Implementing a digital authoring system in Finnish medical and dental schools

K. McGlade*, K. Hakkarainen, J. Jaaskelainen, R. Roulston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


As part of a National Finnish Initiative to encourage the effective incorporation of digital technologies within medical and dental schools, the “MEDIGI” project was set up as collaboration between all five medical schools and all four dental schools in Finland (five institutions).Part of this initiative involved choosing a digital authoring platform which would allow medical and dental educators to create their own online learning content. This paper reports the early experiences of rolling out a common method of generating online content using one online Digital Learning Platform and the impact this has had on producing online content for students and encouraging sharing of content between institutions.

A common Digital Authoring platform, “Causeway” was selected and all five institutions invited to take part. Two administrators at each of the five sites recruited lecturers to develop content. Once content was developed within the Causeway Digital Authoring platform it was published and uploaded onto the Moodle Learning Management System. Activity Data was collected remotely in terms of numbers of individuals registering as authors and the number who then went on to create and publish their own learning content. We also determined which institutions were sharing content with others.

Overall activity of authors at the five (anonymised) Finnish medical/dental schools varied. Institution A had 16 participants of whom 5 were active (31%) publishing content; institution B, 20 participants with 19 (95%) active; C, 10 with 9 (90%), D, 6 with 6 (100%) active and E, 10 author participants with 8 (80%) active publishing learning content. Three out of the five institutions have also started to share content. We also examined each of the Institutions in terms of the number of learning packages generated by individual authors. There was variability between authors in the number of learning packages being created . However in four of the institutions most authors produced some content, one author at institution B producing at least 75 learning modules while most producing between 1 and 10 learning packages.

Conclusions and discussion
In this paper we demonstrate the high proportion of academics that registered on the platform and subsequently went on to publish online content. One institution had an activity rate of 100%, three were between 80% and 95% and there was only one of the institutions where only 31% of those academics who registered actually produced content. The five active out of 16 users at this institution (A),however, produced significant content.
The development of a shared approach to Technology Enhanced Learning in Medical and Dental Education presents many opportunities but also many challenges. One encouraging finding is that three of the five Institutions have started sharing learning content with each other. It is notoriously difficult to achieve true sharing and exchange of learning content between medical schools, yet it is often said that this is one of the keys to developing the robust, up to date curricula of the future. A common digital authoring platform is a useful way of promoting the generation and sharing of online content.
We believe that the development of a set of metrics around authorship will be important in encouraging academics to develop engaging interactive online learning content and we will set out how this may be accomplished during the presentation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEDULEARN 2021: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies: proceedings
EditorsL. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9788409312672
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jul 2021
Event13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies - virtual, online
Duration: 05 Jul 202106 Jul 2021

Publication series

NameEDULEARN Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)2340-1117


Conference13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Abbreviated titleEDULEARN 2021
Cityvirtual, online
Internet address


  • e-learning
  • digital authoring
  • content sharing


Dive into the research topics of 'Implementing a digital authoring system in Finnish medical and dental schools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this