Is a CD-ROM computer assisted learning package (CAL) a viable and acceptable method of providing a training package in a community setting?

Is a CD-ROM computer assisted learning package (CAL) a viable and

acceptable method of providing a training package in a community setting?

S. Hughes

Consultant, Centre for Contraception and Sexual Health, Nottingham, UK

Introduction: E-learning is increasingly becoming adopted as an

essential part of training and education for healthcare professionals.

E-learning can take many forms including CD-ROM, the internet, intranets,

interactive computer/TV etc. The use of a CD-ROM overcomes current limitations

in intranet delivered package and offers increased flexibility for the user.

They have been proved to be an acceptable and valuable method of providing

undergraduate medical education but there is less evidence from postgraduate

education and in particular multidisciplinary training. This training package

was developed for doctors and nurses working in a community contraception and

sexual health service.

Methodology: A CD ROM CAL package was developed for nurses and doctors

who were going to provide chlamydia screening in a community setting. The

package included background information, rationale for screening programme,

practicalities of providing screening, self assessment quiz, mock video

consultations and useful documents and website links. It was developed and then

piloted by experts in GUM, C&SH and existing staff to examine usability,

accuracy etc. Amendments were made and it was distributed to 42 doctors and

nurses. It was then evaluated using a semi-structured questionnaire. This

examined 4 main areas. Baseline information about individuals including previous

GUM training and knowledge in relative to chlamydia screening, computer use, use

of package and finally whether they would like further packages.

Results: 26 out of 42 returned evaluation forms. There was a lower

reply from nurses and those who worked the least hours in the department. There

was a variable level of existing knowledge and confidence in dealing with

chlamydia screening in the community. Computer usage and skills were generally

moderate to low with 19 never training used a CAL package previously. Despite

this, the majority (21) had no problem using the package and rated it very high

in relation to ease of use and use as an educational resource. After using the

package there was general trend for users to rate their knowledge and confidence

of chlamydia screening higher than prior to users of the package. And finally,

all users stated they would recommend to a colleague and would use further


Conclusion: Community based doctors and nurses in our setting had

little experience of using CAL packages. Despite this they found it a high

acceptable way of receiving a training package wanted further training packages.

The small pilot has led to the development of IUD/IUS training and updating

package which be distributed and evaluated to 16,000 nurses and doctors working

in the community and Primary care.

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