Online learning is spreading far and wide like wildfire and enabling aspiring students and professionals to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to start their careers and achieve success in the future. Today, online education has entered the sphere of healthcare with the aim of expanding learning opportunities to aspiring healthcare professionals. But can it actually help you or are the challenges too great? Take a look….
Benefits of learning healthcare online
One of the biggest benefits that online healthcare courses offer to students as well as organisation is flexibility. As there are no fixed or scheduled sessions, students can easily choose to study and gain work experience simultaneously. This means organisations can effectively train their staffs to learn additional and new skills without affecting productivity. It also helps to make education more accessible and widely available, even to students in the most remote parts. Moreover, online courses are more affordable and require less time investment than traditional programmes.
Emily Newlands, Development and support manager at National Skills Academy for Health, said “E-learning can be cost effective, time efficient and a flexible way to access training. In a sector like the health sector where people can be quickly pulled away it is something you can dip out of and go back to- you aren’t locked into a classroom. ”
Are there any limitations?
Despite it’s benefits, online education can merely provide basic information regarding some important topics to healthcare professionals. It is unable to provide deeper knowledge by enabling learners to discuss with each other and discover hidden aspects of the subject matter. Although eLearning now focuses on diversity training, still it cannot allow learners to explore a topic in an interactive way by helping individuals to work with their internal communication and accomplish true change. It is for this reason online education should never be considered as a complete training solution.
Dr Dirk Pilat, Medical director for e-learning at Royal College of Gps, said “There is ongoing duplication of resources right across the sector, with varying educational institutions creating similar content which results in reduced take up. There is definitely a need for an intelligent meta-site which accumulates all available resources.”
Challenges in implementing online learning
It is a fact that there are several challenges that both students and organisation will have to face while using eLearning resources for training and gaining new skills. Some of the common challenges that you might encounter while studying an online course in healthcare include improper time schedules, staff not getting engaged, not choosing the right course, lack of an effective roll out plan.
Tracy Smith of Healthcare Financial Management Association said “Having someone to take ownership of e-learning within each organisation is a challenge in itself. Then identifying who would benefit from what training and allowing time to complete the training becomes a secondary challenge.”
However, there are many ways for individuals and organisations to overcome these challenges and implement online education successfully.
Bryan Kessie, head of technical development at Skills for Health, said “Organisations need champions and to make sure the messages get through to staff. Once staff see the point of doing the learning and see what good quality e-learning looks like many of the barriers are overcome.”
Here is an exclusive interview of Bryan Kessie. Lets have a look at it.
TrainingZone interviews: Skills for Health’s Bryan Kessie http://t.co/AwpUvPNagb
— Phillip Morgan (@e_businesschool) September 7, 2015
What are your thoughts on online healthcare education? Feel free to add your views and opinions below.