The advantages of using Moodle or a similarly featured LMS to support workplace training are plentiful. Also, they are not a mystery. While technology is key to deliver content quickly and measure its performance efficiently, many platforms forget one of the most basic elements that guarantee a high retention of the skills learned, especially on a professional level. Namely, it is the ability to access a network of people with relatable experiences with whom to interact and exchange ideas. In Moodle, community is a principle, not an afterthought.
There are fields where support networks are essential. Case in point, caregiving for mental patients. Only in Ireland, cases are expected to double by 2031, reaching nearly 100,000 cases. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, the leading provider of services related to expert care of the affliction in the country, has set out to consolidate a support network among caregivers and, over the years, has developed a training program focused on substance as well as geographical breadth.
The program consists of a tutor-based course for groups of up to 15 caregivers. Many of them can attend face-to-face classes, but soon the advantages of online training became obvious. Professionals in remote areas began to enjoy access to the top-quality instruction, but soon students closer to the instruction facilities saw the benefits in increased flexibility, which often allowed more quality time with patients.
Once a robust technology was in place, it was time to focus on consolidating the network. User research showed that mental health caregivers had a constant need to “vent,” to air their feelings about the work among peers and enjoy mutual understanding. Not only that, the intimacy involved in the process required the idea of a “safe space” that ensured privacy and respect.
Moodle became ASI’s LMS of choice, but according to Training Manager Fergus Timmons, the success of the offering was at least partly due to the relentless focus on user feedback, especially at the beginning. Achieving a good fit between content and medium was essential. The Moodle Book activity took prominence thanks to its versatility and compatibility with many interfaces, including mobile. Feedback continues to pour in to sharpen both message and medium and it reinforces a sense of community, so vital in this field.
This Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: eThink Education, a Certified Moodle Partner that provides a fully-managed Moodle experience including implementation, integration, cloud-hosting, and management services. To learn more about eThink, click here.