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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Continuing Education and Learning Management Systems

One of our colleagues came to me with a particular challenge, and I'm not sure I have a good answer, nor do I know specifically how to go about finding an answer. I'm hoping that readers can weigh in on both aspects: (1) specific thoughts or suggestions on LMS products that might fit and (2) how do you get answers to questions like this?

Continuing Education Requirements

Requirement #1: The LMS needs the ability to apply multiple types of continuing education credits to a single course, have the user select multiple types of credits to obtain and print certificates with the appropriate wording for the desired credit(s).

Use Case:
Becky Bonds is an RN with the responsibility for coding the plan of care in her office. She has acquired HCS-D credentials and must complete continuing education to maintain the certification as well as nursing continuing education for her RN license. The LMS offers courses with both nursing and HCS-D credits. Before completing the course she indicates that she wants to obtain both the nursing credits and the HCS-D credits available on the Assessing and Coding Wounds course. After completion she is notified that she has passed the test and has access to 1 hour of credit for each type. She then prints her certificates.

Requirement #2:
The LMS needs the ability to enter expiration dates and approval codes into the credit records and assign owners to the record. The fields for the dates and codes must be printable on the certificate and the date must be able to trigger an expiration message to the credit owner.

Use Case:
The Assessing and Coding Wounds course was approved for HSC-D credits on April 22, 2010 with an approval code of BMSC-LHC1234 and an expiration date of April 22, 2011. Jennifer is the credit owner for the HCS-D credit and receives a reminder 90 days prior to the expiration date to reapply for another year. She sends off the request to the BMSC and receives the approval for another year with the approval code of BMSC-LHC2345. A new credit is created for the new approval period and applied to the course when the period starts. The old credit is retained with previous completions.

Requirement #3:
The LMS needs the ability to create customized, course specific evaluation/survey assessments that are required to obtain a completed status for the course.

Use Case:
Evaluations are required for the ability to offer nursing continuing education through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Each course with CE nursing credits must have completed, summarizable evaluations for review by the ANCC.

Typical Gap Found

The biggest gap is in the number of credits most LMS products allow on a course. Most of the ones we’ve looked at allow for one credit per course. We need to be able to put multiple credits of varying values on each course. And each of those credits must be tied to an approval code and expiration date. When the credit expires (usually after 1 or 2 years) we need to be able to update the credit. The value usually stays the same, but the approval code changes. However, we need to retain the older credit so that people who took it while it was in force still have access to the approval code for certificates.

The value and approval code (and sometimes the date range for the validity) must be available to print on certificates. We like to be able to have the user print individual certificates based on their need. So they can either pick the certificate by discipline/CE board or it is automatically assigned based on something in their person record. Rather than having one certificate with multiple statements on it for however many credits the course has. Each board has a different statement they like you to put on the certificate.

The other issue centers around offering course materials to field facilitators for them to present locally. But, we have to approve the facilitator before they can access the materials by reviewing a biographical data form (something like a resume) and a conflict of interest signature. It’s basically a workflow where a person in the field requests permission to teach a topic, an admin has to review their credentials against the course requirements and either approve or deny their access. There is other stuff around it too, but most LMS’s have restricted approval processes that go all one way or another (manager approval OR admin approval), not one where I can choose the approval workflow on a course – by – course basis.


Any suggestions on specific LMS products that should be evaluated?

Does customization make sense?

Have you had a similar issue and found a way around it?

Getting Questions Answered

This is probably not the right venue to ask this kind of question, but I couldn't think of any other good way/place to get this question addressed.

In my LinkedIn Guide for Knowledge Workers, I point out several ways that you can search for experts who might help you. But I did a quick search for things like LMS and continuing education and didn't really come up with people who I thought would be able to help.

If you have this kind of question, how would you go about getting help?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

LMS eCommerce Solution

I just got off the phone with someone who has a fairly common need that I've heard before.  The needs are very similar to those in Rapid LMS and  LMS Solution for Simple Partner Compliance Training

In this case, they are looking to provide their content as eLearning and sell it to individuals and organizations.  Key aspects:

  • Individual eCommerce - someone can go on and buy the course just for themselves
  • Group eCommerce - someone can go on and buy a block of courses that can be taken by people in their organization
  • Pricing will need to be variable
  • Group reporting - the person who bought for the organization should be able to see who's taken, completed, etc.
  • Users will self-select their role which will take them to the appropriate version of a SCORM course
  • Test at the end, pass or retake
  • Provides certificate for the individual that they can print

This all seems like pretty simple stuff right?

What system would you use?

Would you consider a marketplace solution for this?  Do any marketplaces provide the group eCommerce capabilities?  What are the tradeoffs of putting it up on a marketplace?

I'd like to hear your suggestions and it would definitely be helpful to the person trying to solve this problem.

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