Norwegian Ageing and Health service empowers workforce through Moodle Workplace

August 5, 2021 By Abby Fry

The Norwegian National Advisory Unit of Ageing and Health (Ageing and Health) delivers professional knowledge and competencies to health personnel in almost all of Norway’s municipalities.

Their strategic decision to evolve from face to face methodology with some limited online delivery to a comprehensive elearning ecosystem on Moodle Workplace, has resulted in the seamless integration of Ageing and Health courses into the Norwegian association for local and regional authorities online learning system, rejuvenated course structure, reduced administrative burden and has positioned the unit for new opportunities.

Facilitated by Moodle Premium Certified Service Provider, eFaktor, Ageing and Health’s online learning infrastructure has resulted in improved dissemination of professional learning and, in turn, the clinical care of aged patients across Norway.

About Ageing and Health

Ageing and Health is a National Competency service that works with age related conditions and diseases, in particular with front line staff working with patients with dementia. Formed in 1997, the service has delivered assistance and professional knowledge in the form of short courses, diplomas and certifications to 60,000 health personnel across Norway. In addition, Ageing and Health is a research organisation that participates in national and international research projects and employs its own researchers and doctorate students in order to shorten the timeframe of implementing research in practical clinical care. This service is predominantly funded by the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the hospital the service is connected to. 

Delivering content for health care staff across Norway

The goal of Ageing and Health is to educate as many people as possible in the field of ageing and dementia.  

Hilde Heimli, Training Manager and Head of Education says, “We have a vast number of health workers across Norway and we needed visibility to see what personnel had taken what courses and for those courses to be accessible and free. We want to concentrate on content development and research, rather than burning our resources and time on technical issues.”

Jon Angelskår, Ageing and Health’s Digital Coordinator explains some of the unit’s technical challenges when the project commenced in 2019. “Prior to the project, we had quite a few different ways that we delivered our courses and programs. Many courses were delivered face to face while some courses were delivered on a Moodle based platform managed by a hospital. While the interface was quite old, we liked the opportunities in it. We also had a basic elearning module that had been custom built on our website which had no integration with any other systems. We needed to be able to deliver courses in the learning ecosystems or portals of other organisations, but retain the management of those courses.” 

Additionally, the disparate and limited nature of the systems meant that there was limited flexibility and interactivity in the online delivery and that assistance was required for even small changes, which incurred significant cost.

Approach: A flexible platform that integrates seamlessly with other eLearning infrastructure

A number of alternative platforms were considered via an extensive project approach including stages in identifying the overall project requirement, target market needs, strengths and weaknesses of Ageing and Health’s current systems and an analysis of alternative solutions.

A key requirement was that the system must allow for a variety of teaching methods or pedagogical approaches to provide learners with a range of ways to access learning material, engage with it and exhibit the knowledge that they acquired. However, as Ageing and Learning courses are delivered asynchronously, without the need for extensive classroom functionality.

In addition, Ageing and Health needed a system that could be integrated seamlessly with the elearning infrastructure of other organisations without users having to leave one platform to move into another.   

Reliability and scalability were also identified as highly important – whatever investment was made must deliver return over the long haul. With a limited technical support team, Ageing and Health also identified that the system must mitigate any administrative burden and requirements for technical support.

Ageing and Health spent time defining what impact a new system would have on job descriptions, what new skills would be required, who would be responsible for new jobs and who would set up courses. “We mapped all our resources and got a good oversight of what we would need to do,” says Jacob Svenningsen, Communications Manager.

“We landed on eFaktor to assist us with identifying the right solution. We asked for an objective perspective and we got that. Alf Martin Johnson ensured we pursued an in indepth project approach that allowed us to identify the best fit for our needs and that was Moodle Workplace,” says Angelskår.

Solution: Moodle Workplace: customisability, interoperability and personalised learning

Moodle Premium Certified Service Provider, eFaktor managed the project through a consultancy contract which resulted in building the pedagogical model for specific online courses and then setting up and moving Ageing and Health’s existing courses from different locations into a centralised system on Moodle Workplace. 

This allowed Ageing and Health courses to be compatible with many different systems and organisations. In particular, it allowed Ageing and Health courses to be accessed seamlessly within KS-learning (KS), the Norwegian association for local and regional authorities and Norway’s largest public employer organization. 

Angelskår says, “KS delivers training to 200,000 active users across Norway through Moodle, about half of them are healthcare workers and our target market. We wanted to retain control of all course design, content and delivery, so an advantage of us choosing Moodle was that our content could be easily delivered through their ecosystem and look broadly the same, but that we could maintain control of the content and share it through learning tools interoperability.”

The Moodle Workplace infrastructure also eased the administrative burden of managing a high volume of users. Moodle Workplace’s LTI allowed the ecosystem to be securely connected to the Norwegian ID system, ID Gate. This allowed relevant user data to be imported into the learning ecosystem without requiring users to create an administrative login. 

Moodle Workplace’s Shared Program feature also allows managers within municipalities the ability to assign courses relevant to the learner, without displaying all courses available through Ageing and Health.

Results: A streamlined elearning system that enables Ageing and Health to focus on content development and research

“The Moodle Workplace solution has been so positive for our service,” says Heimli. “We are all energised and enlivened by the possibilities that Moodle Workplace provides us. We can use animations, podcasts, video, all sorts of different tools that make our courses lively and fun. We like the opportunities to role play and facilitate learning through activities and assessments. It has been a steep learning curve, but the system is allowing us to concentrate on content development and research, rather than burning our resources and time on technical issues. We have many highly credentialed people in our organisation and we want them to harness their strengths and not be burdened or limited by issues relating to the delivery of courses.”

The system has also improved reporting capacity on two levels. For instance, managers within municipalities can track learners’ progress and inform improvements to the learning ecosystem. It has also allowed Ageing and Health transparency and capacity to generate high level reports for funding bodies.

“The Moodle infrastructure has cemented the confidence of funding bodies on our capacity to deliver, which has positioned us strongly for new opportunities, particularly with the capacity to deliver elearning, a key requirement in many public sector contracts,” says Svenningsen.

With a small internal technical team, the partnership with eFaktor has also been critical to the project’s success. 

“The system has reduced our technical burden hugely,” says Angelskår. “We can deliver integrations to other systems, in fact this is a key advantage, alongside the flexibility of the platform and ease of user administration. eFaktor is our trusted partner, we host our instance with them and they and provide us support when we need it, which is very important as we have a small technical team.” 

“One of our goals was to train Ageing and Health to be able to create online courses by themselves, so that we now assist them with technical support when needed. They are empowered to do as much as they can and we are there when required,” says Alf Martin Johnsen, CEO of eFaktor. 

eFaktor is well respected and credentialed in the Norwegian market having designed and implemented many large scale Moodle installations.

Users are happy with our delivery, we get a lot of very good feedback, and, in the end, that’s better for aged patients in Norway,” – Hilde Heimli, Training Manager and Head of Education

Find out more about Premium Certified Service Provider, eFaktor.

To learn more about the Norwegian National Advisory Unit of Ageing and Health visit their website.