Learning about paediatric HIV and TB – exploring participant’s experience and perceptions to apply what they learned in a blended learning course

Geiger, Justine Danielle (2016-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Learning about paediatric HIV and TB – exploring participant’s experience and perceptions to apply what they learned in a blended learning course. Background: In response to health care provider training listed as a priority in South Africa’s rollout plans to combat the high Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Tuberculosis (TB) burden, South to South developed a 5-day Paediatric and Adolescent HIV/ TB management course for primary care level doctors and professional nurses. Following course evaluations highlighting the need for more teaching time and support of application into practice, the course was redesigned into a 3-month blended learning university short course. We were aware that interventions shown to be effective in one setting may not translate well into other settings. Objectives: We wanted to know what the participants’ experience of the new course format was, the enablers or challenges to their learning as well as their opinions on applying what they had learned into practice. Method: A qualitative research method was used. Eight course participants consented to semi-structured individual, recorded, in-depth interviews. These were held during the course’s second contact week in June 2015. Data were analysed using an inductive approach. Codes, categories and five themes were identified. Results, Discussion and Recommendations: The five themes included learner’s context, technology as a learning and teaching medium, professional growth, community of learning and learning beyond the clinical content. Learner contexts were diverse but all came from rural or deep rural work placements. Internet and computer technology access and skill varied widely. Cell phone use was most accessible, popular and successful in building on content knowledge as well as a community of learning. Social networking services could be exploited to the benefit of course participants’ learning and supportive interaction. Professional and personal growth was enhanced and all expressed an ability to apply what was learned into practice, albeit in differing ways. Participants valued the decreased sense of isolation and mutual support given and received via the community of learning that developed over time. Best practices were shared across provinces and facilities. Course participants reported that they had learned from the course, the adapted blended learning format addressed learning needs, challenged their thinking and broadened their scope and insight into the complexity of caring for children and adolescents exposed, infected and affected by HIV and TB. The identified themes from the data represent elements that need to be taken into consideration when planning and presenting a course that ensures application into practice and a model has been proposed. Conclusion: Despite challenges regarding access to information technology and workload, the course design did answer to educational needs of the group. Significant learning beyond content took place, including acquiring technology and teaching skills, challenging practice attitudes, personal and professional growth, and overcoming fears. Overall the blended learning model could be translated into our context and future courses will be modelled on what we learned.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Leer oor pediatriese en jeug MIV en TB – verkenning van deelnemerreaksie en -opinie op die toepasbaarheid van hulle leer in ‘n gemengde leer kortkursus. Agtergrond: Die opleiding van gesondheidspersoneel is ‘n prioriteit in Suid-Afrika se voorneme om die hoë voorkoms van HIV en tuberkulose aan te spreek. In reaksie hierop het South to South ‘n vyfdag Pediatriese en Jeug-Menslike Immuniteitsgebrekvirus (MIV) en Tuberkulose bestuurskursus vir dokters en professionele verpleegkundiges op primêre sorg vlak ontwikkel. Deur kursusevaluerings is die behoefte aan meer onderrigtyd en praktiese toepassingsmoontlikhede geïdentifiseer en is die kursus herbeplan as ‘n gemengde leer kortkursus van drie maande, by die universiteit. Ons is bewus daarvan dat intervensies wat effektief in een omgewing is nie noodwendig dieselfde sukses in ander omgewings sal toon nie. Doelstelling: Die doelstelling was om uit te vind wat die deelnemers se reaksie op die nuwe kursusformaat is, watter elemente leer bevorder het en watter uitdagings in die leerproses opgeduik het, asook deelnemers se opinie oor die toepasbaarheid van die nuwe kennis in die praktyk te kry. Metodiek: ‘n Kwalitatiewe navorsingsmetodiek is gebruik. Agt kursusdeelnemers het toegestem en semi-gestruktureerde in-diepte onderhoude is gevoer en opgeneem. Hierdie onderhoude is gedurende die kursus se tweede kontakweek in Junie 2015 gevoer. Data is deur ‘n induktiewe benadering geanaliseer. Kodes, kategorieë en vyf onderwerpe is geïdentifiseer. Resultate, Bespreking en Aanbevelings: Die vyf temas was: leerderkonteks, tegnologie as ‘n leer- en onderrigmedium, professionele groei, leerdergemeenskap en leer wat wyer is as die kliniese konteks. Leerkontekste was divers, maar alle deelnemers was afkomstig van landelike of diep landelike werkplekke. Internet en rekenaartoegang en tegnologievaardighede het aansienlik verskil. Selfone was die mees toeganklike tegnologie, en selfoongebruik die gewildste en suksesvolste om kennisvlakke te verhoog en ‘n positiewe en gemeenskaplike leeromgewing op te bou. Sosiale media kon ten volle benut word tot die voordeel van leerders se leer en ondersteunende interaksie. Professionele en persoonlike groei is verbeter en almal het tot uitdrukking gebring dat hulle in die praktyk kon aanpas wat hulle geleer het, al was dit op verskillende wyses. Deelnemers het die verminderde gevoel van isolasie en onderlinge ondersteuning wat hulle gegee en ontvang het deur die leergemeenskap wat mettertyd ontwikkel het, baie waardeer. Beste praktyke is oor en weer tussen provinsies en fasiliteite gedeel. Kursusdeelnemers het berig dat hulle deur die kursus geleer het en dat die aangepaste vorm van gemengde leer aan hulle leerbehoeftes voldoen het. Deur die gemengde leer is hulle denkwyse uitgedaag en hulle omvang en insig verbreed in terme van wat dit behels om vir kinders en jeug te versorg wat aan MIV en TB blootgestel is, of aangesteek is of daardeur geraak word. Die geïdentifiseerde kategorieë verteenwoordig elemente wat in aanmerking geneem moet word wanneer ‘n kursus beplan en aangebied word, om te verseker dat dit in die praktyk toegepas kan word. ‘n Model is voorgestel. Gevolgtrekking: Ten spyte van uitdagings ten opsigte van toegang tot informasietegnologie en werkslading van die deelnemers het die kursusontwerp aan opvoedkundige behoeftes van die kursusgroep beantwoord. Beduidende leer van meer as die kursusinhoud het plaasgevind, insluitende die aanleer van tegnologiese en onderrigvaardighede, die houding oor hulle praktyk wat bevraagteken is, groei op persoonlike en professionele vlak en om vrees vir praktyk en leer te oorkom. Alles in ag genome sou hierdie gemengde leer model in ons konteks gebruik kon word en toekomstige kursusse sal gegrond wees op dit wat hier geleer is.

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