Welcome to a New Way of Teaching First Aid!
Five years ago Stuart, one of our directors, was involved in discussions with the HSE on how eLearning in first aid would work. The group (a precursor to the First Aid Quality Partnership) set a standard of ⅓ eLearning and ⅔ practical.
We have therefore been using eLearning for several years to run Blended FAW courses with one day eLearning and two days of practical skills. During lockdown we realised that we needed to change and ran courses for six delegates per day, using this eLearning and lots of social distancing. Our clients include some major organisations and Universities, who love the flexibility this gives them.
We have now expanded our blended eLearning system to cover much more theory than before. Students complete the course theory online and then attend your centre to undertake the practical skills.This now gives you the ability to run courses for 12 students per day, or up to 60 students per week per instructor. Not only will you spend less time teaching but you can make more money too!
But surely not! How can this work?
Since COVID-19 a lot has changed. In particular people are happier with video calls and eLearning in general. Others have already moved to 50/50 for eLearning/practical on FAW requalifications.
During lockdown we realised that the time was right to change the way we teach first aid at work. It was time to move to a COVID safe blended approach with greatly increased eLearning.
However, COVID19 has disrupted our industry and how we work. We identified several problems talking to training providers:
- Most providers simply don’t have rooms big enough to fit 12 students, with space for social distancing, so they run courses for six. This is difficult to maintain long term when your pricing structure is based upon full courses of 12.
- Providers don’t have enough equipment to run sessions for 12 students, each with their own mannikin, etc.
- Students don’t want to spend 3 days sitting in a classroom wearing masks, etc
- Since the start of the epidemic people have become much more used to using eLearning, Zoom, etc.
We started by tearing apart the FAW syllabus and looking at how long the skills actually take. We found that the practical sessions take just one day, with time to spare for scenarios, if all theory is taught by pre-course eLearning.
In order to cover two full days of a FAW course any eLearning must be comprehensive and interactive.
We have consulted the HSE and been told that as long as all of the practical skills are taught practically, and the learning replaces the two theoretical days in time, that this meets the HSE standards.
Our course is also fully approved and recognised by the First Aid Industry Body (members get a 10% discount on pricing).
Our eLearning actually takes students two days to complete. It is also fully interactive using video, cartoons, interactive video, text and pictures. This gives plenty of variety for all types of learner. If a student gets a question wrong they are not just sent back to ‘try again’, but told why they got it wrong, and given more information, often in a different way.
We have tested this new way of running courses with staff in a few universities. The staff were of varied backgrounds: from cleaners and security staff to lab technicians and academics. Of those that had taken a FAW course before, 75% thought the course was better than their previous course and 25% thought it was the same. No one thought the course was worse, nor that the eLearning couldn’t replace the two days normally covered in class.
Students on these test courses said:
Brilliant online material, videos and animated videos!”
“Very good and comfortable under the COVID situation, I learned the same as I normally would.”
“I enjoyed the course and found it very useful. I liked having the flexible time to complete the online elements of the course and thought the in-person aspect was well delivered with plenty of time to practice the practical skills with lots of instructor supervision.”
FAW: How does a student take the course?
Before the course:
Firstly you sign up your students by sending us a list of names and email addresses.
Your students receive an email from the system containing a link to log into the iLearnFirstAid virtual learning environment.
Students complete 12 hrs of eLearning covering all of the subjects of first aid at work. There is a wide variety of activities, from videos to different interactive exercises.Students are tested along the way with questions. If they get a question wrong, they don’t simply get sent back to ‘try again’ but are given detailed information about “why” their answer was wrong.
We can tell how long students took to take the eLearning, and you can log in as a tutor and check this too, along with what they got wrong. just leaving a window open doesn’t count – they need to be actually working!
At the end of the eLearning students take a pre-course quiz. You are emailed to say they have completed this and can now attend the classroom session.
On the practical training days:
Your students arrive on the day with all the theoretical knowledge of first aid completed. They sit socially distanced with a max of 6 per day.
You mark their attendance in the eLearning. This makes the final course exam visible.
You work through the practical skills of first aid, demonstrating skills, and allowing students time to practice with a partner/mannikin. After giving students sufficient practice time you assess them.
At the end of the day students attempt the final exam in learning. This can be done on a phone, tablet of laptop. We can give you a QR code that you can put into your presentation which takes them straight to the right page.
Students complete a QA form online too. This saves handling any potentially contaminated paperwork.
For a small extra fee students can instantly receive an eCertificate as soon as their course is completed. The validity of this certificate can be verified by clicking a link on the certificate
eFAW: How does a student take the course?
Before the course:
This works exactly the same as for FAW course. The eLearning is shorter and covers just the subjects of the eFAW course.
The split between theory and practical is 50:50.
On the practical training day:
Rather than training 12 students in a day you can now train 24, 12 in the morning and 12 in the afternoon. You earn more per day and the company only has to have staff out of the office for the morning OR the afternoon.
In the 3 hour practical sessions you apply the skills covered online and run through all of the skills of the eFAW course. You then repeat this session in the afternoon.
What do those who had done First Aid before think?
.Of those that had taken a FAW course before thought this blended course was better than their previous course.
Of those that had taken a FAW course before thought it was the same as their previous course.
No one who had taken a course before thought this was worse than their previous course