I thought I would start this post with a little background......to give you some context and a way of explaining why I chose my quality issues and subsequently the particular e-learning guidelines.
I work in an environment where the patients are having elective or planned surgery. Usually, the patients are really well, have uneventful procedures and go home quickly to recuperate. Whilst we have a very high standard of nursing care and our nurses almost always get things just right, there are unfortunately occaisions where a problem develops..... as was the case when a patient made a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner about an aspect of care. Such action results in an investigation and the outcome often indicates that a change in practice is desirable or, at least a way of ensuring that the loop is closed for the future. The problem in my scenario related to the ongoing assessment of pressure areas...In general terms, you probably feel the need to wriggle every now and then or your bottom goes numb when you are on the computer too long......it's your body telling you to move.....now, in some circumstances the normal pathways telling you to move aren't working and it's our job to make sure we make you wriggle.....one way or the other!!!
Feedback from the HDC lead us down the path of auditing current practice, recommending some changes, implementing these and here's the biggie....we changed the tool we used to assess pressure areas. We implemented this change mainly by F2F sessions and did really well......however, we are a 24/7 service and there are a number of staff who haven't yet managed to get to a F2F session, and therefore haven't been taught how to use the new tool. So, (and here come the quality issues.....)
1. Is the topic suitable for an e-learning context?
2. Will that learning be applied in a practice environment in order to improve patient pressure area assessments?
We are also at the very beginning of our organisation's journey through the development of e-learning as an additional strategy for offering teaching and learning, so mindful of that, I am looking for a topic rather than a course that will act as the demonstration site for 'showing' how e-learning can be useful for us.......
How the guidelines may help:
3.1 Students/Learning Design SD7
Is there a defined process to follow that identifies the feasibility of and appropriate delivery modes for the course
2.3 Managers/Other support MO1
Can staff and students easily use the learning technologies and online resources
The short answer is 'no'.
So in this case, I would have to say that these guidelines remind me that I should go to the drawing board and look at all of the delivery options available here because whilst I might be a little gung-ho to get going on a project, this could well not be the right one. If I look at the characteristics of my remaining population for example, they are night staff and I would be asking them to use a new technology to learn a new assessment tool. Am I being realistic? There would be little or no helpdesk support over the night time. Is this fair or appropriate....sensible? However, rather than rule the project out at this stage, I also know that night staff have been great early adopters of our on-line library system. The way we rolled this out was by training the trainers....the duty managers learned how and supervised the others overnight.....this could also work here......
Furthermore, I am reminded of previous papers we have accomplished......and the fact that Salmon's (2002) model of on-line learning could be used to address the implementation of the e-version which ensures that the ability to use the technologies is addressed. Certainly, the topic would lend itself well to interactivity (believe me!) and this is supported by Mason and Rennie (2006) who suggest that interactivity has the potential to motivate and engage....the reason I suspect why the on-line library was so well received........
These guidlines are going to be very helpful in actually articulating the process that should/could be followed....as well as indicating the kinds of questions I would like to ask during formative evaluation stages.