5 Critical Aspects of Effective CME

critical aspects of effective cme

More and more continuing medical education (CME) providers are using innovative methods that incorporate the latest technology. You can increase participation in your online CME programs when you begin to leverage learning theories.

Adult learning theory was first introduced by Dr. Malcolm Knowles in 1968. His ideas are important because they focus educators on understanding their learners through the use of andragogy, a key factor in designing effective CME programs. Andragogy has various principles of learning theory.

As a CME provider, you need to consider these principles and other information as you create your courses with your learners in mind.

In this blog post, we examine the value of five critical aspects of effective CME that relate to adult learning theory.

1. Andragogy for Your CME

Dr. Knowles developed several learning principles that were directed toward adults as opposed to children. With andragogy, he discovered that:

  • Adults have to know why specific things are being taught to them—basically, “What’s in it for me?” (WIILFM). When they understand the WIIFM, they are more likely to be more attentive.
  • Your adult learners are task oriented. So, rather than relying on memorization, their learning should be in the context of common tasks that are performed by fellow learners.
  • Take into account the wide range of learner backgrounds. You should have course materials and activities that accommodate different levels of knowledge and/or experience with computers.

These principles will aid in your learning material development and enhanced CME experiences.

2. Self-Directed Learning in Your CME

Self-directed learning is one of the most effective approaches for enhancing physician performance. Another critical aspect of effective CME, this type of learning is well suited for “self-motivated learners and those who respond well to technology-based learning.” It brings in concepts of how adult learners self-manage and enables learners to take the initiative to understand what they need to learn.

Your learners may use conversation groups or technology apps to help them in their studies. They can review their progress, evaluate their own results, and assess what areas might need improvement.

3. Constructivism Learning for Effective CME

Constructivism learning theory is based on the idea that “people actively construct or make their own knowledge, and that reality is determined by [their] experiences as a learner. Basically, learners use their previous knowledge as a foundation and build on it with new things that they learn.” This theory focuses on learning as an active process.

4. Connecting with Connectivism

Connectivism is a theory by George Siemens, who describes it as “a learning theory for the digital age.” It is derived from forming connections. Instructors help learners connect with their prior knowledge, and learners must also be able to recognize new knowledge.

According to this theory, “[e]ducators must help students connect previous knowledge to new knowledge, and students must be able to recognize gaps in their knowledge as well. With technology, students have an increased ability to independently seek the most current information on any topic. This type of exploration and self-motivated learning should be encouraged. Connectivism embraces the idea that learning is no longer a completely internal process. Students should have opportunities to connect knowledge and ideas, independently seek understanding, and connect with others to share knowledge via technology.”

5. The Entry of Technology into CME

Adult learning theories are important because they focus on you as a CME provider who understands your learners, the main factor in designing effective programs. So, when you use technology in your CME program, ask yourself:

  • What are my educational goals?
  • How will technology enhance my ability to reach these goals?
  • How can I use technology to help adult learners make connections?

If you're following these guidelines, you can be confident that you’re implementing your CME effectively.

While there is no preferred medium for learning, healthcare professionals are increasingly consuming education delivered through digital channels.

When it comes to technology and CME, consider using a learning management system (LMS) that incorporates digital technology and enables you to develop content that addresses learning theories. An LMS such as EthosCE can provide you with methods to understand your goals and objectives, identify your learner audiences, and implement appropriate web and e-learning technology that reaches learners of all abilities.

EthosCE Can Help You Obtain Effective CME

Coupling adult learning theories with technology can prove to be a successful means of CME education for your learners and an effective CME development process for you. With EthosCE, you can meet your learners’ needs, making their educational experience a positive one.

At EthosCE, we understand the challenges of staying up to date and compliant with ACCME changes. We know how critical it is to get things done right the first time when it comes to team-based education and success.

To learn how EthosCE can enhance the continuing education of your healthcare teams, schedule a free 1-on-1 demo with one of our specialists today!