As a follow-up to the recently concluded international project Healthcare English Language Programme (HELP), the UP Faculty of Health Sciences created an online platform for providing English courses for medics. This platform will be further elaborated, as the investigators plan to complement new topics according to users’ feedback, and also translate some parts into German.
The original project, after its completion in 2017, received the prestigious prize European Language Label by the European Commission. The evaluators appreciated particularly the innovative and open approach; however they suggested that it would be appropriate to include other languages, too. The UP Faculty of Health Sciences took the role of the main coordinator of the follow-up project; the partially modified team is made up by university teachers and translators and other organisations from seven European countries.
“During the testing, conducted within the original project, we already had feedback calling for addition of other thematic areas. The users lacked for example nutrition, physiotherapy, dental medicine, or caregiving. Our aim is to complement those areas and more,” said the main investigator of the project, Lukáš Merz of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Users can already attend twenty interactive courses, fourteen of which are focused on healthcare issues, whereas the remaining ones deal with intercultural competences. The materials are available in the form of an online course as well as PDF files to be downloaded. “Part of the existing themes will also be translated into German, and some modules will be made anew for the sake of practice in German-speaking countries, since there is interest in this kind of education there, too,” added Merz.
“The innovation of the HELP2 project is in the fact that we are going to use all the possibilities of the new version of Moodle and advance the level of our interactive exercises a certain degree. We are not entirely content with some of the functionalities in the old version which is used to run the platform,” said the main investigator of the project.
The first novelties for pilot testing and users’ feedback will be accessible in summer 2019. The whole project will culminate by official presentation of its results at the final conference in March 2021 in Olomouc.
At present, the platform for education or study is used by 700 active users, not only from the Czech Republic and countries involved in the original project, but also from China, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. It is available on the project’s website to both healthcare professionals and physicians as well as interested parties among the public.