M.I.T and the FernUniversität Hagen participated in the International Conference on E-Learning in the Workplace (ICELW) in New York City, where they presented their joint project “InDigiTrain”. The eleventh ICELW conference took place this June at Columbia University in Manhattan. “InDigiTrain” stands for “Integrated Digital Training” and aims at the modernization of qualification in the German healthcare sector.
In one of the sessions of the three-day conference, Christina Gloerfeld and Jessica Felgentreu from the FernUniversität in Hagen and Onno Reiners from M.I.T presented the project’s frame conditions and the evaluation results. Starting point of the project was an analysis of the qualification status quo in Germany’s healthcare sector, which currently suffers from an acute shortage of qualified labor.
Among the findings was that a strong reliance on classroom training in this sector requires fundamental modernization so that training offerings will be accessible and available wherever, whenever, and however the target groups need them. Such availability requires flexible, mobile, and individualized offerings, and for this reason, an inverted classroom concept based on a mobile eLearning platform forms the centerpiece of InDigiTrain.
It not only addresses the diagnosed deficits of the current qualification and training landscape in healthcare, but also helps bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application that is associated with traditional classroom training. In cooperation with two training companies – BiG and AWO Ennepe Ruhr – this concept was then applied to qualification measures for hygiene specialists and speech therapists.
The overall target of the project is to demonstrate that digitally supported training can facilitate flexible, adaptive, and individualized training formats that help to address labor and qualification shortages in the German healthcare sector. Another of the main evaluation results is that although the introduction of a digitally supported inverted classroom concept may entail additional implementation efforts, consistent organizational integration pays off over time and yields the benefits described above.
Healthcare players also profit marketing-wise because their perception will be more innovative and their customer radius will grow due to flexible and individualized training offerings. The project was funded by the German BMBF and the European Social Fund.