Yes says Colin Paton Senior E-learning Project manager at SCIE who gave a presentation at the Learning Pool London Social Care Briefing last week. The new research from Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) explores E-Readiness in the Social Care Sector and there are some fascinating findings.
In 2006 SCIE commissioned Ipsos MORI to undertake a research programme with the following objectives:
To establish whether the social care sector in England was ready to maximise the use of e-learning in terms of technical and organisational infrastructure and in terms of the availability of e-learning content for social care
To provide an assessment of the capacity of the social care sector as a whole to use and produce e-learning, in particular in Internet-based learning, and to exploit its full potential in pursuit of improved services for users and carers
SCIE and Ipsos MORI ran the e-readiness survey in 2006-7 and again in 2010 that looked at the following areas across the social care sector:
• Access to IT
• Usage of e-learning
• Attitudes towards e-learning
• Barriers to uptake of e-learning
• What is good e-learning
• Support for e-learning
Both surveys polled social care employers and employees from local authorities, the private sector and the voluntary/charitable sector.
From an e-learning perspective it is heartening to see that usage of e-learning as a training methodology has increased across the board since 2006-7. Attitudes from employers are much more positive towards the potential effectiveness of e-learning. They are much more aware that there is good e-learning available out there and feel more confident in supporting the take up of e-learning within their organization. It is worth noting that in both the 2006-7 and 2010 surveys employees demonstrated that they are much more willing to take e-learning training than their employers may have assumed. There is, of course, still a lack of access to IT in the workplace (in all but local authorities). The 2010 survey reveals that personal access to IT is much higher and this may offer opportunities for e-learning undertaken at home.
The survey will be carried out again in 2011-12 and one can assume that e-learning usage to continue to increase. Key to this however will be a greater awareness of where to find good e-learning resources, greater support for both employers and employees on how to use e-learning most effectively and to select the best resources and a mature policy on home training.
The full 2010 report can be found at: http://www.scie.org.uk/workforce/getconnected/Research.asp
Definitely worth looking at the presentations from the Learning Pool Briefing which included Safeguarding Adults in Warwickshire (Carol Judge) From data protection to dementia (Ed Schrager), Social Care in the 21st Century (Lynn Meaden) with a mention of the Richmond Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy.
About the author Colin Paton has worked with e-learning inC Latin America and the UK since 1998 and is now Senior E-learning Project manager at SCIE responsible for the development for a range of national e-learning programmes for the social care workforce.