Are Your Continuing Education Reports as Useful as These?
Let’s say you work at an organization the provides continuing education (CE) to professionals. You need to find out whether your CE activities are helping you meet your organizational goals. Above all, you need to determine whether learners find your activities relevant and valuable. How do you do it?
In an ideal world, you log in to the administrative portal of your learning management system (LMS) and access your learner and activity reports. Unfortunately, generating meaningful reports is a serious challenge for many CE providers. You might be familiar with some of the following issues related to reporting:
- Some learning software doesn’t collect much, or any, data on learner participation.
- Manual data collection processes require substantial effort on the part of administrators.
- Obtaining and collating post-activity surveys (evaluations) is sporadic and inconsistent.
- Assembling various metrics for reporting to accreditation bodies (like the ACCME for CME providers) poses significant logistical problems.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. With the right tools, all it takes is a few clicks to view and analyze useful data about your learners’ CE experience.
Start with a global view of all your reports
What if you could access all of your reports from a single place? With a dedicated reporting dashboard, you can. It looks a lot like this:
These are the standard reports that are available for an individual CE activity in the Rievent Platform. Right away, you can pull reports on:
- Post-test performance: Find out whether learners are retaining information from your CE activities. As you can see from the above image, a variety of post-test reports provide detailed analytics on performance metrics.
- Evaluations: Detailed response reports for each evaluation help you gauge learner perception and satisfaction with your CE activities. Access the reports online, print them out, or download the evaluation data in .csv (spreadsheet) format.
- Credit information: An interactive credit report helps you analyze credit data for any CE activity. View numbers and percentages of learners who selected specific credit types, or use a filter to see credit claimed during a given time frame.
You can also access aggregate reports across all of your CE activities. With aggregate reports, it’s easy to view credit hour data, eCommerce performance, and participation metrics, which include participation dates and geographic distribution.
The thing to remember is that it’s possible to access all of these reports via a global view like the one above. Getting them doesn’t require manual effort, and all of the data is complete, accurate, and available in real time. If collecting this kind of data is a major hurdle for your organization, automation and dedicated learning management technologies are a worthwhile investment.
They might be just the thing that keeps you competitive.
View a simple, graphical representation of your data
Your reports don’t have to be spreadsheets. They can look like this:
Spreadsheets are great for sharing data with colleagues (more on spreadsheets shortly), but a graphical representation can help you make sense of the numbers right away and easily compare performance over time.
Even evaluation responses can be represented graphically:
These kinds of representations provide you with a meaningful impression of your data without spending hours sifting through responses and adding up numbers.
Drill down for the bigger picture
By drilling down into your data, you can view extremely granular detail about your learners and how they participate in CE activities. To see what we mean, consider a report that shows CE activity participation according to learner profession:
After pulling the report, we can use filters to view specific criteria about these participants. For example, let’s apply a filter to only see data for physicians that completed an activity in the first half of 2016.
With the filter applied, we can also view other reports and the data on display will continue to be only for the first half of 2016. All it takes is a few clicks to tease out extremely fine details from any reports.
Simple export controls make it easy to share reports
As valuable as it is to have all of this data available in graphical form, you also need the ability to generate spreadsheets for sharing with your team. In an LMS with all of these reporting tools in its administrative portal, exporting reports to .csv format should be a snap:
That way, it’s easy to respond to colleagues’ requests for data. If you’ve ever manually assembled a spreadsheet with learner participation data, it’s time to breathe a big sigh of relief.
Useful, usable data is practically mandatory nowadays
As continuing education providers continue to build educational experiences around the needs of learners, seamless data generation more necessary than ever. The more you know about the effectiveness of your CE activities, the more valuable those CE activities will be to your learners.
Learners don’t just expect a CE experience that’s seamless from a technology standpoint – although they do increasingly prefer an online experience – they also expect your content to cater to their professional interests and help them be better at what they do. With useful, usable data, you can get closer to that ideal. You can provide what your learners need and draw on real participation metrics to constantly improve.
In short, data makes you a better CE provider. If your current reports aren’t as valuable as what you’ve seen here, why not up the ante?