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EULAR School of Rheumatology goes digital

EULAR is a non-profit scientific organisation based in Zurich, Switzerland, representing scientific societies, societies of other health professionals, professional associations and organisations for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). The aim of EULAR is to reduce the burden of RMDs on the individual and society and to improve the treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of RMDs.

The Challenge

EULAR approached Totara Partner LearnChamp with the goal of creating a motivating and intuitive digital learning experience for the EULAR School. Consistency throughout the entire process was required: From registration and instant access to learning content, on to administration.

EULAR represents the People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe (PARE), health professionals (HPR) and scientific societies of rheumatology in Europe. In order to constantly keep physicians, health professionals, and patients well informed about the latest medication trends and research findings, in 2017 EULAR founded the EULAR School of Rheumatology.

The EULAR School offers a wide range of online and live courses, online and printed publications and dedicated meetings for physicians, health professionals, and people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. EULAR’s vision is to establish the EULAR School of Rheumatology as the worldwide leader of education in Rheumatology.

EULAR totara audience

The project scope included development of a Learning Management System (LMS) and associated digital learning content. The LMS and content are designed to provide an integrated, seamless learning experience for the user.

EULAR needed a significant amount of digital learning content and was highly aware that even more content would be required in the future. Multi-device usage and responsive design were key.

EULAR already had a number of well-established digital training materials and needed to make a decision: Which materials should be migrated directly into the LMS using the inherent system functionalities – and which ones were to be rebuilt with a responsive authoring tool, and with more options for design and interactivity?

LearnChamp provided consultation for these questions, and also helped to develop a tailored, future-proof solution to meet eventual needs in handling content production and administration.

eular course materials totara learn lms


The EULAR School faced an additional challenge: A very tight schedule. The new LMS platform was to be introduced at the EULAR Congress in June 2018, giving the project team 18 weeks to finish the platform, complete content migration as well as the first batch of newly-built digital learning content.

content migration eular totara

The Solution

EULAR wanted to meet the global demand for an established, cloud-based Learning Management System, which could be adapted to specific needs of both the organization itself, its network and its members at the national level. EULAR therefore opted for Totara Learn. Multi-device usage and responsive design were key requirements and made Adapt a perfect match for all digital learning content.

EULAR devices totara

The tight schedule was a challenge for both the LearnChamp and EULAR teams –cooperation and absolute dedication to complete the project as well as expertise on both sides resulted in a highly successful project result. Moreover, LearnChamp adjusted its project processes and ran the development of themes and prototyping in parallel, enabling EULAR staff to work with the new system.

Totara Learn

Regarding the Totara Learn part of the project, one of the main challenges was the payment system.

On the surface, the implementation of EULAR School might appear simple. Yet, for the back end, complicated and complex processes are at play. This is because, depending on the user’s initial registration type (learner or annual EULAR member), the user’s country of residence and his/her job profile, the price of courses varies and adjusts.

Why is there variation in pricing? EULAR believes that taking their courses should not be a luxury and therefore adjusts the prices of its courses to the respective living standards of the country from where the participant is resident. For example, users whose country of residence has a lower GDP will be offered courses at a lower price. Moreover, certain live courses have a grant option. Users can apply for additional funding in order to cover the cost of attending conferences.

In order to have a grant approved, users need to meet certain requirements and are asked to upload additional documents as proof. Later on, those requests are sent to administrators and scorers in Totara where the decision is made. Through variable pricing and grant options, EULAR makes training affordable to everyone.

To meet EULAR’s requirements, LearnChamp not only implemented Totara Learn and fully customized the look & feel of the user interface but also decided to develop a single feature in the system that simultaneously makes all of the features mentioned above possible. One plug-in handles sign up, regulates course prices and ensures that the scholarship/grant function works.

The reason LearnChamp decided on one feature is because it ensures better and easier operation. Moreover, the payment process is handled by PayPal, as it is the world’s largest, safest and easiest way to move and manage payments. In addition, PayPal aligns well with Totara Learn’s philosophy: To make it as easy as possible for users to navigate the system.

Another sub-project was the migration of 101 self-assessments and final assessments from EULAR’s old system into Totara Learn. This posed challenges to both teams as the old system has a different logic from Totara Learn.

LearnChamp worked closely with the EULAR team in order to find the best solution on how to adapt the assessment questions from the old system into the new one and at the same time keep the original grading logic that the target group was accustomed to.

The Result: Digital Learning Content

The content part of this project contained a number of sub-projects which were running in parallel.

The major one was the implementation of Adapt. In the course of this implementation, LeanChamp created a theme that was consistent not only with the design of EULAR’s Totara Learn but also with a pre-existing EULAR App. The theme is the design basis for all EULAR contents. Ensuring consistency throughout all courses.

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In workshops and online sessions, LearnChamp enabled EULAR team members to use the Adapt Authoring tool, while always being available if questions came up.

Finally, for the introduction of the new LMS platform, the content migration itself was a significant issue. In a collaborative process that was set up by EULAR and LearnChamp, LearnChamp supported EULAR in migrating their existing learning content to an updated e-learning format as Adapt one-page courses.

The EULAR team showed great interest in the entire project and was eager to learn about the new tools in Adapt and Totara Learn. This formed a great basis for effective and constant communication between EULAR and LearnChamp. A lively exchange of ideas and extremely successful support was visible throughout the project.

The EULAR School of Rheumatology was successfully launched at the EULAR Congress in June 2018.

LearnChamp will now continuously provide support services to the EULAR School. Moreover, together with EULAR, LearnChamp will create more content and develop a huge knowledge library of modern, intuitive, and responsive learning resources, so as to always keep physicians, health professionals, and patients up to date.

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