The use of technology in psychotherapy training: some research-informed reflections part 6
It is worth considering the impact that online training may have on access to training. Blackmore et al (2008) state
âStudents cited “finance”, “distance from training centre, lack of practical experience, family commitments” and the “intensity of their working weeks” as having been barriers to taking face-to-face learning courses in the past.Â e-Learning can overcome barriers to traditional learning in psychotherapy, particularly distance from a training centre, without loss of student satisfaction or student performance.â
They also noted that âFactors sometimes thought to be obstacles to e-learning, such as information technology skills, were not found to be significant barriers–although they may have affected recruitment.â
More specific detail was given by Hoskins et al (2005) who found that older students used web technology more than younger ones, with an influence of ability and achievement orientation.
Rakovshika et al (2013) found that internet based training may be an effective and scalable model for “populations with significant barrier to accessing traditional methods of training”.
Finance is, of course, a significant factor when considering access. Online training does not require the use of physical premises, nor travel and accommodation for students and therefore reduces costs. Another financial implication is that of the use of the computer needed by the student. However, as all UKCP trainings are at masters level and 97% of those with a degree access the internet, 84% of households have access and 76% of all adults access dailyÂ while 58% access the internet on the phone (Office for National Statistics, 2014), it would seem that this aspect of access is improving all the time. However there will be some people who would find that there is a logistical and/or financial issue but in some cases this will be surmountable by such things as using public libraries.
It may also be that online training is easier for students with families or who have other commitments. It may make things easier for some with disabilities, but likewise it could make training more difficult for others.
Consideration needs to be given to how and when students may access the online learning environment to ensure compliance with diversity and equality requirements.