As promised, we are going to spotlight members in this community on a monthly basis that are doing something in their organization that we think would be valuable for others to know about. This month, we would like to highlight the pocket trainings offered by the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA).
Celisa interviewed Shari Rager, Deputy Director at AMWA, a few weeks ago for our Leading Learning Podcast, and although they talked about a lot of new initiatives going on at AMWA, they didn’t have a chance to discuss this particular topic.
Pocket trainings are mini tutorials designed to cover a variety of topics useful to medical communication professionals. The topics are oriented toward medical communicators and use specific medical communication-related examples.
They were originally designed as free resources for members which were available behind the “member wall” of their Web site. Following the launch of AMWA Online Learning a few months ago, these resources were transitioned into the LMS platform, and, although they are still free, they now provide an added incentive for members to go into the new system and hopefully see all the other great activities and resources available.
Below are some general comments about what I like about AMWA’s design of pocket trainings (in no particular order):
- The trainings are developed by AMWA members for AMWA members, which means the content is member-driven and more on target for the audience.
- The trainings available represent a wide range of topics and scope. For example, some focus on more specific skills such as “Editing and Organizing References in EndNote,” while others are more general and focus on topics such as “Connecting Constructively on LinkedIn.”
- They are an AMWA member-only benefit which likely helps members better appreciate the value of their membership.
- Pocket trainings were easy to find on the Web site. They were clearly labeled on the Education tab of the main page.
- The name “pocket training” is both a catchy moniker and a way to indicate there is a convenience associated with the trainings.
- Members are able to give feedback related to pocket trainings—which AMWA adds has been very positive (88% strongly agree or agree that the content is arranged in a clear, logical way, and 84% strongly agree or agree that they will be able to apply what they learned in their work).
I also hope that this example may help you if you are among the roughly 80% using technology for learning who haven’t yet found a way to offer microlearning opportunities to your members (based on our latest Association Learning + Technology report). Although these do not constitute microlearning, they are certainly a step in the right direction and, according to Shari, they “set the stage” for the type of shorter/more focused online learning activities that they hope to develop in the future. If it’s not realistic to jump into micro all at once, it may be helpful to approach it in stages.
Great job to AMWA and thanks to Shari Rager and Lauren Ero for letting us put the spotlight on you this month–feel free to comment here if you have any other useful information to share!
And if you haven’t already done so, make sure to check out our previous Community Spotlights:]