Health Education England West Midlands
Bringing vital medical training to a virtual online environment
The Postgraduate Virtual Learning Environment (PGVLE) is an NHS England WTE initiative to facilitate the delivery of educational programmes in a virtual environment. It was started in the Midlands by HEEWM in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver a virtual teaching programme to surgical trainees. Using a Moodle Platform, PGVLE is delivered through BigBlueButton, an integrated virtual classroom and is currently moving into its fourth year with over 10,000 users registered on the platform.
HEE West Midlands
COVID disrupted the delivery of face-to-face teaching sessions which are a mandatory part of postgraduate clinical training. With the UK in lockdown, everything around how training was delivered was rapidly changing. HEE needed a quick and effective LMS solution to keep up the mandatory training for staff.
HEE was looking for an ideal LMS platform so that they could seamlessly shift their mandatory training from the physical classroom environment to a virtual online classroom environment. HEE required a hosted solution that was secure and robust enough to ensure the training could be completed without disruption – an anytime, anywhere, any device solution was required.
Moreover, the platform also had to be able to host high-quality content that would be shared across large geographical areas.
In addition to delivering the mandatory teaching material, HEE also needed a means by which administration could be carried out easily (feedback forms and attendance registration). In short, the LMS solution not only had to make the learners’ lives easier through accessibility but also ensure that HEE faculty and teachers wouldn’t have additional administrative burdens regarding providing consistent user management.
After a rigorous selection process, HEE chose Hubken to deliver its LMS project. HEE felt comfortable that Hubken had the expertise, the ideal hosted environment, and the best support package to deliver this important project.
The HEE team understood that its new LMS platform needed to grow in an organic way and Hubken would facilitate this in a manner that was aligned with HEE’s immediate and future learning needs.
Moodle was chosen as the LMS that best met HEE’s needs, integrated with BigBlueButton to provide the perfect online classroom environment. Designed for online education, Moodle and BigBlueButton provided the right level of engagement tools and analytics for HEE to interact with students remotely.
This online learning environment also allows HEE to not only provide an effective and consistent delivery of course material but also effectively manage the course material and other learning resources. This in turn provides HEE with a standardised framework within which to facilitate all its learning. This framework ensures that the teaching doesn’t ever fragment into multiple pockets of disjointed learning but also allows for a very flexible administration of the system because the scope of HEE’s learning activity is very broad.
The other advantage to the Moodle solution that Hubken delivered is that standardisation around the course material allows quality assurance to be easily evaluated and maintained, even as the number of users rapidly expands.
The transition to online web-based delivery of teaching has been so successful, that even post-COVID as the restrictions of face-to-face training have been lifted, PGVLE training is continuing to be delivered via the LMS platform, in large part because of the overwhelming convenience of virtual learning to its trainees.
Not only has a standard of educational delivery been maintained, but over the past 3 years an increasing number of different clinical programmes have been migrating their teaching programmes to the Moodle platform. At present, most clinical schools are represented on the LMS, significantly growing the initial user base of 100 to over 11,000.
- 11,000 (Current number of active users)
- 15,000 (Capacity for new users to the system)
- 91% (rated the administration and delivery of teaching sessions as excellent or very good)
In addition, a major benefit for teachers and programme directors has been a significant reduction of administration time due to the automation of many previously manual routine tasks.
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