Volume 5 Continuing Education
Chapter 02 Continuing Education: Educational Planning Policy
Responsible Office: Continuing Education
Originally issued: 2001
Revised: August 2007
All activities sponsored by the Division of Continuing Education must adhere to the planning process prescribed by the appropriate accrediting body and include needs assessment, objectives and evaluation. Needs assessment data are required and collected for all planned educational activities in order to implement meaningful, quality educational content in accordance with the mission and purpose of the institution. All educational activities must identify the purpose and objectives that target improved patient care. The purpose and objectives must be available to the participant prior to the beginning of the educational activity. All educational activities must be evaluated by the participants and by the Division of Continuing Education to determine the effectiveness in meeting the identified educational need to ensure improvement in participant knowledge and patient care. The Division of Continuing Education evaluates its continuing education program quarterly and annually.
Reason For Policy
The Division of Continuing Education is controlled by accrediting organizations that require specific planning protocols. Georgia Health Sciences University Division of Continuing Education must adhere to these protocols to maintain accreditation.
Entities Affected By This Policy
All continuing education course directors, course planning committees, course faculty, commercial supporters (sponsors, grantors, and exhibitors), course participants, and university administrators are covered by these policies.
Who Should Read This Policy
Continuing Education course directors, course planning committees, course faculty, commercial supporters, and university administrators should read this policy.
|Director, Continuing Education||706-721-3967||http://www.georgiahealth.edu/ce/|
|Senior Conference Coordinator||706-721-3967||http://www.georgiahealth.edu/ce/med.html|
|Dental Conference Coordinator||706-721-3967||http://www.georgiahealth.edu/ce/dental.html|
See Policy 5.01 Continuing Education Policies: Overview for additional definitions.
|Needs Assessment||Data collected for all planned educational activities in order to implement meaningful, quality educational content in accordance with the mission and purpose of Georgia Health Sciences Unviversity and the Division of CE.|
Georgia Health Sciences University requires that all continuing education activities accredited through this institution adhere to the planning process prescribed by the appropriate accrediting body. This planning process includes: 1) Needs Assessment; 2) Purpose and Objectives; and 3) Plan for Evaluating the Activity.
Section 1. Needs Assessment
Needs assessment data are required and collected for all planned educational activities in order to implement meaningful, quality educational content in accordance with the mission and purpose of Georgia Health Sciences University and the Division of CE. The needs assessment is one part of the systematic planning process for the design and implementation of meaningful educational activities. Needs assessment data are collected from a variety of sources including journal reviews, medical trend reports, past participant requests and related health care resources. Data from professional health care associations, societies, and agencies are collected and analyzed in the needs assessment process. Data from the Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) in Georgia and regional data including targeted research areas identified by Georgia Health Sciences University’s Centers of Excellence and by Cooperative Health Education Partners (CHEP) are among the other sources. Feedback from CE participant evaluations is collected and analyzed for the purpose of identifying future continuing educational activity needs. Faculty members as content experts identify learning needs based on various educational resources and experiences within their respective disciplines and recognized expertise. The collected needs assessment information is used to directly address the educational needs for the state of Georgia in alignment with the mission of the university. The needs assessment process is systematically used to link identified needs and the desired activity purpose and outcomes when planning future educational activities.
Section 2. Purpose and Objectives
All educational activities must identify the purpose/objectives that target improved patient care and/or health-care participant knowledge. The purpose/objectives are to be made known to the health-care participant prior to the educational activity. The needs assessment data is reviewed in planning the purpose and/or educational objectives of the activity. The purpose/objectives of the educational activity are communicated to the learners prior to the start of the educational activity and are used in the marketing materials. Instructional design support is offered to the Course Directors to assist with writing behavioral and measurable purpose statements and learning objectives. A pre-conference meeting is held with Course Directors to assist with the linkage from the needs data to the communication of the purpose/objectives of the educational activity. Instructional design support is offered to faculty for planning the design and implementation methods to be used in the educational activity. The targeted instructional technology is identified in the pre- planning process. Efforts are made to encourage the use of the most effective instructional method and technology. The educational content is linked to the needs assessment data and the Purpose/Objectives for improved learning outcomes and participant satisfaction. The Purpose/Objectives must address participant performance outcomes and/or expectations for patient health.
Section 3. Evaluation of Effectiveness
All educational activities must be evaluated by the Division of Continuing Education to determine the effectiveness in meeting the identified educational need, intended purpose/objectives and improving participant knowledge and patient care. This review is required for awarding credit and is mandated by appropriate accrediting agencies and the university.
Each educational activity is evaluated using a Division of Continuing Education Evaluation form. Evaluations are collected at the end of each educational activity and analyzed. Within 60 days of completing the educational activity, the results of the evaluations are reported to the Course Director. Summaries of the evaluation results are filed in the Division of CE’s accreditation records. All evaluation documentation is confidential and maintained in compliance with accreditation guidelines.
Educational effectiveness is determined using a variety of methods:
- Participant Evaluations: All participants evaluate the effectiveness of the educational activity in meeting the purpose and/or objectives, the change in knowledge or skills obtained and the perceived impact on future practice. The number of returning participants is also analyzed as a measure of satisfaction with Georgia Health Sciences University learning activities. Continuing Education’s targeted satisfaction benchmark is 80% although the highest possible satisfaction rating is sought.
- Follow up Surveys/Interviews: Follow up surveys or interviews are used to determine effectiveness of the learning. Participants are randomly sampled to participate in a follow up measurement that analyzes the effectiveness of the learning activity for the professional’s practice and delivery of care. The follow-up interview may be conducted by telephone, mail, or an Internet survey.
- Testing Effectiveness: The pre-test/post-test method is another means of measuring educational effectiveness. Participants may be asked to take a pre-test at the beginning of the activity. At the end of the instruction, a post-test may be administered and scored. Participants are able to measure the learning resulting from participation in the educational activity. These assessment procedures may include self-scored exams, use of case examples or the Audience Response System technology.
- Skills Assessments are used in certain CE activities that focus on teaching new skills or the use of new equipment or technology. Participants demonstrate the new skills gained in the educational activity as a measure of learning effectiveness. Faculty experts provide feedback on the competency level to the participant.
- Educational Effectiveness data is included in the Needs Assessment process when planning new educational activities and is used to provide continuous quality improvement.
The responsibilities each party has in connection with Academic, Research, and Student Affairs Policy 5.02, Continuing Education: Educational Planning Policy, are:
|Director, Division of Continuing Education||Provides oversight and ensures compliance with all planning policies for continuing education activities.|
|Senior Conference Coordinator||Plans continuing education activities in compliance with planning policies for all continuing medical education activities offered by the institution.|
|Dental Conference Coordinator||Plans continuing education activities in compliance with planning policies for all continuing dental education activities offered by the institution.|
|Course Directors||Understand and follow guidelines in the process of course planning and offer direction to course faculty as appropriate.|
|Course Faculty||Follow Continuing Education guidelines to plan evidence-based course content that is free of bias to fulfill the mission of the Georgia Health Sciences University.|
|Commercial Supporters||Understand and comply with guidelines for providing commercial support for continuing education activities.|
|Vice President for Instruction and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs||Oversees the operation of the Division of Continuing Education, ensuring that the educational programs provide professional development and life-long learning for health-care professionals.|
Continuing Education Forms (required forms for continuing education activities): http://www.georgiahealth.edu/ce/Forms.htm