Flat e-learning has dominated the market for some time because it is cheap to make and doesn’t require a huge amount of skill. This often involves a large chunk of text which may or may not be accompanied by a video and/or pictures of some description. The problem with this mode of delivery is that it also fails to engage learners and therefore these programmes have high attrition and poor recall of content.
Our e-learning includes interactive elements which enable learners to explore and discover, replicating a form of learning known as “experiential learning”. This trial and error approach to gaining new knowledge allows students to contextualise learning which in turn, forms stronger scaffolding for them to build on. But, most importantly, it is a fun way to learn that keeps students engaged and focussed on what they are learning.
THE USE OF ENGLISH
Many of the nurses, midwives and institutions that we have worked with have told us that they would like to improve their English language skills so that they are better equipped to take advantage of healthcare literature and learning resources, which are both predominantly available in English.
The English provision in the Global Classroom is divided into two main courses, General English and Medical English, with each of these strands containing different levels which will broadly equate to the Common European Language Framework. The level of our learners is predominantly around the A2/B1 level and so the materials focus at this level. The content of both courses is driven primarily by pragmatics; what English will be of most use to our learners.
Our modules are broken down into ten smaller units and each unit takes around 20 minutes to complete. This is because we know that this is the average amount of time that a learner can spend processing new information as well as recognising that our learners also have busy clinical work to undertake. The first five units are considered core units which are suitable for all learners. Units 6 - 10 are considered specialist units which are designed to be more complex for those working in more senior positions.
We know that most people will learn more and retain information effectively when they are learning in a group. This presents a problem when it comes to e-learning, which by its very nature is a solo activity. The Global Classroom addresses this issue by drip-feeding content and encouraging learners to interact with one another. Units are released weekly so that enrolled learners will progress together whilst allowing a degree of control over the speed at which they do so. Each unit also has areas for comments and discussion points so that learners can talk to each other, learn from each and feel less isolated.
We recognize that learners may be limited in terms of the time they can spend on the course, as well as by the technologies available to them, therefore the curriculum is integrated. This means that is doesn’t treat subjects such as grammar and listening as separate entities, but combines them, and uses subject-related content to develop learners’ English skills, meaning that they are learning about nursing and midwifery at the same time as developing their English skills, thereby doubling the value.