What is an e-Learning network?

e-Learning networks are groups of like-minded people meeting together to share information and to exchange ideas. A network can also be used to try pilot new ideas and to support colleagues who are embarking on e-Learning for the first time. They could be networks of managers discussing strategic ways forward or networks of trainers looking at new resources and training needs for e-Learning.

e-Learning networks can be very focused and specific such as the NHS South West Oracle Learning Management Special Interest Group. This group is not dedicated entirely to e-Learning, but it does provide support and guidance to NHS organisations that are or will be implementing the National e-Learning Management System (NLMS) functionality within the Electronic Staff Record system.

Alternatively a network could be something like the e-Learning Operational Group in the South West which is currently being established and whose aims will be to develop and support NHS people that are involved with designing, implementing and supporting local e-Learning content.

Or in the South West there is also an e-Learning Strategy Group which is a relatively new group comprised of the two former groups which were based in the Bristol and Devon areas. The membership comprises Assistant Directors/Heads of Learning and Development. The minutes of the initial meeting of this group provide information about the kinds of topics that were covered. There is a link below to this.

e-Learning networks can be run regionally or nationally and in order to have a clear focus should have clear terms of reference such as those developed by NHS Yorkshire and the Humber e-Learning club and the ones below from the South West.

Terms of Reference

The e-Learning Strategy group will be responsible for:

  • advising on organisational structures to support e-Learning initiatives;
  • leading a benefits realisation strategy, which will build on the successful implementation of platforms and organisational structures;
  • raising awareness of the contribution of e-Learning initiatives to key NHS targets, such as Standards for Better Health or the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts;
  • providing feedback to national e-Learning providers, in particular the ESR Oracle Learning Management System and the National Learning Management System, Core Learning Unit, Connecting for Health, and e-Learning for Healthcare, through the national SHA e-Learning Leads Forum
  • overseeing the local deployment, procurement and creation of e-Learning content, ensuring that wherever possible economies of scale through collaborative purchasing are realised, ‘do once and share’ principles are observed, and interoperability standards are employed;
  • exploring partnerships with other health sector organisations, such as Independent Treatment Centres and charities;
  • exploring partnerships with higher/further education institutions;
  • acting as a pressure group to improve national e-Learning products and services;
  • disseminating information on latest e-Learning developments;
  • forming a view on the sustainability of funding streams;
  • forming a view on the deployment of new developments in e-Learning, such as virtual classroom, telemedicine initiatives, and podcasting.

Individual Trust representatives will be responsible for:

  • ensuring that the work of, and decisions made by, the group are disseminated across their organisations;
  • providing a summary of their organisation’s e-Learning activities for each meeting;
  • raising issues on behalf of their organisations at group meetings.

Why are networks important?

Back to the Networks page