Situated, Self-Regulated Online Learning for Radiology IT Staff

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Description

Radiology Informatics is a niche field with few formal educational programs to prepare learners for a successful career in the field. Employees often join the Radiology Informatics department at the University of New Mexico Hospitals without the skills required to

Radiology Informatics is a niche field with few formal educational programs to prepare learners for a successful career in the field. Employees often join the Radiology Informatics department at the University of New Mexico Hospitals without the skills required to complete their daily duties efficiently, accurately, and self-sufficiently. They are completely reliant on training offered by the department. However, due to the unpredictable nature of the healthcare environment, training sessions are often spontaneous and informal or consist of industry documentation.The purpose of this Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved mixed methods action research study was to examine the impact that situated asynchronous online training had on improving Radiology Informatics staff core skills. Situated cognition and self-regulated learning were the theoretical perspectives guiding the study. A literature review was conducted focusing on professional development in radiology informatics, healthcare, and Information Technology (IT). Eight members of the University of New Mexico Hospitals Radiology Informatics department participated in the study. The study’s intervention was a custom-created online training course presented in the learning management system Moodle. This course was developed and explicitly situated for the University of New Mexico. This allowed the training to cover unique workflows, applications. Quantitative data were collected from both pre- and post-intervention surveys on the perceived changes in knowledge of participants. Qualitative data were collected from semi-structured interviews conducted after participants completed the intervention.
This study’s findings showed that the asynchronous online format was a good fit for the unpredictable and hectic schedules of Radiology Informatics staff. Staff had the required levels of self-regulation needed to complete a completely online and self-paced training course even during extremely busy periods. Participants reported higher knowledge levels of core competencies, which suggests they would be more self-sufficient and accurate in completing tasks. Participants cited that this study's specific online training program would be a good fit for onboarding new employees.