In 2013 Rowlands Pharmacy (UK), a large community pharmacy chain and Robert Gordon University, were awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to develop an online training system for the pharmacy chain to enhance their training and CPD. The elearning unit within the school of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at the University had over ten years of experience developing online material for students and practising pharmacists. They had developed an iterative model using Replace-Enhance-Transform as their pedagogical method. This allowed staff and students time to get used to the new methods but also allowed the elearning team to make any changes to suit their learners. Throughout the development process the learners have been part of the changes. This model was to be trialled in the development of the Rowlands online system. In the first year of the project the learners were asked at three stages for their input.
Firstly, three months into the project at the company conference over 700 staff were introduced to the online training and were asked for their views on elearning. There was an overwhelming interest in the concepts and most staff were positive about this new development. One logistical issue that had been highlighted by the staff within the community pharmacy setting was that any form of training was difficult because of the lack of time. One of the remits of the elearning development team was to produce materials that could be completed within the time it took to have a cup of tea, about ten minutes.
The second stage of this research and evaluation project was undertaken six months into the project by undergraduate students at Robert Gordon University. They developed an online questionnaire and it was sent to all pharmacy staff to investigate their attitudes and perceptions of learning, online learning and continuous professional development (CPD). Part of the questionnaire also elicited the online profile of the staff to help complete a picture of future users of the training system. This indicated that over 90% of staff had access to a computer at home.
The third stage of the project was to evaluate the first elearning suite after it was launched for its accessoibility and usability. This presentation will highlight the model of development, the findings from the three research stages and dioscuss how potential users have been involved at every stage.