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Online learning is a great way to develop new skills at a time that’s convenient for you. We've just launched a brand new eLearning platform, offering an extensive and interactive learning experience. With more of you benefiting than ever before, it’s designed to help everyone from the rheumatology community learn and develop. Here Dr Pippa Watson, a consultant and honorary senior lecturer from Manchester (and our new eLearning Editor) tells us what’s new and what you can look forward to.

Tell us more about the new platform?

It’s an exciting time to be progressing online eLearning. Even before the pandemic, learning was increasingly being conducted online. The previous eLearning committee, led by Dr Andy Brown, had made lots of progress before I started in post. We’ve built an exciting new platform that is user-friendly and packed full of interesting and interactive content. Our plan is that our online learning will complement face-to-face learning when that gets going again.

What types of content can members expect?

We’re offering a blended learning experience, which means different types of learning. For example, there might be an online lecture about a topic, then you'll have a case to work through so you can test your knowledge. Then there might be a link to a journal article to read about best practice, or a podcast to listen to. We hope that these different methods complement each other and there'll be something for everyone.

How does online learning benefit members?

It’s accessible for everyone and there’s varied content depending on how you learn best. You can pick the things that work for you and watch on demand. Whether it’s listening to a podcast or a bit of time at your desk to work through a case example; it’s designed to be accessible. Each month we’ll give a focus to a particular topic or specific condition. It’s a great way to access CPD on a particular topic.

What can we expect for February?

February's topic is sarcoidosis. We’ve got a brilliant update delivered by Dr James Galloway from the recent Adult and Paediatric Case-based Conference to watch. There’s also an eLearning case, called 'A man with a limp', which you’ll be able to work through, and there’s our first podcast to listen to.


How are you making learning interactive?

Our eLearning materials are interactive, with questions and other tasks such as labelling images. There’s an emphasis on real cases, so you get the most out of understanding the diagnostic pathway and can develop your clinical reasoning skills. We've worked hard to make the reasoning explicit to maximise your learning and ensure you can apply it to other cases.

Is there a way for members to put forward ideas?

We’ve developed a Digital Learning Board, made up of a wide range of people from different roles. We want to hear from members about what learning they want to see on the platform. Any of the members of the Board would be delighted to hear from you.

What’s your message to members?

Please do have a look: you’ll be surprised about the variety of learning available. It’s easy to navigate and find the topics that interest you. We’ve done a lot of work following feedback from members and we see it as a vital tool for everyone. We'd love to hear what you think of it. Also, please let us know if you have an idea for a topic or anything you would like to share with the rheumatology community. 

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