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Technology-Based Interactive Simulations

Effective and affordable alternatives to classroom training

Innovative learning approaches delivered via technology, when applied judiciously, hold great promise as an alternative or supplement to traditional classroom-based training of primary providers in low-resource settings. Digital video disk (DVD) technology has the potential to deliver learner-centered interactive video simulations that provide consistent content and uniform learning experiences. The capacity of portable DVD players, their ease of use, and their declining cost give this technology high potential for decreasing time away from the workplace, reducing total training time and costs, and giving the provider control over the pace of learning.

To determine the feasibility of using DVD technology, PRIME II developed two interactive video training simulations for in-service refresher training of experienced postabortion care providers in Kenya. PRIME field tested the interactive simulation-DVDs in 2003-2004 to investigate the usability, acceptability and durability of the DVD players (and program). Observations and interviews confirmed that providers saw the learning approach and tools as easy-to-use, convenient and flexible. Providers reported that they thought the DVD method was especially effective because they were in control of when they engaged in the learning process, and they did not have to leave their facilities to update their skills.