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E-Learning Has Vital Role in NHS Training

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E-learning is playing an invaluable role in the NHS, but is not a stand-alone solution, the health service's director of education, development and training, Dr Philip Candy, has said.

Speaking at the Health e-Learning event earlier this month, Dr Candy said: "It's a no-brainer that e-learning must be part of a blended training solution because there are hardly any jobs within the NHS that won't be technically augmented at some stage in the future."

Dr Candy is responsible for overseeing the largest e-learning project in Europe: the NHS Connecting for Health ECDL programme, which provides basic PC skills training for over 200,000 users across the health service. He highlighted many advantages of e-learning over conventional classroom training, citing the benefit of empowering users to learn at their own pace; the removal of restrictions on trainer and learner time, and e-learning’s ability to cope with the sheer number and geographic spread of learners while meeting requirements for training compatibility and quality assurance.

“From the learner point of view, e-learning gives access, confidence and relevant material, tailored to work patterns and lifestyle,” he added. “We must also remember that the expectations of next generation learners differ sharply from those from previous generations. E-learning can meet their specific demands.”

He warned, however, against the use of e-learning alone, giving support to the view that blended, rather than stand-alone e-learning, is the way forward.

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