Alison Pope on using the toolkit

An interview with Alison Pope on how useful the toolkit has been to her and her colleagues.

The following provides the text of her responses.

Name and job role

I’m Alison Pope and I work within the West Midlands Workforce Deanery as Knowledge Services Programme Manager, taking the lead on e-Learning across the region. My role is to co-ordinate e-learning activity, signpost to any national or regional tools available to support planning and implementation of e-learning and enhance communication around this area. I’ve been in post for 9 months.

Short description of the way you think the toolkit will help you to develop regional and local strategies

I see the toolkit as a welcome addition to the national programmes and resources available to support the NHS in its endeavour to use e-learning as an option for delivering learning and development. In the West Midlands we have promoted the toolkit as a resource to support the development of local e-learning strategies or to enhance existing Learning and Development plans. The report generated by the toolkit will help our organizations to see where they are along the e-learning journey, highlighting the areas that need to be addressed in strategic planning and any subsequent action or implementation plans.

As SHA e-learning lead I hope to support and facilitate this process by providing guidance, linking our Education Leads with appropriate resources and knowledge to take e-learning forward in their own organisations. The tool may also flag up global problems which could be addressed in the regional e-learning strategy.

Your pilot with local Trusts

We would like to use the toolkit with a few organizations in the West Midlands to pilot its use in developing local e-learning strategy. We are asking Trusts who are in the early stages of e-learning implementation to come forward for this project.

We would like them to use the tool to identify areas of strength and any gaps in provision or challenges they face. We hope this information will inform and influence the development of strategic planning and/or action plans to support further implementation.

We would also like to explore how the SHA can support and facilitate the development of any areas highlighted by Trusts following use of the toolkit. So, for example if we can help with template strategy or action planning documents, or network people with others who are further along the journey.

How you plan to use the toolkit with Education Leads?

Heads of Learning and Development are our link into the Trusts and have become the foundation for a network of e-learning leads across the region.

I hope they will lead the pilots but also consult with other staff groups and liaise with other relevant departments e.g. IT to assist them in completing the initial assessment and then taking forward e-learning as a concept.

How the toolkit might help with impact measures?

A number of Trusts in the West Midlands have raised issues around measuring the impact of e-learning and I can see the need for standards/benchmarks for what constitutes “good” uptake and usage of to demonstrate ROI and evaluate outcomes. I know also that there has been some resistance from Trusts to reveal scores and share results. I’m aware that there is some added functionality for administrators so they can see the mean scores for all the categories and statements within the toolkit.

These could potentially be published so users can check their scores with these averages.

If people can use the toolkit anonymously and without having to sign in or we could have a simple survey to compare scores then that would be really useful. This would make it easier to use and removes fears that they will be checked up on, but also provides us with the benchmarking data necessary.