Superb results generated by NHS e-Tutor training programme

Superb results generated by NHS e-Tutor training programme

To date this innovative blended learning programme provided by The Training Foundation has achieved a completion rate of 93.8% and average learner satisfaction ratings of 5.95 out of a maximum score of 6.

Although there are few statistics on e-learning usage, those numbers that do exist have previously tended to be dismal. According to a Corporate University Xchange study of 4,148 online learners, e-learning dropout rates typically stand at about 70 percent compared with an average of 15 percent for classroom training.

In July 2002 the NHSIA announced that it was registering 200 NHS trainers onto places on e-tutoring skills courses operated by The Training Foundation.

At the time, Diane Benjamin, Programme Manager for the NHS Information Authority commented: "The NHS in England is committed to a major basic IT skills development programme for some 700,000 staff over the next 5 years. We anticipate that the majority will choose to study via e-Learning approaches, so it's vital that we put in place effective learner support to assist staff, many of whom will be studying online for the first time."

This customised blended programme developed for the NHSIA by The Training Foundation commences with a one day classroom course called the e-Tutor Programme Startup day. The subsequent learning experience takes place online with a high level of remote Tutor support and peer-to-peer interaction.

Les Hobbs, e-Learning Director for The Training Foundation commented: "We have been operating e-Tutor training programmes for almost four years now and have generated a great deal of specialist expertise in the process. We always need to lead the way in terms of best practice and have invested a great deal of time and effort to ensure that learners enrolled our courses become rapidly engaged and committed to the learning process."

Carol Hulm, ECDL Service Manager and Project Manager for the NHSIA explained how the trainee e-Tutors have responded: "From the outset the feedback we received from learners has been excellent. In fact, we were so impressed that we enrolled a further 50 trainees just prior to Christmas 2002."

"Since the inception of the project 91 learners have completed the programme in 17 groups and have qualified as e-Tutors", Hulm continued. "97 learners started the programme, so that makes the current overall completion rate to date 93.8%. The 6 learners who haven't passed have either withdrawn for health reasons, pressure of work or still have to complete one or more course assignments. Training Foundation's e-Tutors are continuing to provide support to a group of two people to help them complete the programme successfully. "

Les Hobbs singles out the programme e-Tutors for praise. "The NHS e-Tutor Programme is already a success in the eyes of the delegates, and we continue to look for ways to improve on that success for the NHS. There's a great team of people behind the scenes who are working to deliver programme excellence at all stages of the NHS e-Tutor Programme, but don't necessarily always get a mention in the feedback forms!"

Carol Hulm agrees: "Being a blended programme has certainly shown benefits in terms of completion and satisfaction rates. The added complexity of running a programme with both face-to-face and on-line components has been handled well by a lot of unsung heroes behind the scenes as well as the Startup Day trainers and the e-Tutors."