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E-learning strategies


We are trying to develop a 5 year e-learning strategy, as are all NHS bodies since we are required to do so by the end of this year. Has anyone got examples of such strategies or maybe suggestions as to what we should cover in a strategy? You might know of weblinks with examples of e-learning strategies.
Susan Taylor

9 Responses

  1. How long is a piece of string?
    Hello, Susan,

    That’s a great question to get the debate raging. It’s a shame that there is no magic wand that can be waved to give you the answer you need. I think the lack of replies posted here is some pointer towards that.
    An e-learning strategy is something that will vary depending upon whom you speak to.
    I may be able to help point you in the right direction as I specialise as an independent Learning Strategist. Drop me an e-mail if you’d like to find out more. I’m on: [email protected]

    Good luck, anyway.

    David O’Neill
    Independent Learning Strategist.

  2. E-learning Strategies
    David is quite right. There is still not a lot of case study evidence out there and certainly not for a five year plan.

    Having run e-learning workshops that involved NHS Trust members, I know that there are particular issues surrounding the accessibility of the training, both in terms of time and physical location. The “traditional” models of e-learning may at first, not seem that relevant in an NHS environment and it was only when we broadened the discussions and thought “outside of the box” that workable strategies emerged. They didn’t look like many of the strategies being adopted in other sectors, but were definitely much more applicable.

    The key for me is to ensure that the strategy is closely aligned to the business/operational needs of your NHS Trust. As needs will change over 5 years, it needs to be a flexible strategy. Sometimes we visualise too big a picture when it comes to e-learning strategies. In reality, I would prefer to start small and highly focussed and let user-demand lead the ongoing development of the initiative.

  3. Recipe for Success
    Hi Susan,

    Organisations need to develop innovative recipes for success involving new concepts and ideas surrounding how to combine and re-combine the core ingredients that will be most successful not only for the individuals, but for the organisation too.

    Technology has undoubtedly revolutionised business and organisations, now it is going headlong into revolutionising education.
    The mission for E-Learning Managers is to provide and supply the workforce with up-to-date cost effective ‘needs driven know-how on demand’ that yields motivated, skilled and loyal knowledge workers.

    High pressure naturalistic decision-making settings are the norm where information is inadequate, time is of the essence and change constant.
    In the NHS and similar environments, skilled decision makers are experts who recognise patterns and run rapid mental simulations to test alternatives and make judgements.
    People become experts through the experience of successfully confronting difficult situations.

    In essence skilled problem solvers and decision makers are themselves scientists and experimenters. They are actively searching for and using stories and analogues, personal as well as borrowed from others, to learn about important causal factors.

    Organisational knowledge creation occurs in a spiral, moving between tacit and explicit knowledge. Starting at the individual level and moving up through expanding communities of interaction that cross sectional, departmental, divisional, and organisational boundaries.

    The way forward with learning, is not to look ahead, but look around. In looking to share information and knowledge we must not separate it from context – from the details and subtleties of how people communicate; how they learn; how they use and understand both what they know and the information they have; how they use the tools they have; how knowledge moves across regions; and how relationships between people and organisations work and don’t work.

    Disregard for the realities of how people interact individually and together with information and knowledge explains why most organisational learning initiatives have fallen flat.

    Training that is devoid of personalisation means that it is viewed as a ‘cost’ not an ‘investment’.

    One of the first hurdles to overcome is the seemingly institutionalised belief that any form of E-Learning/knowledge exchange is prohibitively expensive. It isn’t. It costs a lot less than you could ever imagine.
    Cost is an important area within the NHS.

    I have worked on projects for the Scottish National Heritage and am currently setting up a pilot within an NHS trust.
    I have some Documentation on the strategy used if you want to contact me Id be happy to forward them to you.

    01344 428910
    [email protected]

  4. Successful E-Learning Strategy
    Hi Susan

    We have 12 NHS Trusts and growing as clients of our e-learning courses. I would be pleased to send you a document/s of our e-learning strategy or answer any questions you may have. Just give me a contact.
    01458 254444 [email protected]

  5. E-learning strategies
    Dear Susan,

    I am currently providing advice and assistance to a number of NHS Trusts as they prepare their organisational e-Learning strategies. This typically involves a great deal of detailed work. In broad terms I would suggest you:

    -Analyse the threats and opportunities acting as drivers for the introduction of e-Learning.

    -Establish objectives for change in the way that learning is developed, delivered and managed.

    -Review the alternative ways of accomplishing the objectives, including different combinations of e-Learning and traditional methods.

    -Detail your proposed solution, including:

    • the subject matter, skills or competencies to be addressed
    • the audience(s) for the e-Learning
    • the nature or style of the e-Learning solution
    • how e-Learning will blend with traditional methods
    • the hardware and software infrastructure required to support the solution
    • how e-Learning content will be resourced

    -Prepare an implementation plan, including tasks, deadlines, responsibilities and costs.

    Of course, all this is simple to say, but much harder to achieve. If you would like some practical assistance then please feel free to get in touch with me via:

    [email protected]

    Tel. +44 (0)24 7641 1288

    Best wishes

    Yours sincerely

  6. A blended solution at UHL
    Dear Susan,

    I am working with the Autologous Blood Transfusion Working Group at University Hospitals Leicester, and a similar group in the Trent Region. The goal is to assess and train online nurses, ODPs and perfusionists in alternatives to blood transfusion. We have a pilot programme ready to go this month which we feel is a template for elearning production throughout the NHS. Our work will be published in the September issue of “Blood Matters” issued by the National Blood Service. I can send you a copy of the article written by me and the consultants involved. Please contact me on [email protected].

    Some of the the pillars on which the course has been built are these:

    1. Harness the NHS’s internal human resources – subject matter experts, IM@T management, trainers to design and develop in-house training programmes. We have used the best eLearning development tool around that does not require users to be programmers.
    2. Unite the development team in a collaborative virtual workspace to ensure the expertise is logged inside the NHS and made available to other eLearning projects.
    3. Use powerful assessment software for pre and post course assessment and later fitness to practice, to certify that practitioners really are competent (the course subject matter demands high standards of safety).

    Naturally we would like to roll out this idea after the pilot – in the NHS and elsewhere, so are treading carefully regarding the detail. Nevertheless, I’d be delighted to give you more information, if you thin, as we do, that the strategy has merit.

    Laurence S. Wilson
    eLearning Consultant
    [email protected]

  7. If the strategy is right, the rest falls into place
    It is great to see someone putting strategy definition before technology purchase. More often, it’s the other way around, with sad consequences. Align your learning strategy with your vision and the overall business strategy of the organization. E-anything changes as you watch it, so the “solution” that you implement will change dramatically over the next 5 years. That is why you have to get your vision right, and build a strategy that will stay true to that vision, no matter how the deployment technologies mutate. Accept that five years from now nobody will use the “e” prefix any more because the Internet will be as assimilated into the way we do things as electricity is today.

    If you think of yourself as a provider of learning services to learners, you will be on safe ground. Where once you defined your core competencies as those processes that you do well, wired businesses increasingly define their core competencies by the value that they add to their customers’ processes. What value will your services add to a learner’s learning processes?

    Describe the nature of the learning service you want to deliver, from the perspective and objectives of a learner. That will help you define the management structure and systems you will need. Be open to demolishing preconceptions – look at all of the build, buy, or outsource options open to you. Accept that the Web is about connecting people with each other, and aim for communication-rich, populated, dynamically evolving environments, rather than the sterile pre-coded machine-driven “courses” that typified early e-learning thinking.

    Godfrey Parkin
    [email protected]

  8. E-learning startegy
    HI Susan

    Noted the excellent comments stimulated by your question. Just to confirm that the three North West NHS Workforce Development Confederations are developing a common e-learning strategy, which we anticipate will be adopted by our local trusts. I am acting as the project manager for this development.

    The strategy is at 1st complete draft stage and we are currently refining it before consultation with stakeholders etc.

    You should be aware that given the specific issues facing the NHS and the emergence of the NHS University in 2003, further guidance is expected about the elements that need to be included in any proposed strategy.

    I would be interested to hear more about your programme and can be contacted via email


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