Increasingly, continuing education programs for health professionals are incorporating eLearning in the form of blended learning or stand-alone online courses (Vaona et al., 2018). Why? The answer is simple. These online platforms are a way to deliver more cost-effective and affordable education. Additionally, 24/7 access to course materials allows busy professionals to take courses at their own pace at times that best fit their schedules.
Advanced features of healthcare LMS platforms enable traditional courses to be moved online without sacrificing course rigor or successful student learning outcomes. The inclusion of diverse multimedia learning materials (e.g., video, images, infographics, PowerPoints) allows students to better acquire new knowledge because it is taught through a variety of mediums. In online courses, content is separated into modules. Each module is similar to a chapter in a book. After each chapter of educational content, instructors can create associated comprehension questions to ensure learners have successfully retained information presented in the module.
Creating medical education programs online can seem like a daunting task–especially to those that are not tech-savvy. Fear not, the innovation that has occured in the cloud-based healthcare LMS space has proven to make it easier than ever to move your medical education courses to an online format with an easy-to-use SaaS. Below, you will find helpful steps detailing how you can move your medical education courses to an online format.
So, how can you move your medical education courses online?
1. Select the correct healthcare LMS for your continuing education certification program.
- Conduct research regarding computer-based standards for awarding medical continuing education credits online, and ensure you are selecting the correct LMS for your training needs. For example, does your state require that your LMS show proof of time spent in the online program before health professionals earn certificates showing the number of credit hours earned? If so, ensure that you select a healthcare LMS that keeps students within the program for the necessary amount of time for them to properly earn those credit hours before receiving their completion certificates.
- Ensure the LMS has a user-friendly student experience so that students have a smooth transition to an online platform. To make the transition even more fluid for students, ensure that courses have a consistent structure and consistent online look: this may be in the form of menu items and buttons to progress through the course being consistent across courses (McDonald, 2018). Typically with an Enterprise solution with a healthcare LMS, the platform can be customized with a custom URL and color-scheme so that the online course platform looks like an extension of your existing website with which students are already familiar.
2. Map out course content
- Review the curriculum for your traditional, in-person medical educational course–and analyze which parts of the course yielded the strongest learning outcomes, and which parts of the course needed more helpful supplemental materials.
- Create lecture videos, PowerPoints, and digitize readings to be uploaded to each lesson.
3. Upload content to your healthcare LMS
- Upload course content to each module. Separate each lesson into a unique module so content is split up into easily digestible sections for learners.
- Researcher McDonald et al. advises that there be a clear connection between readings, online exercises, and assignments for each course aim (2018).
- Create test questions to ensure mastery of course goals (McDonald et al., 2018)
4. Pilot the course with sample students and test its effectiveness
- Once the online version of your course is created, utilize a randomized sample to take your online program, and analyze learning outcomes (both student scores and student feedback). Quantitative and qualitative analysis will give you a holistic understanding of what works and what does not work in your online program, to enable you to make revisions if necessary.
Once you have made those revisions, you are ready to deliver your course online to students! If you or someone in your organization is looking to get started with moving traditional medical courses to an online course platform, call CertCentral at 1-877-559-5445! We would be happy to talk with you about our healthcare LMS solution.