These are personal notes - the official web site is at: http://www.teknical.com/sectors/health/roadshows.htm where, it is promised the powerpoint presentations and papers from this meeting will be made available.
On 3rd November 2005 I attended a seminar at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, organised by Teknical to discuss elearning in the NHS.
Following the welcome and housekeeping announcements by Russel Sneyd, the first presentation was by Wassila Mehanna, Teknical's pedagogical expert from the University of Cambridge, who presented her view of the pedagogy of elearning, largely based on her collection of empirical evidence of the effectiveness of elearning and the need to design and deliver learning based on an understanding of how learners learn. You can gain some insight into her work from her paper to the Networked Learning Conference 2004 and a piece she wrote on E-Health Insider. Her presentation is available in PDF
The initial presentation was followed by various "Case Studies" of work undertaken by Teknical with the NHS. One of these concerned transferring some of the materials developed by the NHSu and transferring them to the NHS Core Programmes learning Unit, including consideration of different levels of service from simple hosting to a fully managed serviced able to provide reports on learner activity at various levels. More detailed consideration was given to the work the company have undertaken with NHS North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire Workforce Development Confederation ( Case Study - PDF) over the last 2 years, which described some of the issues for complex NHS organisations, particularly SHAs with multiple trusts and thousands of users. During this study the importance of using interaction and communication tools was explored, however although NEYNL had required and set up discussion forums and the like only a few hundred of the thousands of staff had actually participated with others via these tools. Discussion also touched on linking to other NHS developments such as the eKSF and ESR . Other brief descriptions were given of work with East Lancashire and Sussex HIS, who are looking to use elearning to support staff in their role out of the Care Records System being introduced by NHS Connecting for Health.
After coffee we were given a demonstration of some of the capabilities of the Teknical software, which included a few examples of content and interactivity but focused on the managed learning environment and training management system showing how reports of learner activity and scores could be managed.
After lunch delegates were divided into workshop groups to consider what they/their organisation wanted from elearning systems, what factors would influence purchasing decisions and an elearning wish list - it was interested to see the effect of a target driven NHS on the agendas of those present, comments focused on the administrative functions & how you could monitor learners and produce reports to keep the chief exec happy - almost nothing was mentioned about motivating students or improving the knowledge and skills !
Everyone was provided with a time limited CD of authoring & assessment tools - which I haven't had a chance to play with yet - but I will add comments when I do.
In general I found the day interesting, although I was familiar with many of the issues, as it provided an insight into the ways of working and software from Teknical, and also the insight it gave me into the thinking of those in the NHS who are likely to be making purchasing decisions about elearning. I was disappointed that the focus was largely on administrative functions and basic skills, mandatory training, mcqs etc not higher level discursive learning, or the needs of the learners themselves.
The seminar was attended by people from various NHS organisations and as usual at these events the discussion over coffee and lunch was useful - and wide ranging, including a chat with a delegate who is developing the elearning materials for NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre
Despite the wet and windy weather on the day & the major building work underway at the National Exhibition Centre, the venue and organising team were welcoming and the day was well organised.
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Any comments or questions: Rod@rodspace.co.uk
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Last Updated: 4.11.05