Using ICT to Learn at Work: An Evaluation of a Pilot Professional Development System for Health Care Professionals

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5 Sub-theme: Health // In South Africa, the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and STIs (2007-2011) was presented in 2007. It is essential to implement this plan to address the Millenium Development Goals and to halt and reverse the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in South Africa. This task is made difficult by severe shortages of Health Care Professionals (with estimates of over 30% of nursing posts being vacant). In addition, skills development for HCPs has been made a government priority, but time and logistical issues often make this difficult for HCPs. Mindset Health uses ICTs to reach this diverse and widely spread population with HIV and AIDS educational content and the potential for up-skilling. // Mindset Network is an NPO which creates open digital educational content that is aligned to national policies. The digital format of this content includes interactive lessons, video and print and is made freely available via satellite technology. A recent development is the initiation of an innovative professional development component to the content in order to enable HCPs to up-skill using this appropriate technology located on site. The Centre for Rural Health (CRH) argues that most nurses cite the lack of opportunity for further education and training as the main reason they leave their place of employment. They require access to information via various sources, including computers, the internet and satellite technology. The Mindset Health project enables the HCP to be assessed and potentially accredited on the content wherever they are located. This presentation provides a discussion on the merits and necessity of providing on-the-job training using national accreditation structures, the process of implementing this project, and the results of an initial evaluation of the project. // Paper ID 87

South Africa