Importance of appropriate assessments
Another important part of bringing data to life is through assessments. This can be through formative or practice assessments, in which you can test the learner throughout a piece of learning, such as with self-assessments. This will help the learner to evaluate their understanding of topics or sections along the way through appropriate feedback mechanisms. Once again, to ensure that the learner gets the most out of the assessments, it is vital that you consider what questions you are going to ask and consider how, by asking a particular question, you can help them to reinforce their knowledge and apply it in their daily practice (we will be talking more about creating real-world assessments in an upcoming article).
The other important aspect of testing knowledge is through summative or graded assessments, whereby the learner is assessed right at the end to ensure that they have understood the entire piece of learning and that the learning outcomes set out at the beginning are met. This can be quite difficult to establish, so again it is important that you take care to consider what you are trying to achieve with the assessment – not only focussing on encouraging the learner to recall the data or information, but also on what they will then be able to DO with that knowledge.
Engaging your learners with the data
Remember that every learner is an individual, and learners have different needs and indeed prefer different methods of learning to absorb the information effectively. Therefore, as well as being able to convey the information that is relevant to their role, you also need to think about how it can be disseminated to fit a diverse group of learners. For example, you may produce a slide deck for a new batch of data, but could the same information be repurposed into something else? A podcast, a short video or animation, perhaps? This could then help those who prefer visual learning or want to absorb some information while they are going for a walk or driving.
You may also consider running workshops based on the data to satisfy learners who are hands-on and would appreciate an interactive learning experience. This can also help with networking and team building and enable the sharing of knowledge, experience and best practice. In reality, learners will respond to a variety of options, but, by making it as diverse and accessible as possible, you are able to cover a lot of bases and ensure that the information is processed effectively.
This highlights the number of different and innovative ways you can take a piece of data or information and showcase it to an audience. Don’t feel like you have to be limited to a standard PowerPoint slide deck. Equally, if that is the most appropriate option, think of ways you can make that slide deck as useful and engaging to the learner as you possibly can by focussing on the key takeaway messages of the data you are presenting and taking the time to consider the ‘need to know’ information, rather than the ‘nice to know’. This will also make it easier to repurpose the deck into different types of material, as mentioned earlier. Some useful tips include:
- Sticking to bite-sized content and trying not to overburden your learner with lots of unnecessary information in order to help them to digest it and explain it better to HCPs
- Making use of visuals, such as icons and other imagery to bring the training to life and make it more engaging for the learner and the audience to which it is going to be presented
- Using descriptive titles on the slide; this will save valuable space on the slide and help to tell a good story