PARTICIPATION, LEARNING AND ACCEPTABILITY OF AN HIV SURVEILLANCE E-LEARNING COURSE FOR BUSY HEALTH PROFESSIONALS IN KENYA
E-learning methodology is an increasingly popular mode of in-service training. It provides opportunities to learning especially for those unable to attend classes outside work. Electronic monitoring provides important information on usefulness of this mode of training. An E-learning course on HIV/AIDS surveillance was conducted by ICAP for busy health professionals in Kenya. Here we describe trainee experiences, change in knowledge and confidence in performing HIV surveillance activities.
The surveillance course was conducted from Nairobi with trainees throughout Kenya between January to April 2012. 90-minute lectures were held on Tuesdays and 60-minute discussion sessions on Thursdays. Trainees were expected to participate all sessions in real time or listen to the recordings. Adobe Connect software enabled instructor and trainees’ interaction in real time via internet. A course administrator and IT manager were always present to monitor and respond to issues as they arose. Weekly, as well as pre- and post- course surveys were conducted to assess change in knowledge and perceived confidence in performing surveillance activities, opinions of course usefulness and content, and feasibility of the technology. Attendance and active participation using chat feature were measured.
Twenty five health professionals were enrolled in the course. Of the 23 trainees who attended at least one session, 16 (70%) were male and mean age was 35 (range 25-50). Two (9%) attended all the sessions, 8 (35%) attended >75% of all sessions and 21 (92%) attended >50% sessions. 172/ 230 (75%) trainee lecture sessions used the chat function. Of the 16 who completed the post-course survey, 9 (56%) rated the overall experience as excellent and 7 (44%) as good. 12 (75%) encountered occasional technical problems during the sessions. These included poor sound quality, and time lag between slide and sound. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 5 (best), 15 (93%) of trainees rated their experience with the chat function as 5. 116/176 (66%) trainee lecture sessions were logged in from workplace. 17% trainees, shared computers during sessions. Average attendance was 75% during Tuesday lectures and 68% at Thursday discussion sessions. Attendance of Tuesday lectures steadily dropped from the second week onwards with conflict with work schedule given as commonest reason. Knowledge improved significantly from 17.46 to 27.6 points and confidence in performing surveillance activities from 30.31 to 46.85 between pre- and post-tests. 10/16 (63%) trainees found the course ‘very useful’ and 5/16 (30%) ‘useful’ in their current jobs.
Attendance at the sessions was low. However, participation at lectures attended was excellent and trainees listened to recordings of sessions they had missed. Knowledge and confidence in performing surveillance activities improved significantly. Most trainees found the course very useful in their current jobs. Agreements with trainee supervisors could be tried to improve attendance in the live sessions.