Norwegian digital learning arena

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Norwegian Digital Learning Arena (NDLA)
Norwegian digital learning arena.jpg
Founded 2007
Type Non-profit organization
Focus Education
Area served Norway
Services Open educational resources

Norwegian Digital Learning Arena (NDLA) (Norwegian: Nasjonal digital læringsarena) is a joint enterprise operating on behalf of the county administrations in Norway. Its aim is to develop and publish high quality, internet-based open educational resources in all the subjects taught at upper secondary school level and make these freely available to the users. The joint production and purchase enterprise was initiated by 18 counties in 2007 when the responsibility for the acquisition of learning content was delegated from the state to the county level.[1]

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg officially opened the Norwegian Digital Learning Arena on 26 September 2007.[2] By the start of the school year 2008/2009, learning resources in Norwegian (First Year), Science (First Year) and Health and Social Care (First Year) had been published. These were financed by the Ministry of Education and Research. Since the start of the school year 2009/2010, some of the learning resources which have been published are: Norwegian (Second Year), Health, Childcare and Youth Development (First Year), Social Studies (First Year), Physical Education (First Year), Mathematics (First Year), English (First Year), Restaurant and Food Processing (First Year) and Electricity and Electronics (First Year). At present (Sept. 2013), there are learning resources for a total of 38 subjects at first, second and third year levels. These resources are continuously updated and further developed.

NDLA invites public tenders for digital learning resources which cover part or all of the learning targets in the relevant subjects. Publishing companies can submit tenders on an equal basis with other participants. Contributors are, for example, pedagogical personnel from schools, colleges and universities, plus suppliers of technical solutions. The editorial work in each subject is carried out by an editorial staff with solid professional and pedagogical competence. The members are recruited from upper secondary schools in the counties. All the central resources are presented simultaneously in both languages, Norwegian and New Norwegian. NDLA uses the publishing system Drupal version 6, an open source content management system. The free software is available to anyone who wishes to develop digital learning resources. Most of NDLA’s content is offered under a Creative Commons license.

In addition to offering digital learning resources, NDLA hopes to become a meeting place for students, teachers and others from upper secondary schools. The aim is to encourage a sharing and discussion forum within upper secondary education in Norway where everyone can contribute professional suggestions and comments and take part in discussions. NDLA’s aim is that the resources will be under continuous development.

The Norwegian Publishers' Association filed a complaint with the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority that the government’s subsidy of 150million NOK was in violation of the rules for government subsidies and detrimental to the establishment of a market for digital learning resources. The complaint was rejected by the EFTA Surveillance Authority, 12 October 2011. The support did not constitute State aid within the definition of the EEA Agreement, since NDLA is not an undertaking engaged in an economic activity. In the decision, the Authority argued that the development of digital learning material must fall within the scope of public education. Furthermore, NDLA was found to be an integrated part of the public administration, which provides its services to the Norwegian public free of charge. The complainant appealed the decision of the court and in March 2013, the Authority opened a formal investigation into the funding of NDLA.[3] The conclusion from the investigation was that the financing of NDLA does not involve state aid.[4]

NDLA was nominated for the European Public Service Award in 2011.[5]

NDLA’s long term goal is to inspire to an increase in the use of digital learning material within all subjects in upper secondary school. This will be a gradual process paced by the various counties of Norway, in their capacity of being school owner, and through their joint decisions.


  1. ^ About NDLA from Ministry of Education and Research (Norway)
  2. ^ Nasjonal digital læringsarena opna av statsminister Stoltenberg (Hordaland county administration web Pages)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Press release from EFTA Surveillance Authority, 26 June 2014
  5. ^ EPSA 2011 Nominees