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Creation of an e-learning system to support foreign nurses and caregivers on EPA preparing for license exams in Japan

Implementing Agency The Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS) (Japan) Year 3/3
Project classification Self-OperatedGrantCommissionedOthers Year project budget implementation 10,100,000yen
Project Outline
Government policy dictates that training for foreign nurses and certified care workers on the basis of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with another country can be given only if trainees have passed the relevant national exams in Japan. However, little support is provided for trainees to study for these exams, due to lack of coordination among government offices and the lack of Japanese language teachers highly skilled in the relevant fields. In this project, an e-learning training curriculum will be developed for national exam candidates whose native language is not Japanese, to assist them in studying for the exams.
Implementation Plan
In the final year of this three-year project, the following activities will be carried out in order to complete the development of e-learning materials and the overall curriculum.
  • Meetings of steering committee (April)
    A panel of experts in the fields of nursing and care giving will establish a committee to consider the content of teaching materials, with a special focus on facilitating comprehension of the questions in national exams.
  • Development and release of teaching materials (throughout the year)
    One set of practice tests and commentaries for national exams (or questions from past exams) in the fields of nursing and care giving will be newly published on the Internet. For the field of nursing, it is expected that distribution and Internet publicity "Basic Knowledge for National Exams (Nursing)" will be terminated by Internet by the end of fiscal 2010, so new content will be considered and developed. For the field of care giving, the distribution and Internet publishing of “Basic Knowledge for National Exams (Care Giving),” which started in November 2010, will continue. For Japanese language studies, additional content will be considered, centering on comprehension of questions in the national exams. More specifically, the work schedule will be as follows: (1) decide parameters and prepare additional content (until mid-May 2011), (2) Web publishing and connection/operational testing for additional content (May and June), release of additional content (from June onward).
  • Implementation of e-learning program
    Before releasing the additional content in about May 2011, the call will go out for new students. The appeal for new students will be expanded beyond candidates under Economic Partnership Agreements with other countries. Students will proceed to study based on contents published on the Web, but arrangements will be made so that mentors in specific fields can respond on an ongoing basis to questions relating to special topics and Japanese language studies. Advice from mentors in each field will be periodically distributed and posted on the Web, in order to manage students' progress and maintain their motivation. Group learning will also be conducted on predetermined themes in a schooling format.
Project Results
This fiscal year, the project's final year, development of the curriculum content created over the previous years
continued and terminology lists were updated and expanded. Additionally, Japanese language study contents for national exams were added and improved.
As a result, 22 of the EPA-based candidates for nursing positions who passed the 2012 National Nursing Exam and one EPA-based candidate for a caregiver position who passed the 2012 National Caretaking Exam were those who had been studying under this curriculum.