What Is Online Training?
Some people refer to it as e-learning, distance learning or computer-based training. Regardless of what you call it, online training is a type of learning system whose nature involves the dissemination of information taking place via an internet-enabled device. Multimedia elements such as web links, video, audio, images, etc. which are used in place of activities/materials present in classroom-based traditional learning.
Education/how we study and learning, in general, has been transformed by the digital revolution as well as the innovation of various technologies. Previously, where going to class was once king, that is no longer the case anymore as education has moved from blackboards and desks to the screens of our devices. Online learning is an excellent addition to classroom-based teaching as it provides unparalleled access to education regardless of the time of day. Thanks to online learning, learners can now get access to learning materials and tools that were initially unavailable once a leaner left the vicinity of the classroom.
Online Training in The Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry has also not been left behind by the wave as medical practitioners have also jumped onto the online training modern trend. The seriousness of the healthcare industry demands that healthcare practitioners are efficient and effective in their roles. Part of being effective is ensuring that they are up to date with what is happening in the industry be it the introduction of new healthcare rules and regulations, clinical trials, medicine, disease, etc. Everyone involved in the healthcare industry from doctors, nurses and healthcare administrators are tasked with taking care of patients, and the best way that they can provide the much-needed care is by being knowledgeable. Online training offers them the opportunity to do so without withdrawing from patients. Some of the most popular online courses available through Serene Media are as follows:
Advantages of Online Training for Healthcare Practitioners
The move from classroom-based education to online has brought with it advantages everyone and not just healthcare practitioners. Below are some of the advantages associated with this shift in learning trends.
- Efficiency and convenience: One of the biggest benefits that online training/ learning in the healthcare industry has facilitated for is the ability to take a course and study from wherever the learner is on whatever device they own. Because online training is available 24/7, practitioners can work at their convenience choosing to study at whatever pace suits them. A leaner can repeat, skip, pause and continue with the different modules whenever they feel like it. This is a win-win scenario because healthcare practitioners can continue to give care while developing their skill and increasing their knowledge. However, since the interaction between leaners ad classrooms has reduced, there has been a lot of scepticism about online learning due to the misconception that online learning takes away elements of learning such as class discussions, the interaction between the tutor and the learners as well as quizzes and exams. However contrary to what people believe, online training is just as effective as classroom-based learning because most learning platforms offer quizzes at the end of modules, audios, text, discussion boards, and even workbooks. This way learners can come together to discuss emerging topics and share ideas concerning the various ongoing discussions.
- Cost-effective learning: Traditionally, classroom-based learning has always been expensive. Doctors, for example, will spend thousands of dollars on medical school and even more should they decide to specialize in their field of interest. The expensive nature of traditional learning in the healthcare industry can be attributed to the need to pay for classroom space, pay for the trainers’ fees and learning materials. There is also the reduction in output that will arise when healthcare practitioners needed to take time off so they could attend classroom-based training. The evolution of online training has resulted in a massive reduction of expenses involved both for the practitioners and institutions simply because students can access the training and materials anywhere where there is a working internet connection. The output in healthcare institutions also goes unaffected as patients continued to be cared for while healthcare practitioners can study while they are on a break or have the day off. Since it is available and accessible to most, online training has levelled the playing field for learners in the healthcare industry. Learners who previously faced barriers of entry because their origin now has a fair and equal chance to grow increase their knowledge by enrolling for training courses available to professionals in first world countries.
- Learning occurs in real time: As a time-sensitive and serious industry, the healthcare industry heavily relies on the availability of information so to enable it to function effortlessly. Health practitioners busy as they are, are always required to be well informed and updated. Online training, as well as advances in technology, facilitates the seamless transfer of information as there are multiple databases that healthcare workers can reference. The training lessons/coursework on online learning platforms are usually up to date unlike traditionally where leaners would have to wait for the new edition of a book to expand their knowledge. Finding information on online training systems/platforms is quite easy as most of the platforms have internal search engines that learners can use to find the information that they are searching for. Leaning platforms are equally just as helpful to healthcare institutions because employers can keep track of their employees learning progress if the training course is mandatory. Learners can also use the platform as a feedback mechanism on the efficacy of the training offered by the employer as well to interact and learn from each other as the platform becomes incorporated into their everyday lives. The agility of online training has set a new height for information dissemination, as well as the interactivity between practitioners within the healthcare industry.
- Bespoke learning: Bespoke online training is quickly becoming popular as institutions and practitioners in the healthcare industry quickly realize that they can tailor the coursework/programs to individuals or institution’s needs. With bespoke learning, instead of having to undertake an entire course that could potentially be a waste of your time you can choose to learn about a specific topic only. Institutions in the healthcare industry can have different ongoing and mandatory courses for their employees. Tailor making of courses eliminates extraneous and unwanted content thus cutting down on cost.
- It is favourable for different sorts of learners: Human beings are all different, and the same applies to practitioners in the healthcare systems. Equipped with audio, videos, text and image files online training is designed to cater to the needs of various learners. Some individuals learn better via auditory, visual and many other modes of learning. The different learning materials are great because individuals because better understand and absorb information outside of the limiting confines of a classroom. Since learners can learn at their own pace, it does not matter whether one is a kinesthetic, visual, sensory or auditory learner everyone benefits from the online learning structure because unlike before, as a learner you no longer have to keep up or be slowed down by other students. The role that information plays in the healthcare industry is too huge for any sort of information distortion or inaccuracy to occur. Learners learning at their own pace minimizes the likelihood of such occurrences.
- Easy monitoring and administration of learning: In the healthcare industry, there are many different types of tools and systems designed to help healthcare professionals with the workload that comes with their jobs. The platforms where online training is conducted is an example of a tool that is helpful for both healthcare professionals and the institutions in the industry. If the institution allows it, administrators in the healthcare industry can receive information about their employees learning progress and even test score results where exams are applicable. All this information can be found in a centralized database which will allow for institution administrators to download different kinds of reports, certificates and view course subscriptions. Also, if an institution deems it necessary for its healthcare professionals to receive a refresher course, the hassle of having to arrange for either the trainer or convenient time and space for the refresher course to be undertaken is done away with. This is because the courses are readily available and can be taken in an instant or on a need basis.
- Access to a community: Humans beings are creatures of habit and interaction with other people who share similar interests as yours is something that continues beyond the confines of social media platforms. Online training platforms provide professionals in the healthcare industry yet another platform where they can interact with each other. Thanks to online training ideas, questions and concerns can be shared on the platforms where other professionals in the industry can shed light on certain issues and even offer detailed insights into ideas that other individuals harbours. The healthcare industry is one that is one of the industries that records the most networking meetings and events. Online training only enhances the already existing collaboration in the healthcare industry as it eliminates both social and physical barriers that previously existed.
A report recently released by the world health organization (WHO) indicates that there is a shortfall of healthcare professionals required to safeguard adequate global health. This report suggests that 7.2 million more individuals need the training to reduce the gap between the existing and the ideal number of healthcare professionals. This means that more individuals require training. Online training is an efficient and effective way that will bring the healthcare industry a step closer to being able to fill this gap. This is because the development and evolution of learning technologies ensure that learning materials are more accessible to people and the quality of education is not compromised.
While there are still quite a good number of people that will always prefer face to face classroom-based type of learning, online training is arguably taking over as the new learning model if the number of courses and masterclasses regularly being availed is anything to go by. In our opinion, the advantages of online training in the healthcare industry outweigh the disadvantages thus making online training something that most institutions and individuals should consider if they haven’t already. Some of the disadvantages that can be linked with online training include:
- The reduction of face to face interaction which particularly in the healthcare industry can be extremely crucial. Face to face interaction for healthcare practitioners is extraordinarily impactful, and it would be foolish to disregard the level of impact.
- Online training is also more involving and is very dependent on the learner’s self-discipline. A lack of discipline on the learner’s part can result in them not mastering the content that they set out to learn.
- The rampant increase in the number of online training courses and programs means that there are more and more courses that are coming up that are not accredited and are of a low quality which would be counterproductive for learners.
- The ability to self-direct goes hand in hand with a learner’s self-discipline. If it is nonexistent, chances that a learner who lacks self-direction will interfere with their learning progress is quite high.
While it is impossible to substitute the hands-on practice that is required in the healthcare industry, in comparison to other methods of learning, online training comes a step closer to being able to disseminate the very information taught via lectures in the traditional classroom-based learning model. This is probably because of the models interactive and gamified nature that is capable of holding a learner’s attention. Unlike with classroom lectures where this is a possibility of missing out on vital information just because you took a bathroom break, with online training learners can pause and replay the module to the satisfaction or until they are sure that they have understood its fundamentals.
Online training is also excellent due to its self-guiding nature. Leaners are forced to carve out their learning paths and own their competency development. As opposed to being passive recipients of information, leaners in the healthcare industry can exploit online training platforms and empower themselves to the betterment of the industry. Similarly, institutions can also utilize the platforms potential to build capacity in various industry contexts.