Learning to Work With E-Learning

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Elisabeth Pena

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Learning to work with BY ELISABETH PENA As technology continues to make highspeed communication a reality, the industry is beginning to take advantage of these tools to teach and train. Using the Internet in combination with traditional teaching principles, companies can span great distances and disseminate information through blended learning to large groups of people in a fraction of the time it would take to physically deliver the same messages. inhouse customized sales and customer service training programs.For more information, visit brennantraining.com. TERRY CLOPPER,M.ED.Senior consultant, Barnett International, Media,Pa.; Barnett International,a division of Parexel International, provides consulting, education,and training solutions to pharmaceutical,biotechnology, and medicaldevice companies to maximize the speed and quality of their product development efforts. For more information, visit barnettinternational.com. CAROLA.CONNELL,R.N.Associate director II, development operations team leader, oncology,Pfizer Global Research and Development,New London,Conn.;Pfizer Global Research and Development,a division of Pfizer Inc., NewYork, is one of the world’s largest R&D organizations in the pharmaceutical industry. For more information, visit pfizer.com. JOHN CONSTANTINE.Director,global learning support,GlaxoSmithKline, Philadelphia; GlaxoSmithKline is one of the THE EXPERTS … world’s leading researchbased pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.For more information, visit gsk.com. DANA S. DREVES.Senior VP, strategy, Newton Gravity Shift, Pennington,N.J.; Newton Gravity Shift provides ebusiness applications to enhance corporate communications, improve employee performance, increase productivity, and drive revenue.For more information, visit newtongravity.com. SHERRY GEVEDON. Director, global training and development,Kendle International Inc., Cincinnati; Kendle is a global provider of clinical development, regulatory/validation consulting, and medical communications services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. For more information, visit kendle.com. LISA HANGES.Chief operating officer, ePharmaLearning Inc., Conshohocken,Pa.; ePharmaLearning is a performance JOEAHERNE,CPA.CEO and founder,The Leading Edge Group, NewYork;Leading Edge Group,with headquarters in Cork, Ireland, is a center of excellence in supplychain management, comprising two companies,Leading Edge Consulting,a spe cialty consulting company,and the Leading EdgeTraining Institute, which provides a blended learning solution, combining elearning with traditional classroom training, consultancy,ementoring,etutorials,benchmarking,and supplychain audits.For more information,visit leadingedgescm.com. DAVID BONTHRONE.Director,elearning sales and marketing,Dendrite International Inc., Morristown,N.J.; Dendrite develops and delivers solutions that increase the productivity of sales, marketing,and clinical processes for pharmaceutical and other lifesciences clients. For more information, visit dendrite.com. JIM BREEN.CEO and founder,PulseLearning Ltd., NewYork; PulseLearning, with headquarters in County Kerry, Ireland, is an elearning company that provides tools, technology, products,and services for the development and delivery of content for elearning. For more information, visit pulselearning.com. CHARLES D.BRENNAN JR.President, Brennan Sales Institute, Upper Darby,Pa.; Brennan Sales Institute is a provider of ELEARNING 10 Aug u s t 20 03 PharmaVOICE Whether a company is training its reps,or a brand team is coordinating a CME session,or a sponsor is developing investigator sessions,elearning and etraining tools offer the industry a costeffective and timesaving method to reach,and teach, the masses. eCHALLENGES HANGES. The biggest challenge is driving change management within pharmaceutical companies in terms of transitioning them from the traditional ways of delivering training to vir tual training. Many companies have established elearning departments to support elearning ini tiatives for their internal enterprises, such as salesforce training. Most of these departments, however, are relatively small with limited bud gets and don’t yet have the infrastructure to sup port corporate change. The other challenge is that elearning departments have a responsibility for internal training but are not responsible for using these solutions for the external enterprise. JUST. Elearning has been oversold by many vendors. This technology strategy is just one solution among many. The current term is “blended learning.” There are advantages and disadvantages to instructorled training, print training, elearning, and traditional media. But they have to be used properly in the proper sit uation. A few years ago, pharmaceutical com panies wanted to put everything into an efor mat. Today, some of these companies are backing off a bit after they realized that elearn ing is fine and has its place, but they are not going to ditch other training applications. BONTHRONE. There are a number of cultural challenges to achieving a wider acceptance of e learning into regular training and instructional processes. Elearning requires a major behavioral change. First, some training departments may be reluctant to adopt new technologies, including those associated with e learning, because these represent a significant departure from what’s been done previously. Second, there is a reluc tance to change the phar maceutical industry’s practice of facetoface learning. It is easy to talk about the benefits of an elearning approach and the need to change, but it is not always as easy to gain immediate internal acceptance from a cultural perspective. MANDELL. The challenge is not so much a lack of interest, but getting clients to pull the trigger on participating in these programs. Early on there is, almost without exception, interest by a brand team. But as people shop the idea around internally, they tend to gravi tate more toward traditional programs, such as a teleconference program. JOHNSTON. Elearning will no doubt be used in the future more extensively to influence physicians and other healthcare workers in their decisionmaking behavior. The question is how elearning will be adopted and what other tech nologies will be used, including synchronous tools, PDAs, CRM systems, and so on. JUST. Elearning has to find its natural place and companies are still grappling with how e learning blends into knowledge management, how elearning can coexist or work well with print, and how CDROM delivery can coexist or work well with online delivery. O’GUIN. One of the corporate challenges we face is how to blend elearning with some other ELEARNING solutions improvement company that uses innovative technology and proprietary training methods to facilitate programspecific training for clinical R&D.For more information, visit epharmalearning.com. PAUL HEALY.VP, Intuition Life Sciences, New York; Intuition Life Sciences, with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, is a developer of professional training content for the financial services and lifesciences sectors. For more information, visit intumed.com. NIALL JOHNSTON.VP,business development, North America,Friendly Design Software,San Luis Obispo,Calif.; Friendly Design,with corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, specializes in developing medicalrelated content and elearning training solutions for global pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. For more information, visit fdsonline.com. STEVEN JUST,PH.D.President,Pedagogue Solutions, Princeton, N.J.; Pedagogue produces learning solutions for the pharmaceutical industry, including imaginative instructional design and detailed medical illustration. For more information, visit pedagogue.com. JODIE KALIKOW.Director of product management,Saba,Redwood Shores, Calif.; Saba is a provider of human capital development and management solutions, which increase organizational performance. For more information, visit saba.com. STEVEMANDELL.SeniorVP,sales and strategic projects,MEDReach, Irvine, Calif.; MEDReach,a CMPHealthcare Media company, offers a wide range of nonaccredited education and communication programs for the pharmaceutical industry, including customized meetings,multimedia products,Web programs, teleconferences,and publications.For more information,visit medreach.net. SHAWNMILHEIM,M.S.Senior consultant, Barnett International, Media,Pa.; Barnett International,a division of Parexel International, provides consulting, education,and training solutions to pharmaceutical,biotechnology, and medicaldevice companies to maximize the speed and quality of their product development efforts. For more information, visit barnettinternational.com. DONO’GUIN.Senior manager,elearning,global learning and development,Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals,Pfizer Inc., Rye Brook,N.Y.; Pfizer, with corporate headquarters in New York, discovers, develops,manufactures,and markets leading prescription medicines for humans and animals.For more information, visit pfizer.com. JOHNRACIK.President and CEO,Blue Diesel,Westerville, Ohio; Blue Diesel delivers esolutions that give clients a competitive edge and solve marketing challenges by applying relevant, meaningful technology to drive success. For more information, visit bluediesel.com. MICHELLE REECE.VP, learning and curriculum development, The Certified Medical Representatives Institute, Roanoke,Va.; CMRI is an independent,nonprofit educational organization dedicated to providing healthcare representatives with continuing education,professional development,and certification. For more information, visit cmrinstitute.org. KEITHWESTRICH.CEO,CompuPharma Inc., Piscataway,N.J.; CompuPharma provides training solutions to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries that improve employee performance, regulatory compliance,and operational effectiveness.For more information,visit compupharma.net. GETTINGTHE RIGHT BALANCE between the technology and the overall training program is always challenging, especially in large companies. Keith Westrich 11 PharmaVOICE Augu s t 200 3 areas of training we have done. Pfizer has been the No. 1 training organization in the United States for the past two years, according to Train ing magazine, and we have achieved that excel lence without a strong dependence on elearning and technologybased training. Pfizer is dedicat ed to growing elearning as part of its training and development. But we want to blend and align elearning with the training being done with some of the other delivery models. RACIK. The elearning and the etraining departments need to be moved up the corporate ladder. Etraining and elearning have to become a corporate initiative and not some thing that is just pushed down to sales training. AHERNE. From our research — we currently have a number of supplychain elearning pro grams with manufacturing companies — the biggest challenge expressed by users is a lack of time to access the elearning. The general expec tation of companies is that the bulk of the learn ing can take place outside working hours. The maxim that “you can learn on your own time” is obviously taken to its extreme. To institute suc cessful elearning programs, companies must set aside time during the work week and put a plan in place for users to engage in elearning. Oth erwise the company will not reap the benefits of the added productivity and increased job satis faction that should normally accrue. REECE. Aside from technical challenges, which are certainly significant, the greatest challenges with elearning reside in two areas. The first involves the challenge faced by learners/partici pants to achieve work/life balance. Many times managers do not allow work time to be used to complete training, although it’s very important that they do so to prevent pushback from par ticipants. The second challenge involves ensur ing participation and, more importantly, com pletion of training modules by learners. Because many elearning programs are asynchronous, learners tend to drop out of training programs because they do not feel connected. It is impor tant to recognize that learners have differing computer skills and, therefore, varying comfort levels with elearning. CLOPPER.One of the biggest challenges facing elearning is acceptance. People are accustomed to traditional ways of learning — a facilitator in front of the classroom. Elearning, whether it’s a selfpaced or a videotape exercise, puts people in a different learning mode; and some people have difficulty transitioning from traditional to e l e a r n i n g methods. Elearning Terminology ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING. A learning event that takes place with the student and instructor participating at different times. Usual ly online tutorials. AUTHORING TOOLS. Software tools designed for use by noncom puter programmers to create CBT/WBT training programs. LCMS con tain authoring tools. BLENDED LEARNING. Combining two or more different delivery modes within one training program.For example, instructorled train ing with videotape or selfpaced workbook with computerbased training. COLLABORATION SYSTEM. A computer system that enables the development of Internetbased training programs, as well as asyn chronous dialoguing.These systems work best with training programs that require a dialogue between students and/or a dialogue between the instructor and students and are used most widely in higher edu cation. COMPUTERBASEDTRAINING (CBT).Training programs that are usually delivered on a CDROM or downloaded from the Internet onto the desktop.See elearning. ELEARNING. A learning delivery mode with an electronic compo nent.For example,CDROM, Intranet, Internet. ELECTRONIC PERFORMANCE SUPPORT SYSTEM (EPSS). A help system, typically embedded within the content of a software package,that provides assistance,as it is needed.Not considered train ing but a job aid. LEARNING CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (LCMS). A computer system that creates,deploys,and stores learning content.An LMS may contain an LCMS. LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (LMS).A computer system that is the central repository for training programs, student grades, and other learningrelated activities (i.e., scheduling resources such as instructors and equipment). SYNCHRONOUS LEARNING. A learning event that takes place while the student and instructor participate at the same time,but not necessarily at the same place. Usually facilitated by an online collabo ration system such as Centra or WebEx. TUTORIAL. A generic term that implies an electronic training pro gram (such as a CBT or WBT) or a paperbased, selfpaced workbook. VIRTUAL CLASSROOM.Online, instructorled training conducted through the Internet.Attendees view a presentation and/or a product demonstration through the Internet while listening to the instruc tions via a conference call or over the Internet.See Synchronous learn ing. WEBBASED TRAINING (WBT). An Internetbased training pro gram,viewed through a browser window (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator). See eLearning. Source:Terry Clopper,M.Ed.,senior consultant,and Shawn Milheim,M.S.,senior consultant, Barnett International, Media,Pa.For more information, visit barnet tinternational.com. Terry Clopper The more companies make elearning available, the LESSTIME NEW EMPLOYEES ARE SITTING ON THE BENCHwaiting for projects to come around. 12 Aug u s t 20 03 PharmaVOICE ELEARNING solutions HEALY. Most people enjoy their traditional training days out of the office with all the lit tle luxuries of the hotel, the meals, and the “networking.” Replacing that with a couple of hours at the desk in front of a computer screen can seem like a poor substitute. Elearning works best when there is a compulsion to learn, and that can be either an external or an internal motivation and when there is learning targeted to a specific need. RACIK. The important thing with elearning initiatives is to make sure that as the strategies are rolled out everything is actionable and builds on the previous module. The idea is to take the best practices of adult learning and behavior modification and use those insights to help trainees get the most out of a program. Compa nies must begin to look months and years in advance to what they want to accomplish; the goal is to train people to do things in the most costeffective and efficient manner possible. CONNELL.One of the challenges is the ability to assess the level of learning needed and tailor a program to a person’s unique learning style. We are becoming smarter in our development of elearning tools, as most tools provide visual and verbal learning clues. But people who learn best in an interactive environment are often left out or provided with minimal opportunities for interaction during the elearning experience. eADVANTAGES CLOPPER.The more companies make elearn ing available, the less time new employees sit on the bench waiting for projects to come about or waiting for training classes to occur. Early in my career when a new hire came on board he or she was asked to read manuals until another project began or the next training class start ed. With elearning, employees become more competent, faster — they are in the field doing their jobs and increasing their value to the organization. CONSTANTINE. Elearning definitely has the ability to shorten time to com petency for anything from an IT pro ject, to a new email system, to a switch of products for the salesforce. If an e learning course already is available, a company can get its salesforce up on a new product much quicker than if it had to organize an instructorled pro gram for 600 or 800 people. REECE. Elearning can increase core business performance and competitive advan tage by allowing transmission of small chunks of information that can be relayed easily across an entire field salesforce. For example, information about competitive products, clinical practice guidelines, or formulary guidelines can be accessed via a PDA or laptop while a rep is wait ing to see a physician in his or her office. Justin time training also can be an effective means of communicating important information before, or in conjunction with, a product launch. BRENNAN. Even though elearning has grown in popularity, there is still a strong demand for the continuation of facetoface training programs. Because of the need to produce ROI, many com panies are now turning to blended learning with CDROMs, the Internet, elearning, and online assessments to create a legacy for the skills intro duced during the training as well as tracking their effectiveness. These tools, along with online assessments, have becomevaluable in assisting the training department. DREVES. Increasing core business perfor mance and competitive advantage necessitates a highly engaged and welltrained organiza tion, giving employees what they need to meet the organization’s goals in the most effec tive and efficient way possible. Organizations that use elearning can increase employee pro ductivity, share best practices, improve “good employee” retention, quicken timetomarket, and enhance customer satisfaction by giving their employees the information and resources they need, in the right place, at the right time. WESTRICH.Elearning is best used for quick and efficient transfer of knowledge and infor mation. Today’s corporations strive to impart consistent and uptodate knowledge to employees across the globe. Elearning ensures the dissemination of data regardless of a facil ity’s location. This is particularly valuable in the lifesciences industry as new equipment and technologies emerge on a daily basis, as regulatory guidelines change, and the regula tory bodies increasingly are focusing on, and inspecting, training records. HANGES. Elearning technology has made dramatic improvements in justintime train ing with internal and external stakeholders. When we speak of delivering justintime training, we are talking about knowledge transfer at the point of need. The applications where we have seen this work most effectively are in salesforce training, SOP training, and protocol amendment training. GEVEDON. In the CRO industry, associates are our assets and are a big part of our core business in terms of managing the clinical trial process. Our ability to provide every one of those clinical research associates, who are in the field in support of our core business, the opportunity to access elearning 24/7 any where in the world, is a huge advantage. Because we are Internet based, we are able to deliver information that they need immediate ly after we receive it from our sponsors. CONNELL.Elearning solutions provide compa nies with the ability to increase efficiency by pro viding consistent, quality, justintime, knowl edge transfer across the organization. Organizations that disseminate information poorly will eventually lose profits and credibility. Organizations that get this right will have the competitive edge as their employees will have the data they need to make informed decisions. BRENNAN. The advantage of elearning is that the participant can go back and review key program concepts or receive additional infor mation to reinforce the learning experience. ELEARNING solutions 14 Aug u s t 20 03 PharmaVOICE DANADREVES Elearning presents a unique opportunity for executives to make essential investments to improve the core competencies within their organizations and OPTIMIZETHEIR MOSTVALUABLE ASSET — THEIR EMPLOYEES. DONO’GUIN One of our big challenges is how to bring in technologybased training and have it BLENDWITHTHEOTHERTRAINING METHODS that we use. Using these tools has shown an increase in the retention and application of the skills. BONTHRONE. Elearning can increase busi ness performance by ensuring that people become more productive through greater knowledge retention, and they do so more quickly, conveniently, and efficiently than with traditional means of instruc tion. Furthermore, for minimal additional cost, companies also can have easytouse refresher tools at their fingertips. This helps ensure that employee productivity is opti mized over time. MANDELL.From the perspective of a brand team trying to meet a mar keting or an educational objective, e learning can be very economical. For the company that does live meetings and various types of Internet pro grams, the experience for the partic ipating physician in the elearning environment is much richer and much more fulfilling and obviously more beneficial to the brand team in terms of delivering an adequate message. MILHEIM. The use of synchronous Web enabled tools to communicate, not just in training sessions, but in meetings where people can share documents, is increasing. BREEN. Reduced overall cost is the single most influential factor in adopting elearning. The elimination of costs associated with instructors’ salaries, meeting room rentals, and travel, lodg ing, and meals are directly quantifiable. eBEST PRACTICES CONNELL. Organizations should have a holis tic approach to knowledge transfer. One compo nent of that is providing elearning experiences where they are most applicable and costeffec tive. Internal processes need to be built to sup port the elearning infras tructure with a strong commitment on the part of the organization to pro vide the appropriate resources. BREEN . E l earn i ng should begin with a plan — who, what, when, where, how, and how much. Second, there ELEARNING solutions DR.STEVEN JUST The current term is BLENDED LEARNING. There are advantages and disadvantages to instructorled training, print training, elearning, and traditional media.Each has to be used properly in the proper situation. SHERRY GEVEDON Our synchronous training is delivered via a live collaboration tool and we have a significant number of courses that are asynchronous.WE HAVE ENJOYED SUCCESSWITH BOTH. needs to be involvement from the stakeholders, or other representatives, until they take ownership. Third, the process and strategies associated with the business goals mustbe analyzed. Fourth, orga nizations need to purchase and or create the con tent to support goal achievement. Fifth, the e learning environment — community, content, and collaboration options — needs to be set up. Sixth, a learning program must be developed at the job level that is oriented to the processes and strategies. Seventh, it is important to determine how to manage change and measure results. Eighth, the program must be tested and market ed. Ninth, a rollout plan should be developed. Tenth, it is critical to get lots of feedback. GEVEDON. Each adult learner has a variety of ways of learning. Each individual enjoys dif ferent styles of teaching that may support his or her level of retention or level of ability to communicate the new knowledge in a busi ness setting. We try to meet the demands of each learning style, whether it be people who enjoy selfpaced learning, sitting down in front of a computer and transferring the knowledge by themselves, or whether they enjoy the follow up of a coach or a mentor. REECE. Best practices in integrating elearn ing initiatives with business processes include identifying learning outcomes and the instructional approach up front. All training, including elearning, should appropriately reflect and support core business goals. Iden tifying appropriate learning outcomes may require the input of a number of stakeholders. DREVES.To integrate the elearning initiatives with business processes and strategies in support of core business goals, there needs to be a focus on all of the efforts to meet the organization’s goals. That begins with defining the business need, developing and optimally executing the learning plan, and measuring the plan against the busi ness result. Elearning as aTool to Empower the Salesforce E ELEARNING IS WIDELY RECOGNIZED FORPROVIDINGUSERSWITH EASE OF ACCESS, IMPROVED EFFICIENCY, AND REALTIME TRAINING MEA SUREMENT.BUTONEOFTHEKEYBENEFITSTHAT IS OFTENOVERLOOKED IS ITS ROLE IN BUILDING CONFIDENCE AMONGTHE SALESFORCE. Instilling confidence in the salesforce was a key issue for a leading pharmaceutical company that recently prepared to launch a new antipsychotic treatment in the Japanese market.The company’s sales reps faced several major hurdles going into the launch. FIRST, physicians were largely unfamiliar with the pharmaceutical company as it had only a small market share in Japan at the time. As a result, the salesforce had few established relationships with physicians. SECOND, the societal view of physicians in Japan created an unnat urally large sense of inequity between the doctors and the reps,making it challenging for a rep to communicate on a peertopeer basis or to “push back”when physicians raised objections. The pharmaceutical company’s brand team sought a salestraining solution that would build the confidence of reps by teaching them exactly what to say and what to do in front of physicians and how to effectively overcome opposition.The brand team selected an elearn ing Intranet program known as smartED. They recognized that an interactive application would help reps comprehend and retain the material better than traditional training methods alone. The application divided the training information into four sections or workshops — sales aids, objections, reprints, and competition — and was designed to empower reps to directly and succinctly com municate the benefits of the product to physicians. TheSALESAIDworkshop showed reps how to walk a physician through the sales aid, highlighting key messages in each section. An audio track gave reps exact words to say to physicians and instructions onhow to respond to questions.The OBJECTIONS workshop out lined common challenges posedbyphysicians aboutusing the product and demonstrated strategies for overcoming these objections.This sec tion was particularly important because most reps in Japan had little or no experience confronting physicians’ objections.The REPRINTworkshop explained the clinicalresearch articles about the product and gave instructions on how to communicate the key findings to physicians. The COMPETITIVE workshop enabled reps to compare indica tions, dosage, side effects, interactions with other drugs, and precau tions of the product versus competing products. Because the application was accessible via the Web, reps could log on fromany Internet connection and complete the workshopsat their own pace any time,24/7,which increased their comfort with learning the material. At the end of each section, reps were required to com plete a 20question quiz and submit their responses electronically. The quiz scores, which were made available to both the reps and their district manager, provided positive reinforcement to the reps, while also identifying areas that still needed to be mastered. Mastering the material in the workshops elevated the reps’ability to address physicians as product experts and empowered them to com municate successfully about the product benefits.As a result,the unaid ed recall of the product among physicians within six months of launch far exceeded the brand team’s goal — 48% versus the goal of 30%.The product launch became the most successful for any CNS product in Japan at the time. Source:Blue Diesel,Columbus,Ohio.For more information,visit bluediesel.com. John Racik We have to stop companies from looking at elearning as a tactic or something to be checked off the marketing plan. ELEARNING IS ALIVE, it has the ability to grow and the ability to adapt. 16 Aug u s t 20 03 PharmaVOICE ELEARNING solutions CONSTANTINE.The overriding rule with any training is that there needs to be a business part nership. In the past when training initiatives or training departments failed, it was largely because the training departments hadn’t been enough of a partner with the other business units. If everyone is part of the process then e learning will become a bestpractice initiative. HEALY.The best way to align any practice to a goal is to require participation. The Office of the Inspector General points the way in its recently published Compliance Program Guidelines where it recommends that partici pation in training programs be made a condi tion of continued employment, and training requirements should be a factor in the annual evaluation of each employee. Professional edu cation exists solely to support a client’s business. Clients target P&L. Reaching these targets requires professional capabilities, but individu als vary in the level of knowledge they have to do the job. To succeed, companies need to iden tify these gaps and provide the education to fill them. This can’t be done solely with elearning. A best practice is to map competency models for job roles to an education curriculum and to create individual learning paths that might be a combination of elearning, assigned reading, online review sessions, case studies, workshops, video tapes, coaching, and mentoring. GEVEDON.One of the best practices from an education perspective is for IT and education to collaborate synergistically. When building e learning, IT will be a primary focus in terms of establishing server and infrastructure capabili ties. But with education, content always drives programs, so the integration of both disciplines and processes to support a learning strategy is the best support of a core business. O’GUIN.Having input from a wide spectrum of stakeholders on an elearning initiative is important. Many elearning initiatives are going to touch on different depart ments, including HR, finance, IT, sales, sales operations, organizational effectiveness, or organizational devel opment. Having all of those stake holders involved in the vision phase of elearning is important so that there is ownership and involvement, as well as having the real breadth of the compa ny applying its interests and needs to that elearning initiative. eINTERACTIVE CONSTANTINE. There are primarily design challenges with elearning, particularly when addressing sales reps. There are many promises and benefits to elearning but the problem is we tend to take old programs from the class room and cram them into an elearning pro gram. The program is served up as if it were an exact replacement for the classroom. What results is a long drawnout program where peo ple have to sit in front of their computers for a long time to complete. These programs are hard to download because of bandwidth issues. We need to get smarter with the design, mak ing programs shorter, more frequent, interac tive, and fun. JOHNSTON. Creating good content does not mean the same thing as delivering a good solu tion. Working within the IT and enterprise software constraints of large pharmaceutical companies is extremely difficult and time con suming. Finding partners who have this experi ence must be one of the main priorities of phar ma companies; sometimes they underestimate the importance of this. CONSTANTINE. The best designs are pro grams that have an appropriate balance of text and graphics and have an interactive compo nent. A session can have text and graphics, but if it is just a PDF file people are going to be dis satisfied because they could have just read a book. If people are going to go to their com puter for learning, a program has got to take advantage of the things that computers can do, such as pop ups, simulations, and drill downs. Those are the things that can be used to mimic what happens in the classroom. DREVES. Highly interactive training sessions are defined as truly great training sessions, which achieve substantial results. That takes training to the next level and includes strategy, which engages the user’s mind, ensuring the participant will be more likely to remember the information, and increasing the transfer of information to job performance. GEVEDON.A hybrid approach — a combina tion of selfpaced training and live, instructor led training — is the best way to have highly interactive training sessions. We connect our locations around the world into our live training over the Internet and we network in our associ ates at each of those locations. We have 18 loca tions and may have 10 people to 60 people in a conference room at any location. This provides them with a classroom environment, which they enjoy for the networking, the team work, and the case studies. And it provides us with a way to deliver highly interactive training that aids in retention and in the transfer of knowledge. AHERNE. The only way to create highly inter active training sessions is to put the user first and ensure that effective instructional design methodologies are employed to maximize the benefit to the user. The focus has to be on not only the maximization of the user’s attention span, but on facilitating their awareness span. The users have to be aware of where they are in the structure of a course and be able to identify the logical chunks of information. REECE.The most effective way to create highly interactive training sessions, whether developing synchronous or asynchronous learning programs, is to build in many opportunities to engage the student. Training programs, including elearn ing, should appeal to different learning styles, including visual and auditory. The use of a blended approach has become very popu lar. This type of learn ing allows trainers to incorporate a variety of learning modalities into their programs to meet the differing needs of their learners. ELEARNING solutions JODIE KALIKOW PAUL HEALY If a company doesn’t know who needs to be trained and what the employee’s current level of skill is, it SHOULDN’T THROWA LOT OF ENERGY AND MONEY into having etraining available. The most successful companies know this information and correlate training programs with business goals, such as ensuring regulatory compliance or increasing sales and channel readiness. LEARNING SHOULDBEGOALDRIVEN, both from the organization’s and the learner’s perspective. In a professional context, goals should be business oriented. 17 PharmaVOICE Augu s t 200 3 MANDELL. The best way to have a highly interactive session is to have it be live, have it be small, and have it include a fair amount of opportunity for interactivity. We like to incor porate case studies in our programs, and physi cians tend to enjoy this. An interesting por tion of a CME program is the opportunity to get a CME credit, of course, and to do that there is a testing procedure. BONTHRONE. The more interactive the envi ronment, the more the student is likely to learn, retain knowledge, and enjoy the experience. The ideal method of doing this is by conduct ing a synchronous class. Research demonstrates that a live instructor leading a virtual classroom results in greater audience participation and knowledge retention than a static, passive envi ronment in which a student simply reads HTML content, for example, from a monitor. We also strongly believe that having a comod erator with the moderator, teacher, or instructor leads to overall increased knowledge retention because there is no need for the class to stop if one individual has a question. The comoderator can address the question while the rest of the class proceeds uninterrupted. HEALY. We retain 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 70% of what we discuss with others, 80% of what we experience, and 95% of what we teach others. Every elearning creator should have that mantra tattooed on his or her brain. The computergame industry has a much better take on this — we can all learn a lot from the Playstation generation. O’GUIN. Training should approximate the work environment, challenges faced, decisions to be made, and actual customer and employ ee interactions. Scenarios and simulations are key to interesting online learning that pro duces levelthree results. KALIKOW. Giving people different ways to learn is one of the best ways to create a highly interactive session. For example, companies often provide interactive videos and Webbased training as a starter so that people have a basic familiarity about a course topic before they come to a class. CLOPPER.One way to have a highly interac tive training session is to build training pro grams that let the learners decide on the amount of information that they want. Some times we think that we have to provide all information to all learners. RACIK. To really make the learning experience interactive, it has to be fun. The use of 3D ani mation is being used extremely well to make the science come alive. When the molecular structure of a product is put into 3D anima tion, participants can see what a product is able to do for a patient by how it works in the body through its mechanism of action. This is not only for sales reps and product managers, but we find that the use of 3D animation for physi cian training has really taken hold. JOHNSTON.There are a lot of really cool tech nologies now to create highly interactive ses sions, especially in the 3D modeling space. But the key is not the technology — it is really about partnering with the pharma companies and using their employees, marketing teams, ad agencies, and contractors to develop interactive scenarios that are relevant. Technology can help someone implement great ideas, but its only 50% of the solution. CONNELL.One way to create a highly inter active session is to provide Q&A sessions through interactive Net meetings. Another is to post a threaded discussion to a chat area. WESTRICH.Before designing and developing a training session, careful thought must be put into profiling the learner and defining the objectives of the session itself. Once these are completed, the instructional designer of today has a vast number of development tools to cre ate both interactive synchronous and asyn chronous training sessions. Technical issues such as delivery mode — Internet, Intranet, or CD — also will help determine the appropri ate tools to employ. It is essential that the development and testing phases are learner centric, keeping the end user in the mind. HANGES.The best content should be delivered using a blended approach — integrating a com bination of live online and selfpaced online training. We like to use live online training for the collaborative exercises and Q&A sessions, and then selfpaced online training for more individualized training. For live online training, we make sure the participants are interacting with the presenters every three to four minutes through a variety of methods, including surveys and polling, quizzes and evaluation questions, and breakout rooms for group exercises. For selfpaced training, we try to include as many reallife scenarios and case studies as possible. Technology allows us to provide immediate feedback mechanisms to the learners to reinforce points throughout the content. We can even let them know how well they scored against others, how quickly they responded, and so on. eRETURN ON INSTRUCTION MILHEIM.Measuring ROI is usually difficult. What we like to do is measure return on instruction and make sure the participants are learning the material. One can build a case for ROI by showing not only that there is a hard ROI, but that there is support around the soft er parts of ROI, such as increased morale, a decrease in sick days, and so on. It doesn’t ELEARNING solutions SHAWNMILHEIM Developing CONTENTTHAT IS SCIENTIFICALLY ANDMEDICALLY CORRECT ANDCORRECTLY REFERENCED ANDACCREDITED IS NOT AN EASYTASK.Many pharmaceutical companies have learned the hard way by working with content providers who are not self sufficient. Many of the new training strategies include the use of blended learning — THINKING OUTSIDETHE BOX for newer ways to deliver training that will help to ensure that those strategies that are taught are the most effective. 18 Aug u s t 20 03 PharmaVOICE NIALL JOHNSTON always make sense to perform a ROI analysis for every training project. GEVEDON.The best way to measure ROI in terms of elearning is to tie it into perfor mance. There needs to be a baseline of skills before a program and then an analysis after a program; companies then need to implement a skillsgap analysis to support the findings. This is the best strategy for measuring ROI. RACIK. Everybody is looking at ROI. But it’s important that companies evaluate ROI in the right way. They shouldn’t look at elearning sole ly in terms of profitability and turnover ratio. Companies need to evaluate elearning more holistically and recognize that through the use of technology they can have a more wellrounded or bettertrained representative and, in turn, a more satisfied cus tomer. ELEARNING solutions Clinical Lessons to be Learned P PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES SPEND ALMOST $7 BILLION HOSTING ANDTRAVELINGTO INPERSON MEETINGS EACHYEAR. More than 10% of this expenditure, or $700 million, is spent annually training investigators and coordinators how to conduct specific clini cal trials via traditional facetoface investigators’meetings.This impor tant training is normally delivered with no verification of knowledge transfer or protocol comprehension (other than a signin sheet). A desire to obtain better trained study teams, coupled with the fact that the cost of clinical trials is on the rise and budget and travel restric tions are being tightened, is driving sponsors to seek innovative meth ods for delivering more effective and affordable investigatorprotocol training. To offset these challenges, pharmaceutical sponsors are treat ing their investigators’ meetings as “protocol training sessions” using online technologies to realize significant improvements in protocol/pro cedure comprehension, quality, learning retention rates, and enhanced site performance. COST EFFICIENCY Pharma companies budget about $200,000 for a 100participant investigators’meeting.The true costs can quickly escalate to $300,000 or morewhenadditional training,CRA visits,and projectmanagement time required to train the 20% to 25% of participants who do not attend the initial investigators’ meeting are taken into consideration. This an expensive proposition compared with online solutions, which command a $50,000 investment to deliver the same content, to a broader audience, with no travel requirements, and no additional training. Plus, there is an ability to measure participation, completion, and comprehension and archive the session for future use. Incorporat ing online investigators’meetings on an enterprise scale (i.e., 50 meet ings) can yield more than $10 million in cost savings per year. Online meetings delivered through Webconferencing technology can produce more engaging sessions for the participants and more meaningful results for pharmaceutical sponsors.The twoway commu nication andcollaboration features ofWebconferencingcapture impor tant information fromonline participants throughout the session.Spon sors, at a minimum, can verify who attended, who participated, who understood the information (and who didn’t), what challenges the sites may face, and even predict which sites will reach enrollment goals and which sites are unlikely to do so. SITE PERFORMANCE A recent study published by Eli Lilly comparing virtual protocol/site training with facetoface protocol/site training over four compounds and nine clinicaldevelopment programs suggests that the virtually trained sites had significantly fewer data query rates per case report form page than those trained at the inperson meeting.Other facets of site performance can be improved as well. Consider lowering screen failure rates by improving investigators’ and coordinators’ knowledge of the inclu sion/exclusion criteria of the protocol. A recent survey found that more than 70% of investigators would rather conduct sessions online than travel toa facetoface meeting.Additionally,learning retention rates are increased by as much as 60% using online training solutions. THE FUTURE OFONLINETRAINING Early adoption of online solutions has shown immediate ROI and dramatic improvements over traditional practices.Online training solu tions also canbeused to reach physicians close to study centers,to facil itate referrals,and toeducatepatientsabout studyexpectationsand the informedconsent process.Sponsors nowaredeployingonline sessions to accelerate time to first patient enrolled, oftentimes bypassing initia tion visits. Investigators and coordinators can prepare for a clinical trial by taking selfpaced, studyspecific training modules months in advance of the study launch.After completing the protocol and proce dure competency/testing modules and obtaining IRB approval, sites can attend live, online Webconferences with the study team. Immedi ately thereafter,clinical supplies can be shipped and patients enrolled. Source: ePharmaLearning, Conshohocken, Pa. For more information, visit epharmalearning.com. Lisa Hanges We have seen the use of ELEARNINGTECHNOLOGY MAKEDRAMATIC IMPROVEMENTS in justintime training with internal and external stakeholders. 20 Aug u s t 20 03 PharmaVOICE REECE.Measuring ROI in any training program can prove to be a daunting task and elearning programs are no exception. The use of assessment tools is one way to measure ROI, and this can take place posttraining to measure change in knowl edge or behaviors. Assessment also can measure the level of retention of participants, as well as to extend the transfer of training to its application on the job. Other indicators include improvements in overall job performance measurements and self assessment whereby participants rate themselves on the perceived benefits of training programs and the application of knowledge gained to their job. WESTRICH. Measur ing ROI from elearn ing typically includes examining key indica tors such as past training costs, increased produc tivity, improved quality, reduced waste, reduced staff turnover, and reduction in losttime injuries. Outofspecifi cation reports, QA reviews, and regulatory inspection reports also help determine real ROI. Today’s enter prise LMSs/LCMSs are valuable tools to evaluate the effectiveness of different training methods. Using pre and post assessments, corporations now can easily evaluate a participant’s retention regard less of the facility’s location. BREEN. A company must tie the learn ing objectives to the business goals by building content that meets requirements for learning, impart information, develop understanding and insight, and/or build skills and competencies. It is important to determine the desired outcomes and decide on how to observe and measure these. A company assesses learners regularly using a variety of assess ment approaches — by getting regular feedback from learners, their managers, and peers. JUST.Many pharmaceutical companies are pro viding the knowledge transfer part of the train ing process via elearning. For example, before reps come in for training, pharma companies will mail out CDROMs. In the actual class room reps can focus more on application — how to use the information learned from the CDROMs to sell. DREVES.Measuring ROI in terms of organiza tional change is where most traditional learning organizations do not meet expectations. All learning programs should answer two ques tions: how will learning be applied to onthe job performance, and what business changes are expected as a result of the learning programs? Many trainers believe that their training responsibilities end after a student leaves the classroom or when a technologybased training program is successfully delivered. BONTHRONE. One of elearning’s greatest advantages compared with traditional means of instruction is that it presents an excellent environment for ROI to be measured and reported much more easily. Over time, the effect on organizational change can be mea sured by conducting simple posttraining analysis and linking these back to core perfor mance metrics such as increased sales, greater market share, and so on. Retention levels can be measured through realtime assessment and reporting tools. The effectiveness of elearning also can be measured by first evaluating the types of questions that sales reps are posing to a call center and then customtailoring train ing to address those particular issues. After the training is completed, subsequent callcenter volume can be measured, and the ROI can be determined as to whether the initiative led to fewer questions and ultimately greater pro ductivity. AHERNE. Some organizations contend that it is impossible to fully measure the results of learning. But, there are methods available that claim to do this, such as the Kirkpatrick levels of evaluation — which identifies four levels to assess when evaluating training, including reaction, learning, behavior, and results. Changes in behavior can be monitored in the workplace best by using supervisor feed back. The Thomson Job Impact study found that elearning produced almost 100% improvement in accu racy of performance on the job and 159% improvement in accu racy through blended learning. O’GUIN. It can be difficult to measure ROI, especially for online soft skills, such as train ing around coaching, presentation skills, and decision making. But developing metrics for elearning is a must. It is easy to measure level one — did the participants like the training? It is easy to measure level two — do participants claim to have learned any thing? But measuring level three — did par ticipants’ behavior change and did it change on a sustained basis? That is where the real challenge comes in. And that’s what we are looking for at Pfizer. It is great to teach peo ple something new. And it is great that they say they learned something new. But on the job, did they apply the information, are tasks being performed differently, better, faster, or cheaper than before the training? These are challenging questions to answer and difficult results to measure at

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