The Quest For The Holy Grail

DEMEC Poster: Holy Grail Poster


Often considered the ‘holy grail’ of learning, measuring the impact of learning has long eluded educationalists working in healthcare education and training. Evidence suggests that most  effective learning takes place outside the classroom – the so called ‘water cooler conversations’ – as medical professionals start to put theory into practice.

Summary of work

We set out to test if capturing informal learning interventions in an online portfolio could provide the solution to the age old problem of measuring impact of learning and that by providing access to a variety of learning experiences would help improve both the competence and confidence of learners.

Summary of results

By assessing reactions of learners prior to and after completing a set of formal and informal learning interventions, we demonstrated that 75% of learners moved from being unconsciously incompetent (unaware of their behaviours and lack of knowledge) to consciously incompetent (aware of their behaviours and aware of their lack of knowledge).

Discussion and conclusions

By capturing the informal learning activities and experiences, it appears that learners have the opportunity to reflect on their learning and demonstrate improved self-awareness. For training departments, this translates into a demonstrable impact of learning.

Take home messages

Capturing informal learning activities and experiences provides measurable benefits for both learners and training departments.

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