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ASA maximises learners’ access to offline content with Totara Learn

The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific association of physicians organised to improve patient care and raise the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. With over 50,000 national and international members, ASA is one of the largest communities of anesthesiologists in the US.

The challenge

Every year, anesthesiologists need medical certifications in order to maintain their licence to practise medicine. One of the benefits ASA offers to its members is that they supply an LMS where ASA will go out and understand the laws, the regulations and the rules that are there based on the learners’ speciality. There are multiple specialities within anesthesiology and the rules vary by state as well as to what courses a learner needs to take.

This way, ASA’s members don’t have to worry how to manage that certification process and which courses they have to take. All they have to do to keep their licences is to login, take their coursers and earn their certifications.

ASA needed a way to maximise membership access to learning. What they needed was to implement a flexible, modern LMS – an LMS that issued certifications and allowed the ASA to organise content based on speciality, state and the learner’s rules.

However, the ASA had to address an additional challenge. Anesthesiologists work long shifts (12-16 hour shifts are not uncommon). During hospital shifts, members may have downtime which is perfect for learning, but many hospitals have restricted networks and poor mobile signal. Doctors were not able to access their learning on the job.

The barriers

  • ASA had to provide medical staff a way to access mobile learning content without internet access. Everything had to be accessible on mobile because in many cases, doctors have to move from room to room. Sometimes, doctors can’t even turn wi-fi or mobiles on at work to avoid interrupting sensitive equipment, such as MRI machines or CT scans.
  • Offline courses must adhere to full progression rules with the ability to earn continuing education credits.
  • The LMS had to support a single course creation approach. Creating offline and online versions of the same course would be inefficient and cause too much work for the ASA.
The solution

ASA had to pick a learning management system. They chose Totara Learn, provided by their Totara Platinum Partner, Synegen. The hierarchy, the frameworks and the learning plans in Totara Learn allow the ASA to easily administer and manage a very complex learning environment. Totara Learn has great compliance and assessment capabilities, allowing the ASA to maintain clear and accurate audit trails. In addition, Totara Learn provides a complete picture of usage, progress and achievements across the organisation.

Synegen felt confident they could develop the mobile offline component because they have full access to Totara Learn’s open source code and database.

When learners log into ASA’s LMS, they will be notified of any new courses and they can decide to download if they have internet access. Once they have downloaded the course, they can take the course offline, watch videos, listen to audio files and take quizzes. In order to earn a certification, learners have to pass their quizzes. As soon as they’re finished, they can upload their answers and results online and synchronise them with Totara Learn.

The results

“Since ASA has implemented Totara Learn, ASA members and their care teams have benefited from accessing all of their continuing education requirements in one location. Accessing courses through mobile devices creates additional opportunities for learning while on the go and supports members’ busy lives.”

Elizabeth Lepkowski, ASA Director of Education
  • 50,000 members have a new and improved LMS experience
  • With Synegen’s help, ASA managed to break through all their accessibility barriers
  • ASA’s members have more time for learning
  • Anesthesiologists have a better work/life balance
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