I have worked in medical education for 10 years now as education advisor to our clinical training director (an amazing emergency medicine specialist who has a natural gift for teaching…we have grown together in the job, supporting one another in our roles managing the junior doctor education program at our hospital. Having a background in education and a Masters in Education Technology I was continually searching for ways to provide online support to our juniors’ training program. This was a challenge at first..
In 2009 I implemented Moodle LMS to support their training. I moved all the mandatory training modules onto the LMS, to free up our intern orientation week, I added orientation resources for each department rotation and then recorded the weekly education sessions so that they were available online. This led to developing other education modules around topics of relevance.
Access to computers was difficult so other delivery methods were investigated.
In 2011, final year medical students (n=30) who were about to commence work at Toowoomba Hospital were invited to complete an online survey regarding their mobile learning habits :
- use of digital technology to access information and learning
- type of mobile devices used
- usefulness of mobile learning resources to support their training and likelihood of future access
Survey results confirmed a high percentage of mobile access to digital content via smartphones. 100% indicated they would like resources to be distributed in this format.
A mobile learning initiative was established to transform the delivery of information to support junior doctors in decision making at point of care. With the transformation of delivery comes transformation of content design. Information presented needed to gain attention quickly, and focus on specific relevant knowledge required at point of access for the current workplace or learning need.
The following resources were developed for mobile distribution :
- ABF guide and clinical documentation
- Managing Diabetes in the Ward
- Blood Gas Interpretation
- Ward Call guidelines
Mobile technologies have opened up new ways of thinking about delivering content and meeting the needs and expectations of a more connected generation of learners.
The next phase was adopting the flipped classroom model for their formal education program. Creating preparation modules for the weekly education sessions. Interactive content was created to engage the user in decision making processes. This was then followed by an interactive classroom discussion around relevant case scenarios.
This flipped model was also utilised with the re-design of the Teaching on the Run Program for the clinical teachers at the hospital. The six 3 hours workshops where reformatted into 6 online preparation modules followed by shorter interactive workshops. This approach was well received by both participants and facilitators of the program.