaboration with edX® and Harvard University
Our Founder travelled to the USA to meet with representatives from Harvard University and edX®. They were extremely efficient and helpful. They worked with us by licensing one of their most valuable courses so we could translate it and offer it to our learners. In addition to course licensing, we were privileged to present their logos on the platform for an agreed upon time to help us launch the IndonesiaX platform to diaspora in the USA.