The ICPCN’s e-learning site has undergone an exciting ‘face lift’ that has served to transform the site and present a more contemporary look and feel. The new Fordson theme upgrade simplifies the loging in process and offers participants a professional user friendly learning platform. The dashboard feature is a new addition that allows participants to navigate their way around the site with ease and track individual progress at a glance. These are some of the initial changes and a few more minor improvements are in progress on the back end, aimed at optimising administration of the e-learning platform, and we hope that there will not be too many teething problems!. In addition courses will be accessible via the Moodle app for use on tablets and mobile phones. All in all the ICPCN e-learning platform has grown considerably since it was first conceived over eight years ago.
In 2011, ICPCN conducted an assessment that identified the need for an e-learning platform so as to make education in CPC available, affordable and appropriate to the setting. By March 2012, ICPCN had successfully developed, launched and evaluated an e-learning pilot study with 186 individuals gaining access to the pilot course. Recommendations for the expansion of the pilot were made and the platform was subsequently developed. In 2013 a new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) replaced the original ‘Articulate’ software program with the new VLE using a ‘Moodle’ platform which allowed learners to register for training using their email address, name and country of work and receive a unique ID which was used for subsequent log ins.
Since the ICPCN pilot study, nearly 4,000 individuals have accessed a range of children’s palliative care courses via the e-learning platform. Participants may choose from various topics, namely:
- Introduction to Children’s Palliative care ;
- Pain assessment and management for children;
- Communicating with children and emotional issues;
- Child development and play;
- End of life care;
- Grief and bereavement;
- Perinatal Palliative care and most recently,
- Symptoms other than Pain
Forty-eight courses are currently accessible in nine languages; all eight courses are available in English, seven courses in French, Portuguese and Czech, five courses in Spanish, four courses in Russian and Mandarin, three courses in Dutch, two courses in Serbian and one Vietnamese course has recently been added. The majority of the courses are available for free and are endorsed by the University of South Wales.
With the e-learning platform rapidly evolving to meet the global need, courses in new languages are constantly being identified including Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Farsi, Malay and Hebrew. In addition, new courses have been developed with an Introduction to Research among course topics soon to be made accessible. We are also looking at developing new content for the courses including videos etc.
ICPCN’s e-learning platform would not have reached the level of success it has without the support of a small core group of professional volunteers who form our E-learning Support Team (ELST). These CPC volunteers provide invaluable assistance particularly with translation of text and grading of non-English assignments. We are grateful to these professionals who, despite busy clinical schedules, remain dedicated to the promotion and development of children’s palliative care in their region. We are keen to develop this team further and aim to identify and link key groups of professionals, in various regions, to reputable clinical placement sites for CPC. The idea around clinical placement sites would be to provide learners with a clinical base to expand theoretical skills acquired during the on line courses and develop/foster clinical skills in a credible and supervised setting. If you are keen to join the ELST, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
With education recognised as an essential component in the development of children’s palliative care globally, ICPCN has a key role to play in providing high-quality children’s palliative care education appropriate for both higher and lower resourced countries. Hence the ICPCN e-learning platform offers health workers an opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge, shift old patterns and cultivate new attitudes in relation to the care of all children living with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families.
We encourage everyone to experience the new improved e-learning platform by using the following link: www.elearnicpcn.org
Education Officer, ICPCN