The e-learning 2.0 transformation of continuing education of healthcare professionals (CE/CME) will be characterized by a fundamental shift from the delivery of static information online to a seamless, digital operation in which all users have the ability to access, create, and share knowledge in a multidimensional, instantaneous, collaborative, and interactive manner. This transformation will be disruptive, blurring existing boundaries between CE/CME professionals, content experts, and student learners, and modifying the traditional structured learning process to a more informal one. While the opportunities are unlimited, the transformation will present not only technology challenges but also social and educational challenges. Recent experiences with similar disruptive technologies show that a meaningful transformation can be achieved only if the application of technology is accompanied by strategic operational changes. This chapter offers a conceptual framework to guide CE/CME professionals interested in transforming their operations with new e-learning 2.0 technologies. Employing several usage scenarios, a new e-learning 2.0-based model of CE/CME operation is introduced. We also present several examples of approaches adopted by our academic group to address the various challenges discussed in this chapter.
E-Learning 2.0 Opportunities For Continuing Education Of Healthcare Professionals
Defining E-learning 2.0
Before adopting e-learning 2.0, it is important to understand that it involves much more than technology (Downes, 2005; Ebner, 2007; Toub & Kostic, 2008). E-learning 2.0 is a cultural change, and it also has been referred to as social learning (Hart, 2008). This represents a key shift over e-learning 1.0. In e-learning 1.0, information flows “unidirectionally” from content creators to content consumers with the roles of the content creator and consumer generally fixed. In contrast, in e-learning 2.0 paradigms, information is socially and dynamically generated, meaning that a content creator in one instance becomes a content consumer in another instance involving the same learning activity. Accordingly, Ferretti et al. note that e-learning 2.0 has cast a new light over processes and roles in acquiring knowledge (Ferretti, Mirri, Muratori, Roccetti, & Salomoni, 2008). A broad definition of e-learning 2.0 is the ability to access socially and dynamically, create, and share knowledge in a multidimensional, instantaneous, collaborative, and interactive manner.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Adult Learning: A relatively new area of study, the term “Andragogy” initially popularized by the original work of Malcolm S. Knowles. Knowles postulated that adults are autonomous and self-directed learners, practical, goal-oriented, and are guided in their learning by previous life experiences and prior knowledge.
Disruptive technology or disruptive innovation: A technological innovation that improves a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically by being lower priced or designed for a different set of consumers. The term was first coined by Clayton M. Christensen in his 1995 article Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave.
E-Learning 2.0: The ability to access socially and dynamically, create, and share knowledge in a multidimensional, instantaneous, collaborative, and interactive manner.
CME or Continuing Medical Education: Continuing professional development of physicians that is required by each state for keeping up with advances in medicine and with changes in the delivery of care. A variety of CME providers exist, including the American Medical Association, state medical associations, medical specialty societies, most academic medical centers, etc. CME formats vary depending on provider, audience and special needs of the physicians.
SOA or Service-Oriented-Architecture: A style of design that guides all aspects of creating and using business services throughout the development life cycle. The SOA lifecycle runs from the conception of the business service to its retirement. A service is defined technically as a location on the network that has a machine readable description of the messages it receives and returns.
Point-of-care access: Situations in which physicians engage in an active search for specific information at the point of the patient encounter when a new condition or a clinical question arises.
Human interaction processes: Are business processes that are human driven rather than machine driven. Humans participate in and influence the execution of the processes. Keith Harrison-Broiniski describes the unique characteristics of human interaction processes in detail in his book “human interactions: The heart and soul of business process management.”
Digital enterprises: Enterprises whose operations are predominantly electronic. Can also be referred to as Service enterprises or electronic enterprises.