How Does the Aged Care Industry React and Adapt to Online Learning?
There is no denying the aged care industry experienced turbulence during the pandemic. That experience has changed the way the industry operates and adapts to new technologies.
In 2020, the total number of workers in Australian residential aged care was 277,671. In this context, it’s a monumental task for each aged care facilities provider to deliver an effective compliance training programme, especially when that programme must adapt to ever-changing regulations. Furthermore, the number of volunteers providing support in these facilities was 11,980 per fortnight in 2020 – almost half of the number in 2016. This decrease is likely a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and it created a significant impact on staff. Healthcare workers were overworked, lacked learning and development time, and were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of learning materials and tasks.
Fortunately, an effective online learning platform can help with many of the administrative and compliance struggles most organisations face. From compliance online training for Aged Care staff to individual learning and development - a good learning management system can help create a better experience for both learners and staff.
We asked the attendees at the Aged Care Workforce Leaders Forum’s roundtable workshop about the experience they’ve had so far with eLearning adaption within their workplace.In this article, we’ve broken down the good, the bad, and the ‘could be better’ of the experiences they had.
The Best eLearning Experiences of Aged Care Leaders
Quick Adaption to Virtual Training
When the pandemic hit Australia, everyone had to adapt fast. The aged care industry was no different. Many of the aged care leaders at the Aged Care Workforce Leaders Forum noted that they were very impressed at how quickly they could adapt their way of training into a virtual space. This ranged from creating an online community, to creating rapid courses or simple online webinars. They found that the door was opened to new opportunities to connect with their colleagues from other states and share knowledge and skills in real-time.
This virtual training also had the advantage of feeling authentic, as the team were able to share and tell stories openly regardless of where they were in the organisation.
Assessment That Truly Reflects the Learning
Many aged care leaders also mentioned how they were especially impressed with how course creation and assessment truly reflect the knowledge and how courses are delivered. They like that many LMS platforms allow you to turn off the multiple choice options and instead focus on creating an assessment that truly reflects learner understanding.
Recognition of Existing Knowledge for Annual Compliance Training
Many aged care organisations are acknowledging the existing knowledge and skills of their workers via preassessment. This allows learnersto advance through important courses without needing to retake topics they already understand. This concept is similar to the well-known ‘recognition of prior learning’ adopted largely by educational institutions wherein learner skills honed from performing tasks in real-life scenarios are acknowledged and factored in. Using a system that allows the organisation's trainers to record and track learner credentials and accomplishments helps ensure the quality compliance training they need.
The Not-So-Great eLearning Experiences of Aged Care Leaders
Time and resources are the two biggest challenges that aged care operators and workers face. Many aged care leaders suggested that ‘time poor’ was a daily complaint: there are just simply too many tasks to do in a day for aged care workers, especially with current pandemic-related staff shortages. Adding in the pressure of staying compliant alongside additional learning and development programs can be very overwhelming.
Aged care leaders also admit that they struggle to find effective ways to keep learners motivated. Thankfully, the right systems and content can transform engagement, by, for example, regularly reminding learners of why it’s important to remain compliant. Training is ultimately there to make workers' lives easier and to continue educating everyone within the organisation with a unified message.
Lacking an Effective Way to Track and Record the Learning Journey
Time is of the essence - especially in the aged care industry. Many people put L&D sessions aside and many might be learning them using a microlearning formats. These short format learning styles can be more challenging to track, however. Workers get paid for time spent learning but without the right systems in place, it can be difficult for admins to understand who has completed the courses.
Elearning in Aged Care - How a Learning Management System Can Support Your Ongoing Training Needs
Since the pandemic started, eLearning has swept into a large number of aged care facilities worldwide. This approach can be used for all forms of ongoing learning and compliance training. It has proven an important tool for ensuring new regulations are followed, easing the onboarding of staff and residents, and assisting with important quality of life factors such as helping residents stay in touch with family.It’s also apparent that the key to a successful healthcare eLearning program is to choose a learning management system (LMS) that is customisable and securely supported. Only by having robust platforms in place ahead of a crisis can aged care teams create learning ecosystems that engage while being both measurable and appropriately compact.
What’s Your Story?
Are you facing similar challenges to these?
Connect with us or ask for a demo today and see how Open LMS helps organisations within the aged care industry operate a successful training transformation.