Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Curriculum and eLearning design and development for knowledge translation

Laura McLean RN, IBCLC
The Hospital for Sick Children

Summary of fellowship:
SickKids has been working on becoming as ‘Baby-Friendly’ as possible, as mandated by the Ontario Government. As part of this goal, the Breastfeeding Program has been developing an eLearning series, ‘The Pathway to Breastfeeding for the Hospitalized Infant,’ for staff .The first three modules in the series currently developed are: breast milk provision, oral immune therapy and kangaroo care. The next module to be developed in the series was identified as Breastfeeding Intake Assessment, as 25% of our population at SickKids are infants and there was no formal education for staff on this subject. An eLearning module for staff and educational video for families on this topic was developed as part of this Advanced Practice Clinical Fellowship (APCF).

The objective of this fellowship was to advance my skills in curriculum development, and the design and development of eLearning modules. To fulfill this objective, I completed several tasks. To enrich my knowledge on curriculum development, I reviewed reading material on curriculum development in nursing, completed a course on how to create memorable and engaging material for adult learners, and had the opportunity to attend an education conference at Sunnybrook where I learned more about using technology and eLearning for knowledge transfer. As part of the curriculum development for this course, I conducted a literature review and a needs assessment with staff members regarding their attitudes towards breastfeeding intake assessment, their confidence in different aspects of this type of assessment, and their perceived barriers to completing these assessments. The results of this needs assessment revealed several areas that staff wanted to learn more about, such as maternal signs of milk transfer and how to accurately use the test weigh scale. To further develop my skills in eLearning design and development, I completed a full day workshop on how to use Articulate Storyline to create eLearning modules and worked with an eLearning module design expert from the Learning Institute. This mentor taught me ways to weave the content of my module into scenarios to make the content more relatable to adult learners and aid in knowledge retention. I also worked with the Learning Institute to create a plan for ongoing evaluation of the module. I produced a video on the subject matter for families, and embedded clips of this into the eLearning module to demonstrate what needs to be clinically assessed in the infant. As a result of the training completed during this fellowship, I have gained the skills, knowledge and expertise to design and develop an engaging eLearning module for effective knowledge transfer. The breastfeeding program has recently
acquired a new grant to continue our educational series, and I will be applying my newly attained expertise to the development of this next project.

Families and staff at SickKids now have access to the information they need to conduct a thorough assessment of infant feeding to know if the infant is feeding effectively at the breast. The education is available to staff and families online, available at home or in hospital, for maximum accessibility and flexibility so that learners can learn at their own pace and convenience. As a result, those caring for breastfeeding infants may feel more confident in the patient’s intake and medical teams may allow infants to start breastfeeding sooner during their recovery. Having the opportunity to start breastfeeding sooner makes it more likely that breastfeeding will be established.
I will be able to consolidate my skills in eLearning development by working on future modules in ‘The Pathway to Breastfeeding for the Hospitalized Infant’ series. This will allow our program to create a comprehensive breastfeeding education program for staff, in keeping with the SickKids’ goal to align with the Baby-Friendly Initiative.

Overall Impact:
Overall my fellowship experience was very positive. My mentors were incredibly supportive and knowledgeable, providing me with considerable resources and expertise. Planning and executing a needs assessment was a productive experience, and I will be able to carry what I learned forward for future projects. Learning more about curriculum development, especially for the adult learner, was exceedingly valuable, as curriculum development is a significant part of my current role and will be imperative for future module development. Switching from Articulate Storyline 2 to Articulate 360 Rise was a challenging change, but quite worthwhile as I am now able to create dynamic eLearning modules more efficiently. I feel very fortunate to have had this professional development opportunity to grow and expand my proficiency in knowledge translation.