Strand 9: Service user and carer engagement
Accessible digital learning opportunities have increased dramatically in recent years through the pervasive use of mobile and smart technologies. This has in part contributed to the increasing expectations of students undertaking courses through Higher Education Institutes (HEI). In order to demonstrate quality of learning and value for money, HEIs in the UK will be measured against a range of metrics outlined by the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). These institutions therefore need to address the wider factors that impact on the learner's experience over and above the high quality digital learning opportunities freely available. Communities of practice, interactivity and personalised learning are all essential for a rich learning experience. In addition to the introduction of the TEF and recent changes to undergraduate healthcare education funding (HM treasury, 2015), the provision of post graduate (PG) healthcare education in the UK has also been impacted by funding constraints (Ham, 2014, Ham et al, 2016). One consequence of this is the need for HEIs to provide affordable, high quality, accessible healthcare education that does not require clinical staff to be absent from the workplace.
In response to market demands, much PG healthcare education provision at Sheffield Hallam University has been redesigned to be delivered purely online either instead of, or alongside, traditional classroom-based teaching. A significant challenge of this format in healthcare education is identifying ways of still enabling practical clinical skill development in conjunction with peer supported classroom-based discussions and the sharing of experiences.
Many solutions available for the provision of online resources and the means of bringing theoretical classroom teaching to online students; the logistics of delivering meaningful practical clinical skills teaching online is demanding. Many current forms of webinar and lecture capture assume a relatively static approach to delivery. However, when demonstrating and facilitating the learning of safe effective practical clinical skills online it is essential that the means of capture is foremost mobile and flexible, but also fit for purpose to meet the needs of individuals studying at a distance.