Choosing the best software for healthcare instructional design is your first step in designing an e-learning course and one of the most important in the overall process. There are a variety of products on the market, all with different functions and capabilities that may or may not suit your vision for the course.
One of the old standards of e-learning software is Lectora. Now in its eleventh incarnation, Lectora has three different versions: Inspire, Online, and Publisher. All three of these offer templates and wizards to help speed up the process of creation, an extensive clip-art gallery to decorate the slides, test and survey creation, and the ability to publish the course in multiple formats, along with several other features. Inspire, though more expensive, also offers quite a few nifty multimedia features, like Flypaper Flash Creator, screen recorders, and the ability to edit audio and video. In version 11, social media capabilities have also been added to the software, allowing instructors to give their students the capability to like or share elements of the course on Facebook or Twitter; many other similar programs have no such social media components. Lectora is also the leader in accessibility, allowing students to use a screen-reader to access the course.
However, there are other types of e-learning software that are more user-friendly for a first-time creator of an online course. Articulate Storyline is one such course; its display closely resembles Microsoft Powerpoint, a program most users are very familiar with. Storyline offers a broad variety of templates, clip art and characters, and slide triggers in order to personalize your course. Storyline is also one of the best products on the market when it comes to creating branching scenarios. And, unlike Lectora, it doesn’t require a second program in order to use its mobile capabilities. Published content on Storyline can be accessed on PC, Mac, and iOS capable tablets.
However, when it comes to mobile learning perhaps the best choice is Adobe Captivate. This software is the easiest choice for developers creating a course that will be used on multiple platforms, automatically rearranging the layout of the content to fit any device from a desktop computer down to an iPhone. It also allows for mobile gesturing on touchscreen devices– learners can scroll through slides with a swipe of their finger. With a focus on design, it offers beautiful layouts, eye-catching color schemes, and numerous formatting features, and also allows for easy quizzing and even learning games to be included in the course. However, the interface for creating courses is slightly more difficult to navigate than other programs and takes getting used to for a first-time user of the software.
All three of these programs have varying pros, cons, and price points, and it’s very important to carefully weigh your options. Keep in mind your audience; if your course is designed for younger users or those who are constantly on-the-go, a program with strong mobile functionality is imperative, while for a course that aims to guide learners through training scenarios in areas like diagnostics or record-keeping a program that offers branching capabilities will make learning much easier and more fun. The right program can make the difference between a student who sticks with the course and masters the material and one who gives up early on because they just don’t understand.
Whichever software you choose to use in designing your healthcare course, Avidity Medical Design is here to help. If you have any questions about these programs and how we can serve you and your needs, don’t hesitate to contact us!
During the e-Learning enrollment time of year, which happens to be starting around now, you’re probably wondering what the best plan is for making students want to enroll. How do you give them what they want? How to you get what you want? Here are some helpful tips that can effectively increase your enrollments.
Draw attention to your school by recommending it to all the students you know. Encourage them to tell others about your school too. Show what you offer, and explain how great of a deal it is, all without seeming too proud or forceful.
Many students are looking for the school that’s going to benefit them immensely, but aren’t entirely sure where exactly to look. Help out by giving yours as a suggestion. Try putting a link on your social media sites, personal as well as staff supported. Encourage anyone who likes what they see to share the link with all their friends and followers.
When you have students start flowing in, try leaving an option on the enrollment page for the student to post to Facebook or Twitter that the just enrolled in the school. This also will help get them going with showing off your school to their friends.
Try using social media to your advantage and the students advantage. For instance, try offering contests on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Whoever reposts, retweets, or shares your new class list is automatically entered into a drawing to win two free movie tickets. Something as simple as that can help you to gain students. It gives them the option of seeing how in tune your school is with their daily desires.
Another great way to use social media is to award a random prize of $100 when your school reaches so many Facebook likes or shares.
All of this is important, but remember to never give up on cultivating your school. It doesn’t have to ever be perfect, but it would be nice to get close.
For more valuable information, please feel free to contact us. Thank you!!
If you are responsible for the continuing education of medical professionals, the importance of Healthcare Instructional Design Strategies that Work is clear. Healthcare workers are busy, and it is often difficult, if not impossible to get a group together during working hours. How then, do you teach and document new skills, and provide meaningful continuing education?
The answer is to use personalized educational programs, that have been designed just for your needs. Avidity Medical Design can provide these programs. If your staff is self directed, and motivated to learn, you can choose mobile programs. These learning modules can be completed on the employee’s own time. If your employees don’t want to take their work home with them, choose a traditional program. This would be completed as a group learning experience. Another option is a combination approach, where part of the module is completed by the individual, and and then a review is done as a group.
Continuing education requirements vary state by state. Customized course development assures that these requirements will be met. Staff will stay up to date, and competent. Nursing Continuing Education Requirement Chart, from the American Nurses Organization, shows the hours required by each state. Even if your state does not require documented hours, the importance of maintaining competency cannot be stressed enough. Also, nurses are not the only staff that need continuing education. All staff have to remain up to date, and competent.
An article in Propublica.org documents the astounding statistics of errors in United States hospitals. It is reported that up to 98,000 deaths a year are as result of error. This number is just from hospitals. Errors also occur at walk-in clinics, dialysis clinics, ambulatory surgical facilities, etc. These errors were not intentional, but none the less, lives were lost. This shows how absolutely necessary it is for healthcare workers to remain competent.
For more information on Healthcare Instructional Design, please Contact Us.
Course design is all about pedagogy, understanding how we learn best. But it’s not enough just to learn something to know it, students also need to be able to apply it. Unfortunately, so much of medical education relies on rote learning and memorization. Students may not remember how many hours they spent pouring over flashcards before a pre-med anatomy and physiology exam. Likewise, students may not remember everything they were tested on. That’s because the learning they are expected to do doesn’t involve applying that knowledge in a real world healthcare setting (the cadaver lab doesn’t count).
At Avidity Medical Design, we employ Bloom’s Taxonomy in training healthcare learners to bring your education to life. Bloom’s Taxonomy is the pedagogy sine qua non for holistic, integrative learning. For a simplified understanding of this concept, consider this excerpt from Wikipedia:
Bloom’s taxonomy refers to a classification of the different objectives that educators set for students (learning objectives). It divides educational objectives into three “domains”: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor (sometimes loosely described as “knowing/head”, “feeling/heart” and “doing/hands” respectively). Within the domains, learning at the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels. A goal of Bloom’s taxonomy is to motivate educators to focus on all three domains, creating a more holistic form of education. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom’s_taxonomy)
The idea is to structure learning as simultaneous cognitive assimilation. Using given information, and understanding the intended application, we design our lesson plans to teach intellectual understanding and real-life, physical application at the same time. This approach saves time in the classroom and negates the need for flashcards and hours of homework.
Furthermore, our lesson plans based on Bloom’s Taxonomy are structured to include strategic variables that increase the depth of knowledge on a given topic. Your healthcare learners will be challenged to understand the idea on a cognitive level and to apply that understanding in different settings with different tools. Your students learn key concepts, standard procedures, and effective improvisation techniques all in one lesson.
Today’s healthcare industry is a fast changing environment that demands constant adaptation. Training healthcare learners requires education that can adapt just as fast. At Avidity Medical Design, we are dedicated to ensuring the highest quality education by using the most effective learning tools to produce students who are as detailed as they are innovative. Contact us to learn more about how we can design the most effective and engaging courses to bring your healthcare training to life.
Let’s face it, it’s easy to start out with good intentions. Healthcare textbooks are designed to educate students on medical and surgical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and medical processes and procedures. The depth and complexity of the material can sometimes keep healthcare students from becoming as motivated as they should be. That’s why it’s important for students to have a healthcare course that incorporates a variety of strategies that help them stay motivated. The teacher also plays an important role because he or she motivates, educates, and stimulates healthcare students. Let’s look at six strategies for motivating healthcare students:
- State expectations clearly. Starting off on the right foot is the key to maintaining motivation and increasing the likelihood of success in any endeavor. The best way for both teachers and students to start off on the right foot is with a clear list of expectations. The students will be motivated to meet the teacher’s expectations when the students know what the expectations are. Teachers, in turn, will find themselves more motivated knowing that students are on the right path to learning.
- Incorporate school work into the plan. It is easy to get so caught up in teaching that the work placed on the students after they walk out of the classroom is forgotten about. The teacher can help by weaving in tips on how to do the assignments to keep the students engaged and motivated even after they leave class. This strategy may lighten the load for teachers from the standpoint of grading assignments also.
- Establish goals for the curriculum. It’s easier for students to stay motivated when the big picture is clear. Instead of just moving from lesson to lesson until the exam, try creating a theme that can set students up for a monthly goal. One goal might be to ask students to demonstrate how the anatomical structure of the arm allows a pitcher to throw a baseball. By the end of the lesson, students are able to accurately describe the parts of the arm, and how these parts work together to facilitate throwing an object, such as a baseball.
- Encourage rewards. Grade school may be long past, but everyone responds well to rewards. Find fun, creative ways to reward healthcare students both in the physical classroom and online. Celebrate victories when they successfully master tough topics, such as correctly abstracting diagnoses and procedures from a complex medical record.
- Maintain engagement. Whether teaching online or in the traditional classroom, staying engaged with each student is necessary to create a motivating atmosphere. Stay engaged by incorporating healthcare-related games, crossword puzzles, and other fun ideas into the curriculum.
- Keep a positive attitude. A positive attitude can make the difference between having lackluster feelings about a course and really being motivated to learn the material. When students aren’t feeling motivated because they are struggling to learn the material, teachers should maintain a positive upbeat attitude and offer positive words of encouragement.
Creative course creation can incorporate a variety of strategies to help students maintain motivation. It might take some simple word changes or sidebars with ideas for motivation in certain areas of the curriculum, but it can be done.
If you need help creating great healthcare lessons that encourage student motivation, send us a message to get started.
The advantages of mobile learning and the steps that can be taken to optimize the mobile learning experience for healthcare students and professionals are boundless. With today’s technology, the opportunity to learn is literally in the palm of a student’s hand. There has never been a time in history when the power of knowledge has been so widely available to the world. Taking advantage of this technological breakthrough has enhanced the learning experience for every profession.
Mobile Learning Is The Future
America is the home of mobile tech and we love it. Here are a few facts that you may find interesting. Did you know that 58% of Americans own a smartphone? Did you know that 42% of Americans own a tablet? This means that the students of the future are increasingly going to demand learning solutions that fit their busy schedules. Why is this so attractive to students and professors alike? Mobile learning allows for convenience, flexibility, engagement and interactivity that is lacking in other instructional settings. The data is clear that mobile learning is the wave of the future.
Optimizing The Mobile Learning Experience
In order to optimize the learning environment for students and professionals, we must change the way we view learning. Learning is a lifelong process that doesn’t have an on and off switch. From the time a student wakes up until the time they rest their heads on their pillows at night, they are learning. Learning is a seamless experience that requires different tools for different situations. Wireless, Mobile, and Ubiquitous Technologies in Education or WMUTE are the tools that can be used to optimize and revolutionize the learning experience. Click here
Design With A Purpose
Our core mission here at Avidity Medical Design is to develop curriculum that is informative, challenging, comprehensive and holistic. Staying up to date on trends in medicine is paramount to success. We design healthcare courses and review each course for technical accuracy. Regardless of the subject matter, we design courses that are engaging, innovative, and that support key learning objectives.
Sheila D. McCray, MS, CCS, CCS-P, is the principal of Avidity Medical Design, an instructional design consulting firm specializing in creating e-learning and blended learning for both the educational and corporate sectors.
Students who complete courses developed by Avidity Medical Design will have the knowledge and confidence needed to optimize work performance and achieve greater job satisfaction. Contact us today about our services and how we can help your students achieve excellence in the field of healthcare.
The continuing ascension of e-learning presents increasing access to education and training virtually from anywhere, at anytime, especially in the most rural parts of America, where access to resources are typically few and far between. The resource with the highest priority for access in rural America is access to healthcare. Although healthcare is typically thought of in terms of patient access, it can also be thought of in terms of continuing education for healthcare professionals.
Rural healthcare professionals are as significant as their urban counterparts, especially with respect to the need for ongoing professional development. Continuing education courses are necessary for maintaining certification and professional licensure. The ongoing requirements for maintaining a nursing license, for example, are the same for nurses in both rural and urban areas.
E-learning for rural healthcare professionals transcends boundaries for specific healthcare specialties. Given the increasing centralization and bureaucratization of the healthcare industry (i.e, Obamacare, HMOs, PPOs, and so on), continuing education for healthcare professionals is crucial to ensure high-quality patient care.
Consider a company such as Avidity Medical Design, which develops curriculum for all areas of healthcare. Sheila D. McCray, MS, CCS, CCS-P, the principal of Avidity Medical Design, offers customized learning solutions for both the educational and corporate sectors. Customized e-Learning courses help rural and urban healthcare organizations meet state licensing requirements, retain staff, and meet short- and long-term goals for healthcare training and professional development.