News story

Engaging eLearning has an impact at Addaction

London, UKLearning NewsCharity Learning Consortium

Boring eLearning gets a bad reputation – but it doesn’t have to be that way! The L&D team at Addaction created an engaging eLearning Infection Control module which had a far reaching effect within the organisation. Judges were impressed with the impact the tailor-made course had on staff, and it won the Best eLearning Programme in the Charity Learning Awards 2013.

Pictured are Martin Baker, CEO and founder, the Charity Learning Consortium, with Velda Barnes, Head of L&D, Addaction
Pictured are Martin Baker, CEO and founder, the Charity Learning Consortium, with Velda Barnes, Head of L&D, Addaction 

Addaction’s vision is to be recognised as an excellent treatment service provider, so good clinical governance lies at the heart of how it delivers services. To support this vision, a bespoke Infection Control eLearning module was needed. The aim was to increase knowledge and confidence amongst staff in how to prevent, control and minimise the risk of infection. Purchasing a licence for a standard Infection Control module would have cost almost £60,000 – more than Addaction’s entire annual budget for eLearning! So they decided to create a bespoke model themselves...

The module summarises and clarifies a range of different (and often confusing) organisational and government policies. The greatest challenge was to provide learners with clinically accurate but clear, relevant information. The L&D team worked alongside Addaction’s Lead Nurse to develop content. They also put together an advisory panel of staff to review the module before its launch. Addaction’s in-house eLearning developer then created a tailor-made course. This approach worked so well, producing a high quality end module, that it’s now being applied to future projects.

As well as including case studies, the eLearning module has several interactive elements. Pass codes are revealed, to reinforce learning and enhance motivation. Learners can then print off a certificate of learning following an end assessment, with a minimum pass mark of 80%.

An accompanying Infection Control Resource Pack, also housed on the Charity Learning Consortium’s Moodle LMS, was produced - containing relevant Addaction policies and government legislation. To ensure that everything ran smoothly, an eLearning Support service was also set-up to deal with any queries.

Reactions to the module have been very positive. One eLearner commented: “I found the module beneficial and worthwhile, I enjoyed the scenarios.” Most importantly, an evaluative survey found that since completing the module, 85% of learners felt more confident, willing and able to take action - or advise others - in the event of an infection control concern.

As a result, eLearning is becoming embedded into working practices at Addaction, and managers are recognising the value of modules for personal and professional development, and write completion targets into annual staff development plans. Moodle custom activity reports help them monitor staff engagement.

Velda Barnes, Head of L&D at Addaction commented: “We are very proud to have had our work on this module recognised through a Charity Learning Award. It shows how collaboration and creative design can overcome the challenges of limited resources and have a real impact on working practices.”

Velda Barnes, Head of L&D, Addaction, gives her top tips for creating in-house eLearning:

  • Really get to grips with your course content: if you don’t fully understand the topic you’re presenting you can’t expect your learners to.
  • Conceptually and intuitively understand how people learn: acknowledge that your learners have individual learning requirements.
  • Listen to feedback and act on it: recognising and identifying your learners’ needs and concerns helps shape future developments and improve experiences.
  • Remain on the lookout for inspiring design ideas: we collected a variety of interesting colour palettes, illustrations and collages that we then compiled into a creative library to draw ideas from.  From this collection we were inspired to create several key design elements, including our distinctive ‘germ characters’.
  • Utilise online eLearning resources including communities, forums and blogs to connect with others, share experiences and further understanding around eLearning as a whole. By taking advantage of these resources we were able to quickly resolve a complicated animation issue. As we use Captivate and Flash software, we find the Adobe forums particularly useful.