e-Forms is a digital data capture system; essentially an electronic form generator. E-forms are not a new or complex technology but when fully integrated into end-to-end processes for student support, teaching and learning, it becomes a disruptive innovation and major agent for change. Here we look at the design, implementation and impact of e-forms within undergraduate medicine as delivered across the University, NHS teaching hospitals and GP practices. Introducing e-forms has redefined practices in teaching, learning, management and administration, leading to improvement in both the quality of services to staff and students and in the overall efficiency of programme delivery. It has also improved the student learning experience.
The session relates to collaborative use across institutions and scaling up of innovation. The e-forms application discussed is not specific to the programme context in which it was first developed and can serve a wide range of educational areas. In addition, the processes described are technology-neutral and are applicable to most data capturing technologies. The session will include: a presentation of the e-forms application design concepts, its use in revising how teaching and learning are delivered, impact analysis findings and a demonstration of an e-forms based process.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
The session is based on experience of designing, developing and implementing e-forms as part of an endeavour to provide an integrated suite of services supporting undergraduate medical education. The need for an e-forms service arose from clinical skills assessment in the workplace for which students had to carry around quantities of paper forms, despite being issued with iPads. It then rapidly spread to use in feedback and evaluation, assessment and administration processes. There were three key features which gave rise to the e-forms application’s immediate adoption and rapid spread. The first was its ability to operate offline and complete submission when Wi-Fi became available; the second was its facility for transfer of the data collected in e-forms to the local student records and administration system or to other tools for analysis; and the third was its ease of use for the design and distribution of e-forms.
The e-forms service has now replaced the need for paper forms in many settings, reducing man-hours spent on paper handling, improving data security and cutting costs in paper, photocopying, transport and scanning. Initially, the e-forms replaced like-for-like paper forms but now provide a basis for planning new forms-based actions in teaching and learning, such as logbooks with associated dashboards for both staff and students. In addition to logging learning activities in a more effective way, students now receive feedback from placements and assessments that is: legible (unlike the hand written notes often received on paper forms), collectable (for example, in their e-portfolios), transferable and a suitable basis for planning workplace learning. e-Forms have enabled real-time monitoring of placement performance from student evaluations, allowing changes to be made within the academic year. Students can see the effects of their evaluation and are therefore more inclined to give constructive and honest feedback.
We will share the design and development approach for the e-forms service and the methods and outcomes of impact analyses carried out during the past three years of use. The integration of the e-forms application with the student record and portfolio system has created a knowledgebase of teaching, learning and programme delivery. The knowledgebase is completed by data warehouse and dashboard tools. We will present the ways in which data gathered from forms are being used for operational and learning analytics.
Nguyen, L., Barton, S.M. and Nguyen, L.T., 2015. iPads in higher education—Hype and hope. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(1), pp.190-203.
Mooney, J.S., Cappelli, T., Byrne-Davis, L. and Lumsden, C.J., 2014. How we developed eForms: an electronic form and data capture tool to support assessment in mobile medical education. Medical teacher, 36(12), pp.1032-1037.
Souleles, N. and Pillar, C., 2015, June. Implementing iPads as Personal Learning Devices: Making the paperless MBA possible. In iPads in Higher Education: Proceedings from the 1st International Conference on the use of iPads in Higher Education (pp. 179-200). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.