Learn, Network and Connect in Chicago this November
Though I have had the pleasure of attending many conferences held by ASAE, my first visit to the Healthcare Associations Conference will take place this coming November. This event attracts around 200 attendees and provides the opportunity to hear from numerous guest speakers, including the two keynote speakers Mark Graban and Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz. I am especially excited about this conference because it gives people the opportunity to connect with others in similar professions, facing similar challenges—it truly serves as a conference that is unique to the needs of healthcare associations.
While attempting to learn more about what was offered in this conference, I was very thankful to be able to speak with ASAE’s Senior Director of Learning, Mark Milroy, CAE, who generously gave his time to answer a few questions about the Healthcare Associations Conference 2012, and to shed light on some new exciting aspects of this year’s conference.
What are some highlights of the conference?
This event isn’t a huge gathering where it’s easy to miss seeing people. The intimate nature, with around 200 attendees, provides a great opportunity for some valuable networking to occur. That’s been cited as one of the greatest benefits of this event by previous attendees.
We have an exhibit area with industry partners offering products and services of interest to the people who work for healthcare associations–and of course, there’s the opportunity to win prizes!
At the end of day one there will be a networking reception that provides attendees with the chance to mix and mingle with one another.
We have a really great selection of education sessions on a variety of topics ranging from finding your career path in healthcare associations, pitching to healthcare media, governance issues, minding your personal health, and much more.
Who do you expect will be there this year?
This is the fourth year for this event and it typically draws about 200 attendees, mostly senior-level executives from associations throughout the healthcare sector. What’s great about this conference is the opportunity for these people to connect with one another, perhaps in ways that their members might not. It’s a great way to network and find out which organizations might be dealing with similar issues to yours.
We have two keynote speakers who bring unique dimensions to the conference. We open with Mark Graban, a consultant, author, and blogger whose new book, Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements, explores how the ideas of lean production and other concepts from the world of manufacturing are applicable in the healthcare arena. His message deals with the idea that continuous improvement belongs to everyone in the organization, and he’s going to share stories about some phenomenal changes brought about by implementing these processes.
Our closing speaker is Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, who is co-author of a fascinating new book called Zoobiquity. She is a cardiologist at UCLAMedicalCenter, but she has worked extensively with the Los Angeles Zoo. Her book looks at how many of the conditions that humans face, such as heart problems, cancer, stress, and OCD are also found in the animal world, and that there is a great deal that human medicine can learn from our veterinary brethren. Hers is a compelling message that all too often we dismiss possible areas for collaboration because we let preconceived notions get in the way.
Why should people make sure to attend this year’s Healthcare conference?
This conference is unique because it’s the one event from ASAE University designed specifically for a sector of our membership. An estimated 21 percent of ASAE members are affiliated with an association within the healthcare sector. Unlike other ASAE programs where there might be a session or two relating to the management of healthcare-related organizations, that is the sole focus of this event. Everyone speaks the same “healthcare language” here and understands the challenges and opportunities of working for members who are in primary care, allied health, research, hospitals, long-term care, or any of the other disciplines within this sector.
Any other additional information you may want to add?
We are back in Chicago this year! We’ve alternated between Baltimore and Chicago the past three years, but we’re back in the WindyCity at McCormick Place this year.
I am very excited to be heading to Chicago this November to attend the Healthcare Association Conference 2012, and furthermore to present at the conference on November 9th. A client from the Alliance for Continuing Education in Health Professions, Mary Martin Lowe, Director of Learning and Competency Development, will be in attendance to co-present “Professional Development Portal Triage: Planning for Distance Education Success” with me, and I’m enthused about having an opportunity to speak with many healthcare association professionals about how eLearning can benefit the medical world’s education system.
If you would like further information on this years conference feel free to browse their brochure.
Managing eLearning is written by the Blog team at Web Courseworks which includes Jon Aleckson and Jillian Bichanich. Ideas and concepts are originated and final copy reviewed by Jon Aleckson.
Higher education has been in the news a lot lately: From the rising tuition at Wisconsin’s state schools to the recent announcement of a new online degree program through the University of Wisconsin System. It’s an understatement to say the field of higher education is just “changing,” which is why the 28th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison coming next month is so promising– Bringing experts and professionals together to share ideas on distance learning bodes well for the future of higher education, and education in general.
Along with a bounty of workshops and speakers from across the country, the conference’s top-billed events pose some interesting predictions for the future of eLearning.
The two key note speakers at the conference will focus on the hard science and technology behind innovative eLearning technology. Dr. James Zull, professor of Biology and Biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University, will discuss how neuroscience can help people better understand how others learn. Zull will speak to the delicate relationship between the overflow of information available through new technology and how we process and learn it. This is where neuroscience comes in: Understanding how people learn, he argues, will equip educators for the future of education.
The other key note speaker, Judy Brown, will help learners navigate through the uncharted waters of mobile learning to find methods and strategies which will propel learning and on-the-go instructional education. While not many people have educational or instructional apps on their phones yet, Brown predicts a mobile learning landscape where those who can build effective mobile learning apps will be leaders in the eLearning pack.
I’ll be speaking about key strategies to creating effective eLearning with my colleague Penny Ralston-Berg, an instructional designer at Penn State World Campus and co-author of our book, “MindMeld: Micro-Collaboration Between eLearning Designers and Instructor Experts.”
Sure, every student and instructor wants an effective and interesting eLearning course, but how does one create that? Partnerships between instructional designers and content experts can be fraught with communication breakdowns and confusion about roles during development. A key factor is “micro-collaboration,” which is necessary between instructional designers and subject matter experts, and that collaboration can be hard to achieve.
Without that connection, the chance of effectively conveying information in a course is slim. Penny and I will be using our workshop to define “micro-collaboration” as well as discuss important strategies necessary to achieve it. With discussion, games, and examples from educational, corporate and non-profit settings, participants will discover what micro-collaboration is and how it can flatten power relationships, and will develop the strategies necessary to bring back micro-collaborative techniques to their own organizations.
The workshop will be held on Wednesday, August 8 from 9am-Noon. Penny and I will also be doing a special author discussion on Thursday, August 9 from 11:30am-12:15pm. You can register for the conference here.
Managing eLearning is written by the Blog team at Web Courseworks which includes Jon Aleckson, Karissa Schuchardt and Adelaide Blanchard. Ideas and concepts are originated and final copy reviewed by Jon Aleckson.
I am speaking on a panel this Friday at Johns Hopkins at the MedBiquious Conference. Sounds really cool, but it’s really pretty geeky stuff. I am still studying up on the various “interface” standards this group sets. I hope to post an update on my understanding and reflection after the conference. The MedBiquitous Conference is over a decade old. Since 2001 members of this consortium have been working on developing a common technology framework for online systems to communicate with each other. It is really about promoting systems communications and interface technology standards so that healthcare education (often referred to as CME or continuing medical education) can promote professional competence and in turn better patient care. Here is what I think I know:
Goodbye CME Lectures in Hawaii
The medical education community is saying goodbye to the scenario where your doctor can take a vacation and listen to a speaker to receive CME credits for licensing or re-certification. Health reform advocates are insisting that your doctor stay updated on the speed of change and advancement by demonstrating practice improvement. This call for active learning is a good thing. Clinicians are being asked to enroll in educational programs that require them to actively participate and demonstrate practice improvement. This new CME philosophy and implementation requires numerous technology systems to talk to each other to be successful. Hello MedBiquitious Standards! And there are several types: Activity Tracking, Profile Exchange, Web Services Guidelines, Meta Tagging Rules, SCORM M, Standardized Patient Case Study Format, and others. It all reads a bit “big brotherish,” but when it comes to a license to practice, you probably want your doctor to be on top of the enormous speed of innovations in medical practice change. And, computer data when shared can be a part of a quality improvement program; the risk of evil resulting from data accessibility is the trade off.
eLearning managers reading this post, well, SCORM should ring a bell. So when you think of MedBiquitious Standards think of it as SCORM Plus Plus. SCORM is a common language that allows one online course to be “seamlessly” loaded and communicate with any LMS. It is code that provides the LMS with login information and quiz scores. Among its many standards, MedBiquitious has a SCORM M for medical. Yep, I told you this was pretty geeky. The SCORM M is special information in the otherwise typical SCORM manifest which provides for medical information and other special information sent to the LMS. It is all about interface coding for universal use and it should save thousands of “man-hours” of coders developing custom web services and custom profile transfer protocols.
USB for Tracking Medical Learning Activities and Learning Objects
This standards for interface code stuff is similar to a USB connection (who needs 20 different types of plugs) when one connection is universal. This means that when a medical association has an AMS (Association Management System) that subscribes to MedBiquitious standards, data can be sent from the LMS (which subscribes to the MedBiquitious Standard ) without special custom coding or custom web services code. The AMS can in turn send educational activity data to the licencing board or Registry System. This supports the concept of e-portfolios where health professionals track their own professional development activities. Another way these standards help is to provide special descriptive information or meta-tagging to learning objects: courses, white papers, and self pace exercises. This enables a clinician to use a tool that searches a number of online sources to find sophisticated medical content; possibly while with a patient in a clinic. How we label our medical papers and learning activities or paper based learning materials matter; again the USB concept for quick access—just in time when the doctor needs it. Equally important is how we organize user profile data. The MedBiquitious standard for profile data allows for consistency across multiple systems. So this week’s conference in Baltimore Maryland should prove interesting. I hope I have more to share with you next week.
Here is a good 2006 journal article on MedBiquitous.
eLearning Guild a True Community of Practice
The Learning Solutions Conference serves as the largest of the eLearning Guild’s yearly conferences and brings together professionals seeking to identify, deploy and manage technology-based learning solutions. I was unable to attend the event last week, but I caught up with Jean Marrapodi, eLearning Guild and Learning Solutions Conference veteran, who was willing to share some of her insights on this year’s conference.
Jean shared that what makes this conference different from others is the extent to which people are willing to share information. Attendees aren’t looking at each other like competition, they’re working together to develop best practices that they can leverage outside of the conference setting. It is truly a community of eLearning professionals. Jean noted that she personally came away from the conference with a lot of tactical information, particularly in regards to utilization of mobile learning as a performance support tool.
In my conversation with her, we discussed a few session topic highlights including: the evolving role of the instructional designer as content curator in an increasing “data wasteland,” the power of conversation in learning, and the role of video in education.
I asked Jean to tell me about the session about Avoiding Information Overload: Creating Conversation session. I asked her what did the speaker suggest about the goal of incorporating conversation into the learning environment and not settling for a lecture style?
At Web Courseworks, we make the most of our video production department in our course development. I asked Jean about the session “Making the Most of Video,” .
Roundtable on Evaluation
Jean presented a roundtable on evaluation in the Foundations Intensive portion of the conference where she posed the questions: What’s the difference between an assessment and evaluation? How do we determine why a learner isn’t meeting the course’s goals? I asked for her take on how to best convince management or sponsors to take time and money to develop courses.
Looking ahead, Jean will be taking a systemic look at some of the course offerings at the New England College of Business where she serves as an instructional designer and faculty member. As an undergraduate online course developer, she will be doing her own evaluation of their program to ensure, as she says, “that we’re doing what we say we’re doing… tweaking and improving what we’ve got. We should be continuously improving what we’re doing and if it’s not meeting needs than why bother [offering the courses].”
This year’s Learning Solutions Conference was a huge success to say the least. Learn more about the conference and Jean Marrapodi online.
Your member Experts should lead online courses
I often get inquiries from national associations looking to move their face to face workshops online. The first myth I often need to dispel is the concept that an expert instructor is no longer needed; the second is the notion that online courses carry higher profit margins. Research shows distance education as effective as face to face education; but most of that research included distance education courses taught by an instructor. What is left when you eliminate the instructor? A lot of reading. If you plan to create sophisticated interactive learning activities, like games or simulations, plan to make a significant investment in development. Amortize curriculum development costs over 3 years.
It is true, in the corporate space (where expert instructors are in short supply), a 90 minute self-paced page turner can often be the answer for a specific eLearning initiative. However, I have found that many associations try to copy this model for their distance education courses even though they have much more extensive learning material that warrants a different approach. Ironically, associations are masters at presenting live webinars. All association education directors have to do is combine that live webinar instructor with longer running asynchronous material and call it a 3- 6 week distance education course—college style. Then you have truly replaced the live workshop!
This higher education model generally incorporates a blended approach of both live virtual instruction and asynchronous online course components. The expert instructor should be available once a week to respond to discussion posts. This approach creates a more student-centered environment that fosters engagement compared to the corporate page-turner. When it comes to teaching advanced courses, interactive eLearning technology serves as a great foundation, but it is the instructor that gives the course unique purpose. This approach also helps put butts in the virtual seats since association members generally want to learn from experts in their field.
One of the great benefits of this new online blended approach for both higher education and association learning initiatives is the way a course can be tailored to learners’ unique needs. Offering a combination of lecture, reading, discussion, interactivities, etc. enables each student to approach the material according to their own learning style or learning style preference. The online component of the blended approach opens up enrollment to a wider group of learners because of the decreased need for face-to-face learning and at the same time does not diminish the opportunity for students to engage with their instructor compared to face-to-face sessions. In many cases, learners are more willing to engage with instructors in an online format than they are in a classroom or workshop. Studies on online learning have found that instructor presence in online learning is a significant predictor of student affective learning, cognition and motivation.
As higher education institutions have professors, associations have members that can effectively facilitate courses specific to their expertise. In making the transition to online learning, some aspects of association’s traditional face-to-face training cannot be translated effectively without the presence of an instructor. In moving a live workshop online, it is key to have an expert involved in the new format to be available to facilitate discussion, answer questions, provide additional resources to learners, etc. The combination of “star” member experts, well-designed learning objects and a structured, formal course does nothing but attract enrollment. This model works for associations. Webinar delivered Instructor experts should be a standard course component in association eLearning initiatives.
 Baker, C. The Impact of Instructor Immediacy and Presence for Online Student Affective Learning, Cognition, and Motivation. The Journal of Educators Online, Volume 7, Number 1, January 2010. <http://www.thejeo.com/Archives/Volume7Number1/BakerPaper.pdf>.
The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) began as an initiative at the University of Wisconsin – Madison nearly one hundred years ago. The association seeks to make education more available to adult learners and serves as an industry resource for continuing education institutions and affiliated organizations. Recently proposed reforms promote the incorporation of more technology into student recruitment and the classroom, solidification of the role of the UPCEA Center for Research and Consulting and development of new member association revenue streams.
The UPCEA will be hosting its 97th Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon later this month March 28-30, 2012. Described on its website as “the premier, international association for educators, administrators and staff working in [professional and continuing education],” the conference offers an opportunity to explore how UPCEA members can make education more resilient and sustainable. Penny Ralston-Berg, Instructional Designer at the Penn State World Campus and co-author of MindMeld: Micro-Collaboration Between eLearning Designers and Instructor Experts, will be speaking at the event on “Student Perspectives of Quality in Online Courses.”
I recently sat down with David Schejbal, Program Chair of the 2012 UPCEA Conference, to learn more about the upcoming conference and his thoughts on what association and non-profit distance education professionals can gain from joining UPCEA and attending the conference. As more eLearning management opportunities become available, networking with these types of associations gains steadier importance.
Click play to listen to the interview (approx. 5 minutes)
Patti Shank has been prolific through the years in terms of sharing ideas on how to rapidly create self-paced eLearning with a focus on strong instructional design. With the second edition of her book, The Online Learning Idea Book, Volume Two: 95 Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning, she has once again successfully aggregated actionable ideas from a variety of eLearning colleagues. Although many contributions refer to PowerPoint plug-in tools, there are also good ideas for authors of higher education courses who utilize an LMS.
Here are my top 10 favorite ideas:
- Frustration Check List – This is a practical check list that will encourage your development team and instructor experts to do a quick evaluation of courses under development. Hopefully viewed as a continuous improvement exercise.
- My Personal Learning Network – Use Twitter’s Favorites feature to bookmark tweets by eLearning pundits.
- Online Classroom Clickers – What a great idea. Use third party software to embed instant polls. Suggested free software: www.polleverywhere.com, www.micropoll.com or www.twtpoll.com Also (my comment) some LMS questionnaire modules can also act as “classroom clickers”.
- YouTube You Talk – Create a video and post on YouTube as a learning activity. The instructor on video presents a problem or idea. Learners can post answers or insights in the comment box.
- Branched Scenarios with Three Cs – This is a template system to help with the writing and design of branched scenarios for self-paced modules.
- Reduce OnScreen Text – Lists several ways to reduce onscreen text. Got it; use fewer words, animate graphics. Long live self-paced page turners!
- Easy Video – Apparently http://animoto.com allows for easy creation of video and upload to YouTube and Facebook.
- Easy Mobile Learning Content: PowerPoint to MP4 – Rapid eLearning for the smart phone! Screen capture technology i.e. www.techsmith.com/jing/ to turn PPT into MP4
- Interactivity Calculator – Create a tool that helps you communicate interactivity levels or use mine at www.webcourseworks.com/custom-learning/games-and-simulations/game-calculator
- Pre-work Verification – A simple form that helps instructors confirm that students completed the required pre-workshop material.
Check out the book on Amazon.
Full disclosure: I have contributed two ideas to the book, “Idea Title: Complexity Analysis” and “Better Collaboration with Your Subject-Matter Experts.” In Complexity Analysis, I discuss how knowing what level of complexity is needed and desired up-front helps all stakeholders understand the cost/time/resource implications of more complex projects. In my section on SMEs, I explain how two-way communication and expertise sharing with SMEs improve the quality of the final deliverable.
About four years ago, the UW Department of Engineering Professional Development (EPD) approached Web Courseworks about hosting a Learning Management System (LMS). As a private sector partner, we were chosen by UW Engineering because of our attention to the workforce learner as opposed to supporting technology for on-campus learners.
Since 1949, the UW EPD has offered more than 300 continuing education courses to help engineers learn new technology, solve problems and network with others in their industry. Web Courseworks is a proud vendor and host of several instances of the Moodle LMS for various Department online initiatives.
Collaborating with EPD has created innovative uses of technology, including moving toward using Moodle 2.1. Through this partnership, Web Courseworks has learned more about uses for the open source Moodle platform and gained access to experts in the University’s Department of Information Technology (DoIT). This private sector/public educational institution collaboration is the embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea resulting in a Win/Win!
The 2011-2012 school year marks the 100th anniversary of The Wisconsin Idea, which signifies a general principle: education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. One of the philosophies behind The Wisconsin Idea is Educating Young and Old. It opens doors to students of all ages, with many programs designed specifically to engage pre-college students, working professionals and retired people.
The strongest distance opportunity offered through the Department of Engineering Professional Development (and hosted on our server) is the 2-year Master’s in Engineering Professional Practice (MEPP) program. This Internet-based program is ranked No. 1 in the nation by The Sloan Consortium and features:
- Knowledge and skills you can use immediately
- Project-based learning with experienced engineers
- Award-winning distance learning design
- World-class faculty and a highly respected institution
Year of the Wisconsin Idea
The Wisconsin Idea’s roots begin in 1904 when former UW President Charles Van Hise declared, “I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every home in the state.” He created the university’s extension division and forged closer ties between the university and state government. Faculty experts consulted with legislators to help draft many influential and groundbreaking laws, including: the nation’s first workers’ compensation legislation, tax reforms and the public regulation of utilities.
However, this concept did not have a formal name until 1912, when Charles McCarthy coined wrote “The Wisconsin Idea,” which hailed the progressive era reforms enacted by the 1911 session of the state legislature, many of which were developed by or in consultation with UW professors.
The Year of the Wisconsin Idea will provide a thematic link for a continuous stream of events and activities informing about and reflecting upon the Wisconsin Idea. An interactive Year of the Wisconsin Idea website debuted early this month, featuring more than 1,000 examples of the Wisconsin Idea in action, a history and timeline of the development of the Wisconsin Idea, a calendar of events, Twitter feed (@WisIdea), and a page on which UW staff, students and the public will be able to upload a personal statement about what the Wisconsin Idea means to them.
One Celebration event is the 10-day Forward Technology Festival, which kicks off Thursday, August 18th. This festival will bring the technology and start-up communities together to learn, share, and have some fun. It includes: the Ruby Conference, Sector67 meetup and open social with Capital Entrepreneurs.
Web Courseworks is only one example of how the Wisconsin Idea has enhanced private sector businesses, and are thankful to have the opportunity to work with the brilliant people at the UW, including the DoIT department’s great research and development.