3 Strategies to Make CE Accessible to Busy Learners
Working professionals are busy – really busy. And when it comes to continuing education (CE), they’re looking for an experience that fits into their hectic schedules. They also want to participate in CE activities that are applicable to the important work they do each day.
Both of those factors – ease of use and relevance – play a major role in making CE accessible, but “getting there” is easier said than done! Let’s take a look at three strategies for streamlining and enhancing your learners’ continuing education experience.
1. Transition to learner-directed administration
How do your learners browse, select, and register for CE activities? How do they request credit or access certificates and transcripts? Many providers stitch together various pieces of software or rely on slow, manual processes for all or some of those tasks.
But what if your learners handled CE administration themselves?
If they did, you would probably free up valuable staff time and liberate talented continuing education professionals from the tedium of administration. You would also spend less time fielding requests from learners and find more opportunities to develop new activities (or improving existing ones).
Learner-directed administration isn’t a far-fetched idea. In the Rievent Platform, we’ve consolidated all CE activity delivery and management functionality into a single, web-based interface. We call it the Learning Portal. All learners have to do is log in once. After that, they can do everything themselves.
Searching for activities, registering, printing certificates… self-service tools give learners everything they need at a glance. The result? Less administration time for your staff and a simpler, more streamlined CE experience for learners.
2. Diversify your activity offerings
Providing a wide array of activities and learning formats helps learners find content that’s relevant to them, and technology can make it easier to diversify your activity offerings.
Consider a dermatologist who specializes in Mohs procedures, performing multiple operations each week. She completes CME activities through a professional organization where the only dermatology CME activities available are articles about acne and rosacea treatments.
In other words, none of the content is relevant to her everyday practice.
Lack of technological infrastructure could be to blame. What if the provider had the ability to offer activities beyond articles? What if it was just as easy to deliver video CME content, recorded webinars, or other enduring, “on-demand” activities as it was to provide article-based CME?
The CME provider would have ample opportunity to diversify its activity offerings. Learners would earn continuing education credits and gain valuable new knowledge that they could apply in the real world.
Could you stand to broaden access to continuing education content that matters to your learners? By adopting the right technologies, you can start offering a wide array of activities sooner than you think!
3. Experiment with new activity types
Last year, the Stanford Center for Continuing Medical Education began exploring new continuing education formats. From video dramatizations to animated shorts, Stanford CME administrators are eager to learn whether certain formats have a positive impact on learner engagement and patient outcomes.
And while nobody’s saying you need to start producing animated videos, it rarely hurts to experiment with new activity types – especially when they make CE more accessible to learners.
Here’s one way many education providers are making it easier for learners to attend events: webinars. Replacing a live event with a webinar enables increased attendance and participation among your learners.
It makes sense, right? Compared to attending a live meeting, logging in to a webinar is far less hectic and time consuming. All in all, it’s significantly easier to participate!
Recent enhancements to the Rievent Platform enable seamless WebEx webinar integration. Even if you’re not using WebEx, it’s easy to add upcoming live webinars from other online meeting providers or feature webinar content as an on-demand or enduring activity.
Better accessibility = increased participation
Put yourself in your learners’ shoes. If continuing education was always easy to access and always relevant to your everyday practice, why wouldn’t you participate?
The answer is that you would participate. You would take advantage of the CE activities at your disposal.
By improving the accessibility of continuing professional education, you can make good on your organizational mission to address learners’ needs. You’ll also have a lot more time on your hands to build valuable, sustainable education programs.