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Day 3 Presentation

Delivering Moodle courses through chatbots: Meeting learners in no academic settings in low resource settings

Digital education is a key strategy for Ministries of Health (MOH) to enhance the skills of health workers in a cost-effective and scalable way. Population Services International (PSI) is a public health NGO that focuses on empowering MOHs in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) to develop their health systems. We work to ensure that digital education is delivered to their Health Workers in an effective and sustainable way.

Moodle is widely used as a Learning Management System in LMICs, within academic settings. However, Moodle’s traditional delivery channels (web and android) have limitations when targeting populations with limited bandwidth and low IT literacy. PSI has leveraged familiar tools like WhatsApp for delivering e-Learning solutions as chatbot-based conversations. The approach allows users to learn at their own pace and convenience without the need to access an unfamiliar web-based/mobile e-Learning platform, resulting in a more suitable and familiar format.

How it works
The chatbot allows users to register and enrol in Moodle courses. Currently the chatbot supports Lesson, Feedback and Quiz course activities.

How it is built
The chatbot is an open-source application that uses Moodle’s API and a custom plugin to interact with Moodle as the LMS backend of the solution. Currently the chatbot can be deployed in WhatsApp using Twilio. We are working on an update to support Meta’s WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger APIs directly.

Since 2020, over 4,000 health workers from Kenya and Nigeria have completed WhatsApp-based e-Learning courses on COVID-19 and Sexual and Reproductive Health. According to feedback surveys, 77% of health workers prefer WhatsApp over other e-Learning platforms channels.

PSI is excited to share this solution with the Moodle community, and hopes that it can be adapted more widely to meet similar needs, especially in LMICs.

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