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HealtheKnowledge Learning Platform has New Look, Robust Course Offerings

Alex Skov
ATTC Network Coordinating Office

In the modern world, business is done online. From buying groceries and booking vacations to searching out do-it-yourself maintenance tips, the digital world is often intertwined with each aspect of daily life. Education is no exception, evolving rapidly with everyone from elementary school students to seasoned professionals utilizing the tools available at the touch of a button to learn new skills and refine their practices. In the realm of behavioral health and substance use disorders (SUD), studies have shown that teaching basic knowledge of SUD through e-learning results in higher test scores for all the educational objectives regardless of the learner’s previous subject familiarity, and that digital tools can serve as important supplementary companions to formal education in addiction studies. Likewise, there is evidence that online learning effectively reduces knowledge gaps and stigma for patients and providers when it comes to subjects such as hepatitis C.

With online learning showing no signs of slowing down, the e-learning platform HealtheKnowledge recently debuted an update that prioritizes user-friendliness and easy navigation. The update signifies a new step in the platform’s successful history of administering continuing education courses and learning opportunities for organizations in the health care space while maintaining an active user base of approximately 35,000 individuals in any given six-month period.

The learning platform’s new design features an updated theme that renews its aesthetic appeal and adds descriptive pictures to each of the nearly 150 courses offered on HealtheKnowledge, while the updated interface puts users in the driver’s seat of a simple-to-navigate experience from start to finish. Beginning with a new user sign-up display that is easier to find and complete than ever before, users can then choose their desired courses from a categorized list that expands to show overviews of individual courses, or search for specific course titles and topics in order to sign up for new learning opportunities, the majority of which are self-paced. Once enrolled, learners can access a dashboard that displays their selected courses along with a progress meter showing what percentage of each course the user has completed. Used together, each facet of the update adds up to a more intuitive experience for learners.

With an average of 1,000 new course enrollments each week, and with users taking any of over 60 different courses on current, in-demand health topics, those navigating HealtheKnowledge may quickly recognize aspects of the new setup as it draws on a ‘more traditional Moodle’ look rather than the color-block organization previously implemented, according to Erin Hobbs, MPA, Director of Online Platforms for the Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network. Perhaps the biggest difference included in the recent update, however, is that HealtheKnowledge is now available on the Moodle mobile app, and available to download via a scannable QR code.

Established in 2008 as with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as an online learning site for the ATTC Network, HealtheKnowledge has grown into a multidisciplinary resource for learners pursuing further skills and information relating to behavioral health clinic administration and business management, reproductive health, STD and HIV prevention, Hepatitis C screening, and more, while retaining its presence serving professionals in the addictions treatment and recovery services field.

In addition to courses offered by the ATTC Network, HealtheKnowledge also serves as a learning hub for organizations including the Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network, the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network, the Opioid Response Network (ORN), the National Clinical Training Center for Family Planning (NCTCFP), and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). Current topics of courses offered by these organizations include motivational interviewing (MI); medications for opioid use disorders; screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT); substance use disorders in women and girls; reproductive health topics like forensic nursing for sexual assault and fertility awareness-based methods (FABM); and clinical supervision and business management topics such as health care IT and third-party billing. A survey of active HealtheKnowledge users in September 2020 revealed that 98 percent of respondents rated course quality as either excellent (55 percent) or good (43 percent).

With over 42,000 total users on the platform accessing and using over 8,000 activities, Hobbs and other HealtheKnowledge administrators keep the learning community happy with quick and effective acknowledgements and resolution of issues users may encounter. A help desk satisfaction survey made available last quarter shows that 98.7 percent of respondents indicated their experience was “Good, I’m Satisfied,” and 97 percent of respondents to the September 2020 survey said they were very satisfied (63 percent) or satisfied (34 percent) with their experience on the site. One respondent noted the above-and-beyond help they received, saying their help desk contact was “very knowledgeable and guided [them to] where and what [they] needed to do to begin [their] training.”

While HealtheKnowledge user support and reported user satisfaction already rated well, a spike in activity during the COVID-19 pandemic made an update important to continue delivering a high-quality learning experience. Year-over-year data shows a 36 percent increase in new users and a 51 percent rise in time users spent on HealtheKnowledge, jumping from 19,323 hours between March and August 2019 up to 29,173 hours between March and August 2020. Likewise, the platform saw a 68 percent increase in site visits, and, according to the data, learners used these extra visits and hours spent on HealtheKnowledge productively and efficiently, as activity completions skyrocketed by 84 percent.

Individuals interested in expanding their training and adding to their knowledge can see the new website layout, experience the updated functionality, and enroll in courses by visiting