Last week, Health[e]Foundation travelled to Barcelona to attend the MoodleMoot Global 2022. This 3-day conference brought together 835 Moodlers (i.e. people with a specific interest in Moodle as open source digital learning platform) from 60 countries around the world to learn from each other, explore, and share best practices for the future of education.
Health[e]Foundation’s contribution ‘Digital Health Solutions: Using Moodle to empower maternal and newborn healthcare professionals in Ethiopia with blended learning programs during COVID-19’ was selected as one of the 54 sessions that filled up the program, ranging from keynote presentations, community sessions, workshops, and social and networking events.
In a lively session, Daphne Elberse shared our experiences, results, and lessons learned in deploying the Moodle learning management system (LMS) to facilitate blended learning programs for midwives in Ethiopia during the COVID-19 pandemic. A video capturing the full presentation will be made available by the conference organization within the next months. In the meantime, please have a read on the key findings we presented.
The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic
We started out with explaining the influence the pandemic has had on the way of working with our Southern partners, resulting in a shift towards the open-source Moodle LMS to be able to transfer responsibilities and ownership to partner organizations. By offering digital learning solutions we provide support to strengthen the capacity to development and maintain an LMS and working towards locally owned digital solutions. Whereas COVID-19 positively catalyzed this new dimension of shifting knowledge, unfortunately, the world’s progress towards realizing the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 3 ‘Good health and well-being’ and SDG 5 ‘Gender Equality’ has significantly suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this diminishment, we developed the SRHR[e]Education and Pandemic[e]Response courses for (future) midwives in Ethiopia.
Digital learning solution
The objective of these training courses has been to strengthen the knowledge and skills of midwives to safely perform their core tasks during the pandemic, with the ultimate goal of contributing towards achieving the targets related to SDG 3 and 5, including reduction in maternal mortality, neonatal mortality, and ending violence against women and girls. Health[e]Foundation applied the blended learning model, which even in challenging circumstances due to the pandemic, supported enhanced motivation; up-to-date country-specific learning content; offline learning functionality; and learning data for monitoring, evaluation, and results measurements.
Results and lessons learned
Through a survey conducted among the SRHR[e]Education cohort (n=391) we learned that most users accessed the e-course via their smartphone (73%). Moreover, most users preferred the blended learning format compared to e-learning only or traditional classroom education only (79%). Nearly all participants (96%) reported to apply their acquired knowledge and skills in practice and to have improved their digital literacy skills. We learned by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of our blended learning set-up that features and functionalities in e-learning modules and the e-learning platform are strongly interrelated. Solving one challenge, might create another one. To ensure inclusive quality education, one should stay away from “one-size fits all” solutions and continuously improve on the user journey, finding alternative e-learning formats to respond to the specific needs of your target population.
Health[e]Foundation has longstanding expertise in building and implementing digital learning solutions. We offer services for curriculum development, e-conversion, implementation, and evaluation of learning solutions. Let’s partner and contribute to realizing the SDGs!