Using e-Learning

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself if you want to use an e-Learning format to help you decide the best way forward. You might also like to look at the web page within the Toolkit which describes models of training.

  • Are there any existing material or content already available locally or nationally via platforms such as NLMS (National Learning Management System.
  • What approach are you going to use for e-Learning? A blended approach which is a mixture of ‘e’ and face to face or just e-Learning on its own.
  • Do you want to develop materials in house or purchase them from a recognised supplier?
  • Do you have the necessary skills in house?
  • Is there one person who can do this or do you need to bring together a team with the relevant knowledge and skills?
  • Do you have the knowledge and skills to support and see the e-Learning training through to an effective conclusion?
  • Do you know how to gain these skills?
  • What skills are required to purchase e-Learning resources?
  • Do you have the relevant knowledge to know about accessibility and interoperability?
  • Do you know how to gain this knowledge?
  • Have you considered the target audience?
  • How long will the content be valid and reflect the training requirements?
  • How often will the content or programme need updating?
  • Who will maintain and take ownership for the content?

There is a range of skills required to develop e-Learning which include:

  • subject knowledge
  • understanding of training methods and learning theories
  • knowledge of IT
  • knowledge of how to use IT in training to enhance learning
  • an understanding of writing for the screen rather than paper
  • an understanding of the e-Learning skills of the learners
  • how to bring these all together in an effective and engaging e-Learning format.

These skills can be divided into the following:

  • Pedagogical (concerned with learning)
  • Technical (concerned with the computers and the networks)
  • Creative (concerned with the development of engaging content).

All of these have to be in place for the successful implementation of e-Learning.

Using e-Learning resources in your training

Can you make use of material already in existence locally or nationally such as those on the NLMS platform? If not you may decide to purchase an off the shelf package to meet the learning need or you may need to employ a designer to create a bespoke e-Learning package?

In addition, Connecting for Health and e-Learning for Healthcare have worked on an important project called Catalogue of Local Content (CoLC), see link below for more information. It is a project created to identify locally developed e-Learning across the NHS in England. It is aimed at SHA e-Learning leads and Trusts; it will also become an essential reference point for National IT initiatives.

The skills required will be different depending on the answer to the question. However there is a level of knowledge that is required to be able to identify the learning need and to write a specification that will result in an effective package to address that need.

Consideration of accessibility and interoperability need to be integral to any decision making process. The last thing that you want to do is purchase an e-Learning package which is not compatible with the IT equipment used within the organisation.

How can I gain these skills and knowledge?

It is a big expectation for one person to have all of these skills and knowledge.

There are several databases, linked to in resources below, that list existing courses:

  • Health Informatics Qualifications Finder
  • National Database of Accredited Qualifications
  • The Training Foundation

Alternatively it could be more appropriate to consider options such as shadowing, peer support, secondment or actually spending some time with organisations who are delivering e-Learning. If you gain a greater understanding of the technical requirements of e-Learning it will benefit the IT department. With increased knowledge you will not make unrealistic requests. Therefore it will be worth them investing some time to explain aspects such as interoperability.

The Professionalising Health Informatics portal (PHI), linked to in resources below, provides details of available development options for those involved in e-Learning.

Also, to help you with the answers to these questions, you could look at the following categories in the Supporting learning and development section of the e-Learning Readiness Tool:

What is e-Learning?

Back to the Trainer readiness page

Related Resources

    Professionalising Health Informatics

    A portal within the NHS CFH web site that provides information and links to health informatics professional, personal, educational, leadership and managerial development opportunities. It is designed to support your personal and professional development in Health Informatics.

    Professional Development for Education, Training and Development Practitioners

    NHS Connecting for Health web page about training and development and the ETD Practitioner Development Toolkit. There are links to resources and guidance to support trainers and managers in planning their career progression and professional development within the NHS. It has identified many opportunities available to NHS staff working in the ETD community.

    The Training Foundation

    An organisation that works with the NHS and provides the TAP learning system. It also provides several courses and qualifications for those in learnign and development.

    Catalogue of Local Content (CoLC)

    A project that produced a catalogue of local e-Learning resoruces that can be shared. These resources are now part of the e-Learning Repository.

    The Register of Regulated Qualifications

    The Register of Regulated Qualifications contains details of qualifications that are accredited by the regulators of external qualifications in England (Ofqual), Wales (DCELLS) and Northern Ireland (CCEA). Users can search for details on current and expired accredited qualifications.

    Health Informatics Qualifications Finder

    This site contains a searchable database of current qualifications and courses from across England, Scotland and Wales that provide entry to and further study within the field of Health Informatics.