Moving to Online Learning: The Impact on Our Training Courses

The Impact of Online Learning on our Training Courses

By Avindri Chandraharan, University of Warwick

 

Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the training of healthcare professionals across the UK, critical for their Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Despite having to halt our in-person conferences and study days, we recognised the necessity of continuing to deliver valuable training and clinical education for healthcare professionals within maternity services.

In light of the Government’s COVID-19 guidance, we decided to adapt the format of our course delivery and implement online learning across all training courses. While we were initially uncertain of the effectiveness of online training, our course feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with delegates pleased with the quality of their online education and empowered to improve their clinical practice.

 

What the delegates thought:

Quality of Education

  • Across 9 of our online training courses, 91% of delegates rated the overall quality of education offered as either ‘very good’ or excellent’.

The diagram above shows a comparison of the average quality of education scores pre-pandemic and post-pandemic, ranging from 0 (Poor) to 4 (Excellent).

Broadly, the results demonstrate the consistency of quality of education ratings, despite moving to an online platform during the pandemic.

 Influence to Practice

  • Across 9 of our online training courses, 87% of delegates said they intended to modify their practice as a result of the course
  • The percentage of delegates who intended to modify their practice in a major way was greatest for Advanced CTG Masterclass (61%), Human Factors (59%) and CTG Masterclass (54%)

Similarly, the diagram above shows a comparison of the average influence to practice scores pre-pandemic and post-pandemic, ranging from 0 (Ineffective) to 4 (Very Effective).

Comparable to the quality of education ratings, the influence to practice ratings have also been largely consistent across both pre-pandemic and post-pandemic training courses.

 

What the comments showed:

Delegates were pleased with their online experience:

Several of the delegates who had attended the Advanced CTG Masterclass pre-pandemic felt that the online format was more effective for their learning:

  • ‘Having attended the masterclass previously in Birmingham, I didn’t think that it being on zoom would be as good as in person training… I actually felt it was better’ (Advanced CTG Masterclass)
  • ‘I have been to the 1-day masterclass before and didn’t think it would be as effective online. However, I think it’s better’ (Advanced CTG Masterclass)

Delegates enjoyed the interactivity of the online format:

  • ‘It was great to have the QR codes and the breakout rooms to keep us engaged and participating.’ (Advanced CTG Masterclass)
  • ‘Loved the breakout rooms it was really different’ (Advanced CTG Masterclass)
  • ‘everything was excellent very well prepared for online learning with videos and simulations’ (Childbirth Emergencies in the Community)

Some delegates preferred the format of online learning:

  • ‘I think the online format also worked very well, and I think this probably made it more accessible and interactive than a classroom session would have been’ (Advanced CTG Masterclass)
  • ‘It’s difficult to put your hand up and ask a question from the back of the lecture hall, much easier to type it into a chat box or ask at home on the laptop!’ (Advanced CTG Masterclass)
  • ‘I was able to make better notes and thought the interaction was better than it would be in a venue’ (Advanced CTG Masterclass)
  • ‘I somehow felt more personal and being comfortable in my own environment enabled me to take more in with a higher level of understanding.’ (Advanced CTG Masterclass)

 

What this means for online delivery

Evidently, online learning did not diminish the quality of education provided, with high satisfaction rates across all of our online courses. While lacking the face-to-face interactions of our pre-pandemic study days, online training remained interactive and engaging, aided by breakout room discussions and delegates feeling more willing to ask questions on the online platform.

Additionally, online learning remained consistently effective in motivating delegates to make changes to their practice, suggesting that the impact of training courses have not diminished since moving to an online platform. Overall, the feedback is greatly positive and, while we are awaiting the return of face-to-face delivery, we are delighted with the impact of our online training and the accessibility it has enabled, in spite of the unprecedented challenge of this past year.

 


We’re still offering online courses! To have a look or to book, please go to our courses page.

 

 

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