Written by Briony Frost, Learning & Development Specialist on Thursday 1st July 2021
The COVID-19 global health crisis is not yet a thing of the past, but healthcare training providers and educators are already being asked what learning will look like post pandemic. While, for some, there is a strong desire to return to familiar, face-to-face learning environments and modes of delivery, a significant proportion of training already took place remotely pre-pandemic, via self-directed e-learning programs and on-demand digital content. Hybrid learning is likely to become the new normal, and learning providers will be required to make smart choices about where to invest in digital innovation to maximize their team’s training opportunities.
Over a series of five articles, OPEN Health L&D will explore the scope for digital innovation when creating a learning program through the lens of the instructional design framework, ADDIE. The ADDIE acronym describes the five phases of the learning program creation process: Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate. This week, we’re looking at analysis: what do you need to analyze your learners’ digital needs and digital literacy to make hybrid learning impactful, effective, and efficient for your team?
What is hybrid learning?
Hybrid learning is a step-up from blended learning. In the latter, training programs and events may combine both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. For instance, in a blended scenario, a cohort of learners might collectively attend an expert’s talk on a new drug therapy in-person and engage in a Q&A session, before independently completing an e-learning deck containing the drug’s clinical trial data. In a hybrid scenario, the cohort might participate in the same talk and Q&A session, but attendees would be able to do so either in-person (at a conference center) or remotely (via simultaneous live-stream) with interaction between both speakers and the audience. Once again, the cohort would complete the e-learning deck remotely, perhaps re-engaging with other participants via a digital discussion forum.
The flexibility, breadth of access, convenience, and practicality of high-quality hybrid learning are just a handful of its many benefits for healthcare professionals striving to fit training into their busy working lives. To maximize the impact of the hybrid experience, attention must be paid to the digital knowledge and skills of the learners, whether you are training doctors, nurses, medical science liaisons, commercial, or other healthcare teams. Key questions that arise for those who want to step forward into the future of hybrid training are:
Analyze your digital learning needs
We’ve previously discussed the value of starting the planning of a training program with a learner needs analysis to ensure your managers, team, and learning facilitators all:
The first step towards digital innovation can be taken here. As well as gathering insights into your learners’ scientific knowledge gaps, you can also explore:
In the current climate, digital skills gaps are quickly highlighted in professional interactions and patterns across teams are most easily addressed collectively, so make sure you give learners the opportunity to develop their digital skills alongside their knowledge enhancement training. Combining knowledge and digital skills training helps to create a real-world training experience, which leads to better retention and application of learning.
Choose your digital tools and platforms
We’ve also discussed our priority considerations for selecting digital tools and digital platforms for your learning programs. While some areas we’ve previously highlighted are often better explored at the design phase of the process, others can be asked at the analysis stage so it’s important to get in touch with your digital team or link them up with your learning provider as soon as possible. Key questions can be asked around the following areas:
It is well worth getting some of this work underway now to avoid any unexpected technological issues or new training gaps later in the process, which may hold up development, and ensure you have allocated budget to the right places from the start.
Keep it simple
The pandemic has led to the promotion of a cornucopia of new and enhanced learning solutions based around digital skills and digital innovation. When trying to find the right fit for your team, it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed. If you work with a learning provider, or as a learning provider, the questions suggested above and undertaking of a needs analysis can help you swiftly whittle down what your learners actually require, what you can afford, and the strengths and weaknesses of your current solutions. Here are our tips for keeping it simple:
Above all, keep your digital team involved throughout the ADDIE process; they are valuable allies and, if kept informed, can help you solve problems before they arise.
OPEN Health’s L&D team brings together unique skill sets, a wealth of healthcare training, and extensive communications experience. We have a range of exciting ways to upskill your learners in their roles and provide them with the digital proficiency they need to work as partners in the new normal for the healthcare industry. To discover how we can help you make use of industry quality standards for learning and development and establish your training benchmarks, please get in touch.
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