Modern CME Techniques and Methods Improving Effectiveness

cme techniques and methods improving effectiveness

As a CME provider, you need to be innovative and use CME techniques and methods to help your learners with their education as well as improve your CME’s effectiveness. And chances are you’ve implemented some form of technology to increase your program’s strengths as you see your learners’ successes. 


However, there’s also another area you can add to your CME development activities: the use of adult learning theory.


In this blog post, we’ll look at four modern CME techniques and methods improving effectiveness of your CME programs.


What Not to Do

As you develop your courses, there are things you should and should not do when it comes to your CME techniques and methods that will work to your CME effectiveness with adult learning theory. Do any of these play a role in your current content development and help increase the effectiveness of your program? Do you:


  • consistently engage your adult learners in their learning processes?
  • understand your learners' needs?
  • present your learners with well-developed content that’s engaging?
  • give your learners with content that they can use straight away?
  • recognize issues with learners’ retention of your content?
  • design your CME targeted to your learners?
  • provide technology that keeps learners engaged and is easy to use?


If you’ve answered “no” to any of these, it’s time to pivot and take on today’s modern CME techniques and methods improving effectiveness, all the while leveraging today’s technologies to do so.


What You Should Do in Your CME?: Leverage Adult Learning Theory

Introduce adult learning theory as a crucial way to improve your CME techniques and methods improving effectiveness. While there are various principles, not all are used at once since there is no “one size fits all” for your learners because they each have different learning styles and overall needs. One of the main principles is andragogy. American educator Malcolm Knowles brought this to the forefront of education as it recognizes that it is the art and science of teaching adults. 


In his research,  Knowles identified that certain characteristics of adults include:


  • Learners prefer to learn on their own.
  • When learning, adults want to have the ability to use their life experiences to assist with their learning.
  • Learners have a great desire to learn, especially when they are moving into new roles. particularly when they can immediately use content.
  • Adults want to use their real-time situations to drive their learning. 
  • Adult learners want to solve actual problems, whether it’s in their professional or personal lives.


With these characteristics in mind, let’s look at several theories you should consider when using modern CME techniques and methods improving effectiveness in your program.


The transformative (or transformational) learning theory is all about helping learners change, whether it is on a large scale or a smaller one. It was developed by Jack Mezirow in 1978 and aims to transform a learner’s existing frame of reference through self-reflection, tasks, and problem-solving. 

The transformative learning theory is definitely the more cognitive learning theory of the examples listed due to the large amount of self-reflection that it makes up. 

With the transformational learning theory, use your modern CME techniques and methods improving effectiveness through such as  online quizzes to assess your learners’ knowledge of the content and to assist in their self-directed learning. 


Drawing on other psychologists’ work, David Kolb developed the experiential theory in the 1970s. It’s a more hands-on approach to adult learning and is formed on the basis that adults learn best by doing. 

The four elements that make experiential learning a success are:

  • Self-reflection
  • Active involvement
  • Conceptualizing the experience 
  • Using the knowledge learned from it in real life.

When planning your CME programs, consider using forms of activities that enable your learners to gain knowledge through active involvement with peers, faculty members, or researchers. Learners can take advantage of activities such as ice breakers, self-assessments, case-based discussions, and question and answer sessions.


As the name implies, self-directed learning involves a lot of initiative from the learner and it’s aimed at a lot of the informal learning we do as adults. Self-directed learning is part of Malcolm Knowles and D.R. Garrison’s theory of adult learning. 

Mentors and teachers can facilitate the process through providing guidance and access to the training tools needed. The onus in this theory is more on the learner though, as with self-directed learning the progress, initiative, and objectives are driven by them. 

Putting the Learning All Together with Technology

If you are seeing your learners failing to complete their CME courses, this may mean your content is not engaging and or addressing their needs and learning styles. Taking into consideration the various learning theories available, you should use a learning management system (LMS) that enables you to design your CME to meet the needs of your learners and help with your program’s effectiveness. 


The education you provide in your CME should be grounded on the principles of adult learning theories. However, in order to make it more suitable in today’s educational learning environment, move away from the traditional forms of content. 


EthosCE is a web-based platform that enables you to offer your learners multiple CME techniques and methods improving effectiveness. Learners take advantage of web-based live, and online content in multiple forms, as well as enduring materials, all of which address their different learning styles based on adult learning theories. When you take this on board, you are not only improving your CME but providing your learners with success.


To learn more about using EthosCE for your CME technology, contact us for a free-1 to-1 demo with our specialists today!