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Innovation in acquisition, development and distribution of digital learning resources

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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Award nominee

The overall goals of the Norwegian Digital Learning Arena (NDLA) initiative are to develop open, high quality digital learning resources for all, and to involve teachers and students in active and participatory learning processes. The specific objectives are to develop open and accessible digital learning resources in all upper secondary education subjects that can be accessed free of charge for everybody; to facilitate upper secondary education characterised by interaction and sharing; to engage teachers and students in active and participatory learning processes; to use communities and networks as a driving force in the development; and to develop and contribute to a marketplace that delivers content and services attuned to the needs of teachers and learners.

In 2010 NDLA had a total operating budget of 62 MNOK. This equals approximately 20% of the total allocation of public funding for learning resources in upper secondary education in Norway. NDLA is co-owned by 18 county councils in Norway out of 19. The further operation and sustainability of operations, development and innovation capacity will be secured through political process involving all 18 county councils. NDLA is fully owned by the 18 county councils behind the initiatives. All political self-governments on county/regional level have made identical political decisions to anchor this joint ownership. The 18 county councils agree on the level of budget and ambition for the NDLA collaboration. All county councils have an administrative contact point for NDLA. As a public entity, NDLA transfers the legal entity from one of the county councils. NDLA has no permanent employees; those working for NDLA are lent out from their respective employers, i.e. county council. NDLA is a virtual organisation without physical headquarters. Necessary support systems are available through a county council or via ICT tools such as Skype, Jira and Google Apps.

NDLA is a unique collaboration between a large number of county councils, enabling and empowering them to carry out a task they are obliged to carry out according to the education and training legislation of Norway. NDLA has evolved as a virtual organisation with a small administrative core. The administrative resources are pooled from existing resources in order to keep the need for investments in administrative software and services to a minimum. Within the current level of expenditure NDLA has increased the volume, diversity, the perceived quality and the awareness among NDLA constituents. This unique collaboration has managed to balance growth, innovation, participation, complexity and quality. Some of the key results achieved by NDLA are that the number of subjects has risen from 2 in 2007, to 37 subjects in 2011, of which 29 are accessible via the NDLA website. The user statistics show an increase in traffic over the last year in by approximately 50%, with a daily number of visitors reaching approx. 16,000. Awareness among teachers has increased considerably: more than 70% of the teachers are aware of NDLA. The number and scope of services have also increased, which allows for sharing, co-creation of content, re-use and the phasing in of user-generated content.

Award info
Award category: smart public service delivery
Award type: nominee
Award year: 2011
Project type
Sector: Education (higher and lower), training and learning
Type of activity:
Keywords: Innovation, smart delivery, increased volume and value, complexity, distributed organisation
Short English description: The specific objectives are to develop open and accessible digital learning resources in all upper secondary education subjects that can be accessed free of charge for everybody.
Further information
Organisation: NDLA
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://ndla.no
Level of government: regional level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Norway
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Innovation in acquisition, development and distribution of digital learning resources (60.3912628, 5.3220544)
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