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Nadine Clarke & Ken Murray: Streamlining success

By: Rebecca Alberico

Nadine Clarke is the eLearning Systems Administrator at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She supports users who encounter technical issues using SickKids’ Learning Management System (iLearn) and works to identify improvements to the system. Clarke’s role aligns seamlessly with the Learning Institute’s vision of enhancing and supporting education. Through her dedication to improving existing resources and providing ongoing training, Clarke promotes professional growth at SickKids.

Ken Murray is the Program Manager of eLearning Design. Knowledge is power and Murray’s developments have become the catalyst for advancing eLearning at SickKids. With over a decade experience in the field, Murray makes it possible for SickKids educators to achieve and promote new degrees of learning by instructing them on best practices in eLearning design.

“Nadine and Ken play an important role in helping to advance the use of technology in education at SickKids” said Kelly McMillen, Director, Learning Institute.  “The creative and innovative approaches to learning that they support through our eLearning Program enable our staff and students to experience learning that is both effective and highly engaging.”

Q&A with Nadine Clarke and Ken Murray

Tell us about an initiative that you are working on to support learning at SickKids.

NC: I am working to create more comprehensive resource tools to assist our staff to more effectively use the iLearn system. An important part of my role is to ensure that staff get the support they need when they use our system.

KM: I have been developing a comprehensive program which will streamline eLearning design at the hospital and enable educators to produce more effective online learning. The enhanced program includes new tools, templates, workshops and online resources. It will also include a course, in which staff and students can achieve an eLearning Master Design Certificate.

How does learning make SickKids a better place?

NC: Learning makes SickKids a better place because we are constantly growing and learning new things that will not only help us but will help others within and outside the organization.  

KM: For me, learning is fundamental to achieving progress.  As both a parent and staff member, making continuous and unremitting progress is essential to ensuring better outcomes and a better future for our children. Our desire to learn is one key to reaching this goal.

Which education initiative at SickKids inspires you?

NC: I am inspired by the Simulation Program, as well as the eLearning Program as they both focus on how people learn.  Both programs aid an individual’s professional growth by combining online tools with hands-on experience. Each program creates an environment that allows individuals to grow in their knowledge.

KM: This is a difficult question because I am inspired by so many initiatives. Broadly speaking, the work done by AboutKidsHealth inspires me because they do a phenomenal job of making health education and information accessible. It’s not just that the information is available online, but the skilled team of designers, videographers, writers, producers and illustrators take complex and “scary” topics and present them in a way which is digestible and comprehendible to patients and families. 

What makes working at SickKids special?

NC: The people at SickKids make this place special.  I notice that the people at SickKids have a mutual respect for one another and they are aligned with SickKids’ mission and values.

KM: The people and the potential to have a positive impact on a child’s future make working at SickKids special.

How do you think education will change in the future?

NC: Learners will no longer need to attend classes to learn a certain process or procedure. More courses will be available online and they will be more interactive.  If classrooms are set up, they will act as laboratories where learners can go to have someone to help them work through a concept, but most of their learning will take place online. . Gamification will become a common and important part of education.

KM: Education will continue to shift away from traditional “just in case” or classroom training towards performance support models. How and what we learn in a classroom setting will change. The pace of evolution in the workplace will force us to teach our children to become problem solvers and innovators, rather than “memorizers and regurgitators of information.”  As 70 to 90 per cent of what we learn is done informally, performance support may even become the primary style of education. This means learning will be embedded in the workflow, delivering what we need, when we need it, preventing disruption. Technologies that sound relatively alien, such as augmented reality and voice recognition, will be at the forefront of performance support education.

Who was your all-time favourite educator, and why?

NC: My all-time favourite educator was Dr. Nicholas Solntseff, my computer professor in second year at McMaster University. He taught me that it was okay to ask questions and that everyone learns things in different ways.

KM: My high school geography teacher, Mr. McLeod. He made learning fun and interactive. He never let a day go by without some humour!