Effective delivery of learning for healthcare professionals needs to be up -to -date and flexible in order to meet the needs of the individual, their patients and a constantly evolving healthcare system. For this higher education provider the emphasis was placed upon the development of acute oncology clinical practitioners, through the use of a social constructivist (Morris 2003) and student-centered (Cotton 2005) paradigm, whilst considering the demands of the practice arena.
The establishment of a meaningful learning environment is a challenge for those who develop multi-professional, online, healthcare courses. The delivery model for this module allowed for asynchronous access to learning materials, to align with the demands of clinical roles and personal commitments. Emphasis was placed upon the development of learning materials, which were evidence based, patient- centered and ‘fit for purpose’. The delivery format included online lectures, discussion fora (DF), quizzes, supporting articles and key documents. Salmon’s “5-Stage Model” was used to introduce the acute oncology E-learning materials to avoid overwhelming learners. Additionally, learners were encouraged to reflect critically on their professional development throughout the duration of the module utilising Schon’s “Reflective Practitioner Model” (1991). This presentation will outline a major limitation of this model and the steps taken to better engage students into the online community of learners (Lave & Wenger 1991).
Although online DF with generic themes promoted exchange of knowledge and ideas, module review including student questionnaires, highlighted limitations in its scope and impact. In essence, there was limited reference to the use of clinical reasoning strategies and little or no discussion of different patient treatment options. Limited engagement by some students in the DF, highlighted learners were not fully accessing the knowledge and experience of their peers, and missing out on a valuable resource. A decision was therefore made to develop a virtual patient (VP) based on a typical acute oncology presentation with alternative treatment pathways, encouraging students to discuss their patient management selection across the community of learners. The VP was personalized through the use of video and images, and Articulate Storyline provided a learning framework to capture optional patient management pathways. Data capture is taken from learner tracking within the VP including their engagement and responses, qualitative data captured from learner feedback about the VP in a DF, and module questionnaires. If the VP is successful, it is an approach that could be applied to multiple online learning contexts.
Cotton, D. (2009). “Revolution and second best solutions: education for sustainable development in higher education”, Studies in Higher Education, 34 (7) p713-733.
National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death. (2008) For better or worse? A review of the care of patients who died within 30 days of receiving systemic anti-cancer therapy. London: NCEPOD
Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Morris, R. (2003) A Guide to Curricular Integration. Indianapolis : Education Resources Information Centre.
Salmon, G. (2011). E-moderating: The key to teaching and learning online (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.
Schon, D. (1991). The Reflective Practitioner : How professionals think in action. London : Maurice Temple Smith.
The Independent Cancer Task Force (2015) Five Year Forward View; Available at https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/5yfv-web.pdf Accessed 19/3/2017