The development of a digital blended learning system for delivery of health education and research during a pandemic in LMICs.

05 May 2022
Respiratory conditions
  • COVID-19
Type of resource
Malaga 2022
Rupert Jones, Plymouth Marjon University
Clinical Research Results Abstract Research Idea Abstract Service Development & Evaluation Abstract Aim: To design a digital learning and data system for use in remote global settings and test its capabilities in delivering education, evaluating outcomes in real time and in data collection for research. Context: In LMICs, traditional face-to-face teaching by experts is expensive, slow and has limited reach. The pandemic has increased the need for rapid, high-quality education but impaired its delivery. Training needs were assessed by multilevel stakeholder engagement in several countries. Change/intervention: Digital systems offer high-quality remote, scalable and sustainable education, but are limited by poor IT hardware, electricity and internet access and lack of IT skills. TeachBox was designed in an emergency medicine programme in 3 remote/humanitarian sites teaching 422 clinicians in Uganda. It has 4 components:‘Teach’ – application containing all the trainers need to deliver and evaluate teaching in a classroom setting.‘Learn’ – mobile phone application with resources such as guidelines to support learners.‘Portal ‘– website that displays real time data including the number and location of courses, the learners and education evaluation and feedback.‘Data’ – allows researchers to gather data, such as surveys, interviews and videos, to aid outcome assessment or unrelated research. The system was used to deliver a:Neonatal life support teaching in remote clinics in Cambodia. 16 trainers have successfully delivered courses for over one year, raising standards. (“Teach’)Clean air programme to 765 healthcare workers in Kenya Government’s Universal Health Care programme. (‘Learn’)WHO burns survey in Cameroon (‘Data’)Survey to assess impact of Clean Air programmes in Kenya. (‘Data’) Impact of changes: Process, satisfaction and educational outcomes have been recorded and displayed in real time. The system has proved robust, feasible and practicable. Lessons learnt: Blended learning systems designed and tested in Africa have potential for healthcare education delivery and will be assessed in 5 African countries. Declaration of Interest Emergency medicine training was supported by ENABEL the Belgian Government Development AgencyNeonatal Life support training University of Plymouth GCRF funding. Kenya and Cameroon projects were part of Clean Air Africa Programme which is supported by National Institute for Health Research in UKNo external funding for the development of TeachBox. References and Clinical Trial Registry Information