Entries by Monique Cuvelier

Ways to Increase E-learning Participation

While there’s no quick fix for making sure your community health workers are engaged with your program, you can increase the odds by taking these steps.

Beginning any new training program can be an exercise in anxiety. Testing, piloting and review are essential steps that lead to a more successful training program, but the true test of the effectiveness of a program is when your community health workers succeed on the job.

Strategies for engagement vary widely, depending on the course and who’s taking it. And there’s no one way to make sure that your participants are actively involved. However, there are a few guidelines you can follow that will help make your CHW training stick.

Ask early and often what participants think.

A survey at the end of the course is good. Asking your health workers throughout the course how the material relates to their work is even better. Learners will often forget details by the end of a course.

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Why Should You Choose E-Learning for CHWs?

When I reflect on our most successful online training projects for health employees, I see patterns. The same reasons for shifting from live training to e-learning appear again and again. I’ve never formally made a list, but it turns out someone else has.

In the 2013-14 Towards Maturity Benchmark report based on their annual benchmarking survey, the “key business drivers for implementation of learning technologies” line up almost exactly with the reasons for moving from a strictly in-person way of training health staff such as CHWs to setting up an online program. Every place that live trainings fail is addressed with the items below.

If you need a good reason for investing in computer-based training to share with your employees or fellow administrators, here are 10 of them.

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7 Supereffective Ways To Respond To Every Healthcare Learner

Offer a better online training experience for health staff by adapting to the needs of each learner. Here’s how.

It’s a common misconception that each online course is the same as the one before it. Courses are made up of people, and everyone is different. This is especially true for community health workers, who may be skilled or unskilled, experienced or new, expert English speakers or expert in another language. Your training program and your facilitator must be adaptable to each training session if you want to keep such a diverse group of people engaged. These are seven common hurdles in online training programs and some easy solutions.

1. Pepper your material and discussions with knowledge-checks

Frequent knowledge-checks, which are much shorter than quizzes, can help keep learners engaged and also help them determine if they understand the material or not. These are most useful with dense material. E-learning tools you can use are polls, questions on the discussion board  or even a question on one page followed by the answer on the next.

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Washington helps hundreds of community health workers begin new careers

Washington’s Office of Healthy Communities offers an innovative online training program for a new breed of workers that could help define the future of healthcare.

June 17, 2014 08:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

WOBURN, MA–The Office of Healthy Communities already works with community members by funding programs that improve health, such as cancer screenings and help with substance abuse. Now the Washington Department of Health agency is offering an ambitious program to train hundreds of health workers to work closely with populations that need extra help–and save hospitals money along the way.

Its Community Health Worker Training program (http://www.doh.wa.gov/chwts) gives new or experienced community health workers the skills they need to go into neighborhoods and help people receive better healthcare. The program trains approximately 500 people a year with a flexible training program that combines traditional on-site sessions with a progressive online learning management system.

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7 Resources That Will Improve Your Training Program's Accessibility

CHWTraining’s courses are always built for standards in accessibility, but the reason we take the extra care and precautions isn’t necessarily clear to everyone. The following resources will help program directors understand what’s so important about making courses available to everyone, along with some tips to improve what you offer.

Access E-Learning

Access E-Learning is a free online tutorial from the Georgia Tech Research on Accessible Distance Education (GRADE) project at Georgia Tech. The tutorial is comprised of 10 modules that offer information, instructional techniques, and practice labs on how to make the most common needs in distance education accessible for individuals with disabilities, and enhance the usability of online materials for all students. View Access E-Learning >>

Resources for Accessible eLearning for People Who are Blind

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The 10 Biggest Fears Your CHW Staff Has About E-learning (And How To Overcome Them)

Acceptance, adjustment, and setting expectations are critical to overcoming obstacles with training your community health worker staff online.

Fear of elearning

Fear of online courses might not be as severe as fear of flying or public speaking, but for many people it’s right up there. After more than a decade in bringing computer-based training to new learners, however, we’ve learned how to conquer anyone’s phobia. Here are the top 10 fears we hear and how you can address them as you bring online learning to your team.

1. I don’t understand technology!

Taking a class online is much less challenging than most people realize. Most health workers can do basic tasks such as checking their e-mail, posting to their Facebook accounts, or typing a document on a computer. With that kind of ability, they won’t have any trouble with an online course.

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Case Study: CHW Success with Blended Learning

The Office of Healthy Communities at the Washington Department of Health’s high aspirations: train 500 health workers per year.

In the fall of 2012, the Office of Healthy Communities at the Washington Department of Health began an enormous task. The aim was to build a program that would be able to train 500 community health workers (CHWs) around the state. Participants would be able to apply new skills while they were working and without major disruption to their jobs.

Two years on, the program has become a resounding success.

Washington stands out from other CHW training programs in both its capacity to train workers and also in its catalog of courses, which features a cornerstone core skills program and also several skill-building courses in disease prevention and screening. The blended learning program is comprised of both in-person sessions and online lessons. Together, the program saves money and appeals to the state’s wide population of health workers.

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Assess These 3 Important Areas of a Health Worker Training Program

A needs analysis, or assessment, is an important first step in creating a health worker online training initiative. Establishing what stakeholders need from a program, and what your trainees need to learn, will help you create a program that has a greater chance of success.

But too many people either skip the step of creating a needs assessment, or they make mistakes. If a training needs assessment is messy, it could set the tone for your entire program, and could leave unsatisfied health workers or wasted funds.

One common mistake is looking too narrowly at your organization when documenting needs. For example, some administrators know they need to address a knowledge gap because of new cancer screening guidelines. But they forget to consider if their in-person training staff is qualified to handle online discussions. They assume that uploading a PDF toolkit to a website will be enough to everyone. Looking at only one piece of the puzzle will solve exactly one piece.

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Avoid These CHW Training Program Bad Habits

Boring training

Healthcare organizations spend millions on training community health worker staff online, and, frankly, much of that is wasted. The reason is that too many administrators wrongly assume that by simply rolling out a program, it will be successful.

Below are some bad habits I’ve seen many times in health worker training programs, and some suggestions for making your computer-based staff training more effective.

Focus on fundamentals.

One bad habit is habitually offering training that is too advanced. A small challenge can be a motivator, but material that is too advanced will make employees disengage. The fix is to focus first on fundamental skills (e.g., documentation skills, communication techniques) before moving on. Make sure your whole team follows the same basics–even if it seems elementary to some–and establish a baseline. Then build from there depending on your organizational function.

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Training Points You Should Be Evaluating

Checklist

Successful healthcare employee training programs are those that are tracked and evaluated. Most organizations know that, but they often fail at the very beginning to look at the individual pieces of the whole program. Being too general with evaluation will mean you miss out on important data that you can use immediately to improve your efforts.

Some areas you can measure before you begin, some while a course is in process, and others as part of a longer effort. Look at the individual parts of your program, give your evaluation some context, and you’ll be able to have a clearer idea of what’s working–and what isn’t.

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