Rethink Your Continuing Education Publishing Process


What’s your publishing process for online continuing education (CE) content? Different organizations follow a variety of methods for getting their online CE activities in front of learners. In an ideal world, publishing would be straightforward and routine. You could basically set it and forget it.

Unfortunately, that’s not how things are for many CE administrators.

Un-user friendly interfaces, cumbersome processes for modifying content, no tools to integrate activities with learner actions or other integral functionality… The list of potential hassles is long, and every provider has different hiccups that administrators have to work around.

The good news is that publishing can actually be one of the simplest, most impactful aspects of CE administration. CE activities you publish (and your learners’ participation in them) can also integrate seamlessly with other functionality that’s key to your learner experience.

Streamlined publishing brings business benefits

First of all, let’s consider why you want to optimize your publishing process. The act of publishing content is basically a means to an end. While painstaking work goes into creating a great CE activity, making that activity available to learners is an exercise you want to complete quickly.

It’s basically a collection of administrative tasks that should be as automatic and turnkey as possible. A simple, straightforward, and fast publishing process gives you:

These are real business benefits that can help your organization fulfill its mission to provide valuable continuing education to professional learners. With less time needed for the actual act of publishing CE content, you’ll have more flexibility to create and improve all of your CE activities.

It’s a virtuous cycle, but you’ve got to know what your publishing process could look like before opting to upgrade it.

Here’s how simple your publishing lifecycle can be

Your CE activity is ready. All of the content is ready for publication. Now what? Ideally, publishing will unfold according to a process resembling this one:

Your process might differ slightly from the above and your order of operations might not be exactly the same. What matters, though, is just how straightforward this process is. Publishing a CE activity should be a no-hassle, one-stop exercise. Technology clearly has a role to play – not just in terms of user friendliness, but also in terms of integrating everything you publish with functionality on the learner side.

Speaking of integration…

An LMS ensures that CE content integrates with learner actions

When your publishing process is complete, you should be confident that:

All of these actions should unfold automatically after you publish an activity. You shouldn’t have to think about it – it should just work.

Needless to say, ensuring that all of these things take place just because you clicked “publish” requires several moving parts. That’s why it’s essential to publish activities inside a fully integrated learning management system (LMS).

By “fully integrated,” we’re saying that actions taken by administrators (publishing, for instance) translate into functionality available to learners (completing an activity and claiming credit). In turn, learner actions translate into functionality available to administrators, like reports on performance and participation.

When you publish an online continuing education activity, that should be all you have to do. Not only is your content available to learners, but functionality operating behind the scenes helps you put follow-up administration on autopilot.

Before you know it, you might not just be rethinking your publishing process. You might be rethinking your approach to online CE.