Keeping training materials interactive and engaging has always been important, however trying to maintain those valuable components of face-to-face education while teaching online is a key challenge.  In response, this March ASHM formed the Course Conversion Working Group (CCWG) to review, analyse and adapt course content, compare and select an online training platform and develop procedures and resources to guarantee an optimal learner experience.

This working group has been meeting every week, joined by a representative from each content area, our IT team, our communications team, and our course support team. We have many achievements over the past nine months – these are a few of them.

The CCWG conducted considerable testing to determine the most appropriate process for each step of online course delivery. We developed a step-by-step Zoom procedures document and delivered an internal training session to upskill ASHM staff and ensure that all ASHM Project Officers would deliver courses smoothly. On top of this, we also created course conversion quality improvement templates such as:

  • Online program template
  • Curriculum design process (eLearning)
  • Confirmation email template with Zoom instructions
  • Calendar invite placeholder template

 

The CCWG also developed participant and facilitator guidelines (both a video tutorial and written instructions) which are provided prior to each course. As a result, ASHM staff were well prepared to move their courses online, ensuring ASHM courses maintained their consistent high quality, while participants were able to access these courses with confidence. 

 

Through our understanding of adult learning principles, the CCWG recognised the importance of catering for different learning styles. As online courses often involve multiple steps, often across more than one online platform (including the ASHM learning management system, SurveyMonkey and Zoom), we determined that learners may benefit from a visual journey map. These “pathways to course completion” clearly indicate using graphics, icons, and a flow chart style approach which steps should be completed in what order.

 

This approach provides an additional benefit by reinforcing the need for pre- and post-course survey completion, to ensure we are accurately capturing learners’ baseline and post-course knowledge for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

Feedback on the online courses to date has been overwhelmingly positive, with participants commenting on the high-quality content and format, user-friendly experience and responsive support. Moving to an online format has provided participants increased accessibility and flexibility, particularly at a time when the health workforce has reduced capacity and competing demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

ASHM has embraced e-learning in 2020. The experience of converting courses to an online format has bred innovation, and surprisingly a sense of connection, within the organisation as well as externally through cross-pollination of ideas, partnerships and engagement with people and organisations to share experiences and learn with each other. ASHM see the future of education as an exciting opportunity to ingrate e-learning with face-to-face learning that is tailored to the participant, where and when they need it.

 

Written by:

Sabdy Ma, Project Officer, Sexual Health, ASHM

Olivia Dawson, Senior Project Officer, Hepatitis C, ASHM

Phoebe Schroder, Senior Project Officer, Hepatitis C, ASHM

Shelley Kerr, Hepatitis C Program Manager, ASHM