Mobile learning for the NHS- lessons for all

by | May 30, 2011 | Articles

In the 2011 Towards Maturity Benchmark Study we are for the first time including an investigation on the challenges and benefits of mobile learning in supporting workplace performance.  We would love to know your views and invite you to participate!

In the meantime, we were really pleased to see this research study looking at the potential benefits of mobile learning to meet the needs and preferences of the healthcare workforcereleased from one of our founding Ambassadors, Epic.

http://www.epic.co.uk/assets/files/Mobile_learning_NHS_Research_Report.pdf

This study was commissioned by the NHS South Central it provides many useful pointers for anyone looking to use mobile technology to support learning. E-learning is widely used within healthcare but this report looks at how they might address the needs of staff without computer access. We’d thoroughly recommend it as it draws on desk research and focusses on the views of potential learners (practitioners and managers within health
The research study investigated three key areas:
1. Mobile learning and success for the learner – benefits and how and why mobile learning can contribute to statutory and mandatory training and assessment
2. Mobile learning and technology – what devises are currently in use, how can the integrate with existing infrastructure?
3. Mobile learning readiness for the organisation

Note: For the purposes of this research study, mobile learning and assessment is defined as any training done on a device that is handheld, and so is portable and can be easily carried for long periods of time while undertaking work.

Some observations from participants in this study include:

Potential benefits:

  • Convenience of learning location and timelyness)
  • Reassurance- timely access to the right information
  • Relevance – taking place in the work setting
  • Control of learning
  • Speedy access
  • Confidence – supporting decision making
  • Choice

Concerns  and challenges

  • Reluctance to accept mobile learning ( although desk research highlighted less of an issue once devises had been used for some weeks).
  • Transfer of poor perception of e-learnng to mobile learning.
  • Concerns that moblile will be used for everything – all or nothing panic!
  • Preference of laptop vs mobile – Despite more than 75% of practitioners being positive about the benefits of mobile devices for learning for all kinds of reasons only 25% opted for a mobile device over a laptop or a PC when explicitly asked which they would prefer to learn on (main concerns screen size and security).
  • Only 44% felt proficiant enought to  use mobile without training
  • The ablility to operate one handed!
  • The importance of device agnosticism
  • Contribution of mobile technology to learning

Contribution to learning

The study identified a number of contributions that mobile can make to learning:

Learning:

  • Reading ( words and pictures)
  • Watching  – video
  • Listening – podcast or animations
  • Working through decision trees
  • Integrated with clinical practice – gathering patient data at the bedside

Assessment:

  • Intelligent pre assessment
  • Multichoice
  • Chosing correct photograph
  • Rating own skills and commenting on output
  • Collecting photographic video evidence

The report identified that moving forward it was important to consider:

  • Strategy – collaborative stakeholder strategy
  • Audience – in this case they recommended trials with clinical mobile staff first
  • Piloting  for co-design and securing buy in.

For more information on the Epic study, click here

To take part in the TM 2011 Benchmark go to www.towardsmaturity.org/2011benchmark

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