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Technology enhanced learning

The technology enhanced learning (TEL) Programme was established in 2013 with the vision that healthcare in the UK be underpinned by world-class education and training that is enhanced through innovation and the use of existing and emergent technologies and techniques.

TEL uses technology as part of the learning process. That use needs to be effective and appropriate in order to enhance the learning of healthcare professionals for the benefit of patients.

There is clear evidence that innovative educational technologies provide opportunities for health and social care students, trainees and educators to acquire, develop and maintain the essential knowledge, skills, values and behaviours needed for safe, effective patient care. Such technologies include m-learning (mobile learning), e-learning, simulation, virtual and augmented reality technologies and many more.

We have developed clear commissioning guidelines, available to download below, to inform all future TEL commissioning decisions. This will help reduce duplication, offer greater value for money, will enhance innovation and will drive up quality.

The programme has a wide remit and has number of ongoing projects and areas of work.

Our horizon scanning activity helps us to identify and learn about emerging technologies that will be useful for healthcare education in the future.

We are keen to share information about emerging technologies and inform others on how to prepare for them. We regularly scan for new and emerging technologies that may add value and/or improve the education we provide to healthcare professionals today and in the future. We do this with the support of a wide number of professionals from within and outside the NHS.

As part of this work, we discuss the likely impact of new technologies and explore what the future of technology enhanced learning in healthcare might be like.

We have run workshop activities, both online and face to face, to help generate creative ideas about the future of TEL in healthcare. Our ‘future view personas’ were created by clinicians, industry experts and “healthtech” entrepreneurs to help us envision how healthcare workers might be using technology to learn in 2021.

This project enjoys collaboration with a diverse range of professionals, organisations and networks to make it work. Our simple horizon scanning process is being trialled, with the support of a growing futures community. Our latest scanning activity comprises technologies from Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality and more.

We all know there are challenges and obstacles that can prevent healthcare professionals and students from accessing technological resources, devices and applications.

We are working to promote the reduction and removal of those barriers in the NHS to promote the easy, equitable, cost effective and innovative use of learning technologies and techniques.

We have identified good practice solutions to barriers to accessing learning with case studies to resolve wi-fi, bandwidth, information governance issues and more.

This follows research led by the University of Dundee, JISC, the TEL team, expert groups and other partners. It is divided into three main themes around the barriers and solutions:

    Human behaviours and attitudes around digital literacy
    Technical factors
    Collaboration and information exchange

Working with partners, we are leading a programme to improve the consistency, quality and cost-effectiveness of statutory and mandatory e-learning training for all NHS staff, and to look at options to create a single transferable approach to e-induction.

We recognise that while some elements of statutory, mandatory and induction training can be standardised and may be addressed via e-learning, other elements vary locally. We also recognise that many organisations have a view about what constitutes core learning for healthcare staff. To address this, HEE has set up a Steering Group, co-chaired by Professor Simon Gregory, Geography Director of Education and Quality, Midlands and East, and Alan Ryan, Interim Director of National Programmes and National Programme Director for e-Learning for Healthcare, supported by representatives from HEE Quality Framework, Postgraduate Deans, Senior Managers Forum, NHS Litigation Authority, NHS Improvement, NHS Employers, HR Directors and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) leads from various HEE local teams.

The first phase of the programme involves the development of high quality, national e-learning training modules for the 10 core statutory and mandatory topics defined in the UK Core Skills Training Framework. This will include reviewing and updating the existing high quality packages and developing new training materials where necessary.

The second phase of the programme will review current approaches to junior doctors’ e-induction training and seek to improve its consistency, quality and cost-effectiveness. In the longer term, we hope to utilise learning from this work to consider how it can be applied to other professions within the NHS. Further information about this second phase of the programme will be communicated over the coming months.

If you have any questions about the work of the TEL Programme please email tel@hee.nhs.uk, or on Twitter:

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