As associate director of DIA Learning at Drug Information Association, Katie Hill is responsible for the DIA Global Learning Strategy that drives the development and dissemination of curriculum for the global learning portfolio.
In this episode of the Leading Learning podcast, Celisa talks with Katie about her efforts to revamp DIA’s core curricula, incorporate new business models like business-to-business selling, and introduce new approaches like microlearning and digital badging.
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[00:18] – Thank you to YoYourMembership, the podcast sponsor for the third quarter of 2017. YourMembership’s learning management system is specifically designed for professional education with a highly flexible and intuitive system that customizes the learning experience. YourMembership’s LMS seamlessly integrates with key systems to manage all of your educational content formats in one central location while providing powerful tools to create and deliver assessments, evaluations, and learning communities.
[01:06] – Highlighted Resource of the Week – Tagoras Platform Directory for Learning BusinessesTM– A free report that profiles 30 different companies that are a good fit for trade and professional associations, as well as other learning businesses.
[03:56] – Introduction to Katie and some background information about DIA, who they serve, and how they serve them.
[05:12] – How does DIA think about its role as an education provider? Where do learning and education fit in with DIA’s overarching mission and vision? Katie shares that education is one of the main ways they connect all their stakeholders together to exchange information and bring healthcare products to market quicker, safer, and more effectively.
[06:05] – What kind of learning does DIA offer currently and what ideas or plans do you have of where to go and grow in the near future? Because they serve such a broad range of individuals and they are multidisciplinary, Katie says they offer a lot of different curricula and learning formats including blended learning which they are now doing more of.
[07:23] – One of the things you’ve done recently is move away from a focus on selling learning to individual members, to b2b sales. Would you talk about what pushed you in the b2b direction, and how that switch in focus has played out so far? Katie talks about how they saw an opportunity to expand their reach to other companies, specifically in learning. This includes customizing courses as well as curriculum to meet the unique needs of that company. Internally, this created a mind shift because they realized they needed a business development function that would proactively seek strategic partnerships with companies. They also found they needed an account management function to maintain and grow those relationships as the company’s needs change.
[11:17] – Did you also have to bulk up in the instructional design and course developer curriculum/developer front as you were branching out into doing more customized work? Katie says they did but also needed to become much more heavily involved from a needs analysis point of view with companies. She adds this is actually what led them to creating custom curricula.
[14:00] – You’ve spent the last few years reviving and reinvigorating DIA’s self-paced online learning. Would you share some of the changes you’ve made and what’s driven those? Katie shares they had a 2-3 year strategic plan around this to modernize their core self-paced online courses, both from an instructional design perspective and also by making sure they are incorporating multi-media to keep learners engaged. Now that they have a core curriculum established in the self-paced courses, they are beginning to look at an even newer format where they are developing courses in an online format but she describes it as the “quick and dirty” way of developing eLearning. They found they needed a format that was much more agile in approach because their industry is so heavily regulated which means it is constantly changing. In their new format, they can stream video within an authoring tool which will allow them to easily push out updated content anytime regulations change. It also allows them to focus more on the microlearning concept.
[17:48] – What do you know at this point in terms of how the changes you’ve made are being received? What kind of evaluations do you have in place to understand the benefit that learners might be seeing from the changes you’ve made? Katie explains that they wanted to make sure they had key measures in place to measure the difference so they use pre- and post- test scores and a Net Promoter Score in evaluations.
[19:08] – Being that DIA is a global association, what have you noticed about dealing with learners outside of the U.S.? Katie says there are always different needs regarding instructional design but aside from that, they’ve learned they need to spend a lot of time really testing any new learning technology implementation.
[20:43] – You mentioned you have a very supportive IT team in regards to the testing, but does a lot of that testing fall within the education function as well? How do you handle the pure staffing of the testing work? Katie explains the primary role falls within the education role and IT is the supporting function to help as needed. They also have regional offices around the world they work with to perform additional testing.
[22:10] – What do you see as the major opportunities and threats for DIA—and maybe associations in general—as a provider of lifelong learning? Katie shares that both an opportunity and a challenge are the rapidly changing learning environment and the rapidly changing regulations within their industry.
[24:16] – What’s going on in learning these days that most excites you? This could be an exciting initiative at DIA or a trend or development that excites you as a lifelong learner. Katie shares they are working with YourMembership on a badging pilot to offer digital badging to a subset of their learners (after the pilot they hope to expand this to other curricula as well). In addition to giving the learner the ability to put out a digital representation of the skill or knowledge they’ve achieved, Katie sees the higher-level value with badging will be the stackable badging because they can provide a professional development pathway for members. Something else they’ve just started exploring is a subscription model.
[26:59] – How do you approach your own lifelong learning? Katie says she spends lot of time reading blogs and staying connected on social media to monitor for trends and changes both individually as well as with her learning team. She’s also a member of ATD and finds a lot of their courses and Webinars to be very helpful.
[28:42] – How to connect with Katie and/or learn more about DIA:
[29:23] – Wrap Up
Thanks again to YourMembership for sponsoring this episode of the Leading Learning podcast.
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[30:56] – Sign off