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Maximize Learning to Maximize Impact

When BAO Systems was founded, we focused on DHIS2 hosting services and quickly grew to become leaders in end-to-end DHIS2 implementation. Over the years, our intimate relationship with our partners has given us insight into their specific needs and the daily challenges they face. 

We have come to recognize that several of our partners encounter the common challenges of high staff turnover, remote working, and accommodating staff across global offices and time zones. These have a significant impact on organizational training, creating difficulties with training consistency, scheduling conflicts for international locations or unreliable internet connection for attending live virtual training.

Knowledge is power, at your fingertips

To help our partners overcome their training challenges, we have transformed our most popular, fundamental DHIS2 training courses into a self-paced learning format. Now on their own time, program managers, monitoring and evaluation staff, system administrators, and other learners can take the courses on Aggregate Configuration, Aggregate Analytics and Event & Tracker Analytics. Not confined to certain time zones, they can start and stop as often needed, refer back to materials at any time, and receive a certificate upon completion of the course.

At BAO Systems, we empower our partners to implement scalable and sustainable solutions that uncover data-driven insights to improve livelihoods, strengthen health systems, and achieve equitable human development. Training is another way that we contribute to empowerment. Our dedicated training team, with a wide range of knowledge including project implementation, software engineering, data analysis, education, epidemiology, has carefully designed the foundational DHIS2 training courses to cover the essential, need-to-know DHIS2 topics. 

When our self-paced courses launched enthusiastic learners were quick to provide positive feedback. One said, “Great training that touched upon a number of key areas in which I needed orientation and/or refresher.” Another commented, “The self-pace structure made it flexible and all of the content will greatly help me support our projects that transition to DHIS2".

Benefits of Online Learning

There is a wealth of evidence on the effectiveness and benefits of online learning. I have seen these advantages first-hand in my seven years of developing online public health and DHIS2 courses, and training people remotely. I think it’s important to highlight some of the benefits that I have seen of online learning:

Benefit #1: Taking self-paced courses when the time is right for you

The ability and opportunity to take self-paced courses fits in with a core principle of adult learning: allowing adults to choose how and when they learn. As the learner, you choose when it works best to complete coursework, which will likely be times when you can more fully engage with the materials, rather than at a specified time, that may be inconvenient. The increase in flexibility is a huge benefit for the learner.

Benefit #2: Saves time and money

Since there is no travel associated with virtual or self-paced learning, money and time is saved on travel and accommodation. Maybe with the extra time and money you can take other courses?

Benefit #3: Allows for a more global audience

In the case of DHIS2, the platform is being used in over 100 countries. This means that there are data scientists, Ministry of Health (MoH) employees, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) specialists in each of these countries who need to know how to use DHIS2. Online learning allows for the participants to take the course in their own time zone. This ultimately means more learners can be reached and more information can be shared!

Benefit #4: Networking opportunities through online platforms

Online learning platforms offer the ability for you to communicate with other learners and facilitators through the course and beyond. These convenient online communication mechanisms offer a great way to meet and engage with DHIS2 community members and peers in other organizations, and exchange knowledge with individuals in a wider geographic region.

Benefit #5: No limit on the number of participants

Online training is scalable for any number of learners. This means that learning materials and courses can have a greater impact.

Benefit #6: Training consistency and standardization through self-paced courses

Each learner who takes a self-paced course will receive the same experience as the next learner, enabling organizations to increase consistency and standardization across team members. This allows organizations to rapidly build capacity, enable better workflows and greater team collaboration. 

Benefit #7: Reduces the environmental impact

A lot of businesses are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, and online learning provides an easy way to do so. Evidence from the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education suggests that distance learning courses involve 87% less energy and 85% lower CO2 emissions than in-person courses.  

How has online learning helped you and your organization? What benefits have you experienced? Write to us at [email protected]