Thursday, July 25, 2024

How formal e-learning can be improved within the National Health Service (NHS) trust

This blog post highlights the challenges faced by all these stakeholders and hopefully better inform e-learning practices for medical students within the NHS trust.

By Liz Azyan , in Interviews , at May 18, 2010 Tags: , , ,

This blog post is sponsored by Semantix Ltd.

I’ve recently talked to many medical professionals, learners and communicators within the NHS trust. They all have expressed their views and problems with the current e-learning software and IT infrastructure. This blog post highlights the challenges faced by all these stakeholders and hopefully better inform e-learning practices for medical students within the NHS trust.

Formal e-learning

Recommendations and views of Medical Professionals

  • “It should be interesting, essentially needs to be delivered in a format that is fast and efficient. Compliance point of view there’s not point in doing e-learning because it becomes an activity tick box. Needs to be an enjoyable activity so that people want to do it and not have to do it.”
  • “Trainees spend a lot of time on the ward and we want them to concentrate on the clinical training. If they have a podcast they can go back and learn at home. This will be the student aspect of their learning. Do on their own initiative.”
  • “Exam preparation – curricular criteria? Exams and courses are clinically oriented, we need to redo, reinventing something that is already there. Portal into what is available not recreating the wheel.”
  • “When you go to a particular website, the homepage turns me on or off, should be interesting and capture you and should indexed. If you need to click 6 times to get there, you’ll never get there. “
  • “There needs to be a single route into e-learning instead of multiple systems because it’s difficult to get into. Website is unfriendly, uninviting and uninformative.”
  • “The issue the mandatory training is a big chore to go through and people find ways to cheat the system, have two windows at the same time, one is the assessment window and the other is the test window…”
  • “The medical schools are very clear and when students come out, they expect the same standard. It’s a showcase for us and most trainees do their homework and if you don’t have an interesting website, they won’t be go there. It needs to be a platform for all new types of learning, podcasts and etc.”
  • “Subscribe to 123Doc, revision for exams. More and more they are going multimedia, they are a lot more interactive than it used to be. So it needs to be fast and efficient.”
  • “The mandatory training is targeted at the entire Trust, there is no training to the people. It needs to appropriate to you.”
  • “Because some of the team is not in the trust it doesn’t allow continuity.”
  • “Would we need something there to sell the Trust to demonstrate its learning possibilities. We should show how the rooms look like, kitchen and how the living area looks like.”


  • “Software’s that have been deleted is the 360 degrees virtual tour needs to be reinstated.”


  • “The current website is restricted in its capability, others are selling a lot of stuff that we are doing which makes it look like a PCT are using. Its innovation latest technology and clinical stuff is what attracts people. It also needs to be location based.
  • “You need resources to create it and capability. Think outside the box, there are 2 other universities here that need to learn how to use these technologies and tap into their resources. Its work experience for them, the best way of learning is to actually do the job.”
  • “In terms of websites, less is more. The website has become a dumping ground. We don’t separate between marketing and functions for staff and users. We need a proper marketing front end to it. Front end must be for both patients and trainees.”
  • “Information is a huge site but the information does is not updated. Hoping this project can go hand in hand with the whole redesign of the website.”

Recommendations and views by ‘Learners’

  • At the moment we are using BMJ learning house modules, which we print out the certificate.”
  • “Using the pass text, you pay. You hope that everything that you learn from that can fit into the pass text.”
  • “The internet access is so bad. You can’t use the wireless and mobile broadband access too, limiting the e-learning access.”
  • “Its so painful because once you try to go to the next page, you’ve been idle for so long because you’ve been logged out.”
  • “We’d like to see a tool that is web-based, and type a quick question with an x-ray. It needs a vehicle that can build e-learning and share teaching resources. Easy to access, easy to remember.”
  • “Questions should be tagged to see which department it is relevant to for level of content, speciality, user and subject.”
  • At the moment we are using Stratogy, which is very expensive and the London Deanery pays for it. We also use “Pass Medicine for examination, which is also a paid site.”
  • “You can access from outside but you have to register but you must put your leaving date.”
  • “We don’t have a computer centre, the one that are available doesn’t have access to the clout/e-learning.”
  • “If you have a slide and upload and share it online. So a protected network is needed to protect the content. The lectures at Kings College need to email to administrator and they upload it. Sometimes they just don’t bother because it’s too much hassle.  And administrator ends up with a bunch of slides.”
  • “It has to be user-friendly, it needs to be nice and simple. You don’t want everyone controlling. Put ratings on content.”
  • “We also` learn managerial e-learning such as child protection, health and safety, blood transfusion, complaining. There is no structure to it; they don’t follow on from one to another. We try to get through them ASAP.”


  • “The disadvantages of the managerial e-learning modules are it’s for everybody from care assistant to doctors and level of knowledge is different.”
  • “We need reliable internet access. We use the other room but its temperamental.”
  • “Needs to be a short because doctors don’t have time. 2 min case studies. 18 – 20 mins max is what education shows.”
  • “Should be accessible from within the trust, boards, library, and accommodation.”
  • “E-learning is quite useful is the Synaps website which is available for all London Deanery trainees. It’s informal. The benefits, the e-learning things should be credible and up-to-date. That credibility must come form seniority. You cant based your practice on people who are not experienced. Must be from seniors. ”
  • “Some questions are difficult, some you are only going to right if you read the material. The Trust knows its rubbish and they’re redesigning.”
  • “Regarding the e-learning for health, we haven’t used it, though we did get email about it (junior doctors). It is not for all colleges yet, loads for anaesthetics etc. Very vigorous process modules.”
  • “There are issues with mandatory learning to be accessible anywhere because some things need to stay within work hours.”
  • “Most interesting audits are usually published and all been peer reviewed so you can trust it. We have a lot of formal resources that are dependable.  You just have to look at the ward to see its not working.”
  • “Online lecture notes, 3rd year Kings College Virtual campus. They don’t mark it, but they’ve got the capacity to do so. No one bothers to see if anyone does it. You just put anything in the text box and it will come up with an answer.”
  • “They do setup face-to-face with the tutor to discuss the e-learning module together. However it depends on tutor on effectiveness of e-learning once its printed out.”
  • “Bigger issues when it comes the trust should be department specific and should be commission lead.”

Recommendations and views of ‘Communicators’

  • “Its boring, exactly the same since I started here. The fire learning module, I know all the answers.”
  • “It’s easy to use and has relevant modules for doctors but only use it only from home. “
  • “In regards to Kings Virtual Campus, my students have never complained apart form it being a bit slow on the trust computers. I think things are going well because students are usually the first to complain.”
  • “Its Trust Wide, same software, very depressing.”
  • “I use Its independent from the NHS. I also use the BMJ, which is easy to use and covers a whole range of topics.”
  • “After you qualify, you pass, there are other e-learning sites such as, On examination, Pastest and Pass Medicine. The content is sufficient.”
  • ”In terms of accessibility, provision sites you have to pay. I haven’t but I might do when I get there. Its £80 for a few months for the provisions and £2000 for 1 exam. There should be a Trust Wide subscription.”
  • “First time you learn, but then after you don’t. But what you do on your site, it doesn’t cover that. You don’t learn where you have to physically.”
  • “It helped with exams but not planning to use again.”
  • “I was from Kings and its got everything, its good and sufficient. It was very useful.”
  • “You can open the learning module alongside the exam.”
  • “We were told to setup a virtual campus for us but I don’t see the point really because its already out there.”
  • “We weren’t given time to do them, we do it in our own time.”
  • “If we were given time in the trust, then you’d probably go through it all. But if you’re at home, you through it quickly not really wanting to learn.”
  • “Some of the questions were quite silly, make it more interactive and relevant to what you’re doing.”

Hope this was useful!!