As a CE coordinator, one of your most significant challenges will be to cultivate healthy course completion rates. Not only is it an important indicator of your program’s ability to improve learner outcomes, but flat or downward trending course completion rates can undo any program growth that you and your team have managed to achieve. In this post, we’ll look at three ways to use member engagement programs to keep your learners motivated through to course completion.
Use CME “Samplers” to Keep Learners Engaged
For many busy medical professionals, an abandoned activity may reflect a packed schedule, not necessarily a disinterested learner. The key to reigniting interest, in this case, is to refocus your learner’s attention on why your activity should rank high on their list of can’t-miss experiences. Your course will have to compete with a myriad of other pressing issues, and unless you’re able to present a compelling argument within a few seconds, it is unlikely that your appeal will hit home.
The best way to do this is to remind them of what they are missing —without requiring them to read a course description or an overly long reminder email. Sending a link to a lesson excerpt, or presenting images from a past or upcoming activity can remind your learners of why they enrolled in the first place, encouraging them to return to finish their courses. In marketing, consumers remember visuals and interactive elements much longer than plain text. An email presenting an image linked to an interactive lesson sample can have a quick, powerful impact that will drive your message home instantly.
Lesson samplers can also be used to keep learners on track, by offering them teasers of upcoming activities as well as updates on their progress.
It’s an important point to note that this tactic will only work if your LMS isn’t the chief cause of your learners leaving activities uncompleted. A hard-to-navigate front end, complicated FAQs, or course material that fails to meet learners’ unique educational needs are a few reasons that a busy professional might put off course completion. An enterprise-grade CME LMS such as Ethos CE will put user experience at the heart of its design—from support ticket management to easy-to-update course activities— preserving your time and resources. If you aren’t using an all-in-one CME LMS, then you’ll have to continue troubleshooting on your own. Provided that your learners aren’t leaving because of a design issue with your LMS, the easiest way to find out what do this is to ask your members what’s keeping them from engaging with activities.
Use Insights from Member Polls to Enhance Content and Engage Learners
CME learners, just like any other customer, will have opinions on how well their user experience met their requirements and expectations. The time to find out how well your CME program is meeting your users’ needs isn’t when they have begun to drop out of activities. The best method for heading off platform abandonment is to frequently poll members to assess pain points in activities and develop an action plan to address persistent issues. An LMS that makes it easy to add curriculum elements (like quizzes and multimedia) allows CE managers to use member feedback to improve activities in direct response to user needs.
For example, a poll which reveals that users find assessments too far apart in the activity to reinforce new concepts could result in a quick curriculum update, with new quizzes and clickthrough examples added. Letting learners know that you’ve made changes based on their feedback is more than just great PR: it’s an essential component of your program’s compliance with ACCME mandates to match activities to your audience’s unique needs. The EthosCE LMS makes this easy, by offering member polling and quick integrations of new course materials from a single dashboard.
Develop a “Remind and Encourage” Learner Feedback Strategy
If you’ve already developed a strategy to remain top of mind with your learners and your course content is an excellent fit for your learners, then take a look at the automated feedback that your active learners receive. In some instances, users need instant encouragement and reminders when launching or continuing a new activity to feel engaged with the material. An activity which offers learners feedback after quiz completion (or within a quiz after each question), as well as timely summaries of milestones reached, maintains user engagement by keeping them attentive to the learning process, even when they’ve finished a portion of their course. A personalized update, combined with a reminder to return to complete an activity encourages your learners to keep up the good work and not let their progress go to waste. If your LMS offers member polling as a platform feature, then it’s simple to include a few questions in a follow-up reminder asking your learner if it is a content or a platform issue that is causing them to delay their studies. This invites your learner back for a “conversation”— asking them to assess why they’ve fallen behind and offering them an opportunity to let you know why. For many learners, clarifying why they’ve gotten off track can help to bring them back to their work if it’s a matter of time management or simply forgetfulness. If it is a content or design issue, your invitation to share their learning experience roadblocks can encourage them to return and see what solutions you offer.
At the heart of the success of your CME program is the ability to respond rapidly to your learners’ needs, and update your LMS—from curriculum design to FAQs—to match their changing requirements.
The EthosCE platform makes it possible for CE managers to stoke user engagement and diagnose learning roadblocks from a single dashboard. Our LMS is purpose-built, created to simplify the CME management and program evaluation process for CE managers, helping you to focus on keeping your learners engaged throughout their courses. From PARS-compliant reporting to curriculum design management, EthosCE is your partner in developing and maintaining superior CME programming. Connect with us to find out how our platform can help you reach your goals.