We’ve recently given out the certificates of participation for all the Health Extension Workers, midwives and supervisors who have been working with us for the last two years. We really appreciate all the effort and time they have put into making the project a success. Here are a couple of photos of Araya presenting some of the certificates:

Araya (left) with Eskader (Health Extension Worker at Hagerselam health post)
Araya (left) with Eskader (Health Extension Worker at Hagerselam health post)
Tekun (left - Health Extension Worker at Mesanu Hintalowajerat Health Post) and Hiluf (right - Midwife at Adigudem Health Centre) with Araya
Tekun (left – Health Extension Worker at Mesanu Hintalowajerat Health Post) and Hiluf (right – Midwife at Adigudem Health Centre) with Araya

Through our recent funding from DFID, we are looking to recruit a Digital Content Developer for Primary Healthcare to work with us on this project. A brief overview of the role:

  • You will be working with our medical and technical team to create and source high quality primary healthcare training content, activities and assessment for rural health workers in their continuous professional development activities.
  • You will ensure that all the training material is prepared to the highest standards of presentation, accuracy and educational value.
  • The ideal candidate will have excellent organisational skills and an ability to keep to tight deadlines. Proven experience of instructional design and teaching is essential.

and the key details:

  • Contract: 2 year fixed term contract
  • Hours: Part-time (20 hours p.w./0.5 FTE)
  • Location: Remote (home-based)
  • Salary: £26,600 to £28,700 p.a. (pro-rata)
  • Closing date: 13 September 2013

You can download the full job advert here: http://digital-campus.org/docs/ad-005.pdf and the job description here: http://digital-campus.org/docs/jd-005.pdf

To apply please send a copy of your CV with a supporting statement and details of 2 references to alex@digital-campus.org. References will not be taken up until after a job offer has been made.

To strengthen our financial and grant management, we are currently looking to recruit a volunteer Advisory Board Member with financial management experience. The key skills and experience we are looking for include:

  • Experience of providing financial management advice and oversight
  • Experience of the not-for-profit/charity sector
  • Implementing best practice for managing donor funded projects
  • Budgeting, cash flow and financial forecasting

Our expectation is that this role would involve a commitment of 1-2 days per month. The Digital Campus team are all home-based workers, so our board meetings are usually held via skype at the end of each month.

You can view some more details and apply for the position via the CharityJob website. If you have any queries about the role, then please feel free to contact alex@digital-campus.org.

We’re really pleased to announce that we have just received confirmation of funding for a new project working with mobile learning for Health Extension Workers. The project is funded by UKAid and we’re working with AMREF Ethiopia as the local implementing partners.

Over the coming 3 years we’ll be working with 160 Health Workers who are taking part in their Level 4 upgrade programme (using the HEAT content), supplementing the existing training content with additional videos and quizzes to track their performance, skills and knowledge, especially once they return to their health posts.

The main focus will be on maternal care, but we’ll cover all of the primary care topics in the HEAT content. This will give us an excellent opportuity to develop and extend the OppiaMobile application as well as provide us with some excellent information as to how the health workers get on with using mobile learning and how it may help to improve the services they provide to their communities.

You will be able to track the project progress via the DfID project database at: http://projects.dfid.gov.uk/ – the official project title is: “Improving Health Extension Workers’ training and effectiveness through continuous skills improvement, knowledge assessment and patient management processes for 160 Ethiopian health workers”. We’ll also be making regular updates about the project progress via this blog too.

Digital Campus has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) from Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs(JHUCCP). NURHI has been running successfully for several years and now they are looking at ways in which they can use mobile learning to help support and train family planning providers.

Our collaboration is in its early stages and NURHI are currently pilot testing a slightly customised version of the OppiaMobile platform in preparation for a larger scale rollout later this year. Digital Campus has been supporting their development team in setting up and customising the application (both server and client side).

This is all excellent news for Digital Campus and OppiaMobile and will really assist us in ensuring the platform is developed in a way that will help re-use in other projects, countries and for other subject areas, which is one of the main objectives of the OppiaMobile learning platform. We look forward to continued collaboration with NURHI and JHUCCP.

We’ve just made live a big update to the OppiaMobile server. The previous version (running from the http://mquiz.org/) has now been deprecated in favour of http://demo.oppia-mobile.org. The main reason for this change was to switch the focus from quizzes to courses. mQuiz as a site was only really being used to deliver the OppiaMobile courses, not for quizzes, so it didn’t make sense to have the focus of the site being on quizzes.

We also released a new OppiaMobile client app (v2.0.0), available from Google Play and by default this will now point to the new http://demo.oppia-mobile.org. Older versions of the OppiaMobile client app will still function fine without any updates, though obviously we’d recommend that you update your client app when possible.

For those interested in setting up your own OppiaMobile server, we’ve tried to make it easier to set up and install, so rather than downloading 3 different Django apps from GitHub, you can now install the server using ‘pip’, we’ve put up some initial installation documentation at: https://oppiamobile.readthedocs.org/ and we’ve updated the developer pages.

We’d really welcome any feedback on how we can make it easier for you.

We’ve just posted up an updated preview video of OppiaMobile, showing some of the recent interface updates we’ve made, plus, of course, the new name. We’ve also started to build up the OppiaMobile website, so gives learners, course authors and developers a better overview of how to use OppiaMobile.

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new OppiaMobile website – http://oppia-mobile.org.

OppiaMobile is the name we have recently christened our mobile learning platform, and certainly sounds a lot better than us referring to ‘our mobile learning platform’. For those interested, ‘oppia’ is the verb ‘to learn’ in Finnish.

On the site you can find more information about the platform, how it works and some guidelines for content authoring. Please get in touch with us if you would like to try out your course using OppiaMobile. We have recently added the Open Education course from the Open University UK to give a better demonstration of how the platform can be used not only for healthcare in Africa, but also course content for other professional areas.

Visit our new website to learn more and to download the app for your Android phone.

Earlier this week one of my research colleagues sent me a spreadsheet with the breakdown for the last 6 months (Sept 2012 to Feb 2013) of how the health workers in our project have been making use of voice, SMS and data on their smartphones. The breakdown looks like this:

chart

The data shows that each health worker (per month) makes approximately 160 mins of voice calls, downloads 27Mb of data and sends 3 SMSs.

Few notes and comments:

  • the data was directly from the mobile company – not from any analysis tools/apps installed on the phones, so is about as accurate as we’d ever be able to get
  • in the data above I’ve only included the health extension workers and midwives, the supervisors usage is not included (although we have figures for them too)
  • we are giving 100 birr top-up per month to each health worker and we don’t restrict what this can be used for
  • for the data it’s clear that the the health workers are adding their own top-up balance too (in addition to the 100 birr we give)

What interesting for us is that the health workers are clearly using the data connection for much more than simply submitting the protocol forms and the accessing the mobile scorecard, although at an average of 27Mb per month, this is a long way from the 500Mb+ per month many people in EU/US often get through.

The very low level of text messaging (less than 3 SMSs sent per month) is also very interesting to see. One possible reason for this (and this also came from our baseline survey interviews) was that the health workers don’t use text messaging because they are not confident in using the Latin alphabet, or perhaps they know the recipient of the message cannot read the Latin alphabet, or doesn’t have a Ge’ez capable phone.

There’s a lot more analysis and info we how we can get from this data – especially when we look at matching up usage of the patient management tools and whether increased usage of these tools also corresponds to increased data usage – but we’ll save much of this for our upcoming technical paper.