One of the priorities identified in the Society’s most recent Strategic Plan, SP4, was to focus on expanding our online programming. This could not have come at a more crucial time as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our professional and personal lives, forcing us into a primarily digital lifestyle.
As the Society shifted all in-person events online, staff were also hard at work defining the long-term plan for online education. An important first step was reevaluating the way in which the Society delivers these important activities to its members and the endocrine community. The existing Center for Learning platform was in need of an upgrade to remain current with trends in online education and there was a heavy reliance on narrated PowerPoint for content delivery. It was clear that we needed to start with the exploration and selection of a new platform to host the Center for Learning.
As part of the selection process, several priorities remained top of mind:
- The need for a central education “hub” that the community could regularly explore for new content
- Intuitive navigation from course selection to credit claiming
- An eye to mobile: what can learning look like on the go?
- Diversity in available activity types
- Differentiating public and members-only activities as we increase our member exclusive content portfolio
After months of design conversations, content, and user progress migration, we are pleased to offer the new Center for Learning, officially launched on August 16.
The next stage of the Society’s online education roll-out is a calendar of regularly scheduled members-only webinars and the implementation of new activity types and learning modalities.
Members currently have exclusive access to such content as the successful Endocrine Feedback Loop podcast and timely webinars hosted by our Special Interest Groups (SIGs), as well as our journals and magazine. Our focus is to continue that trend with more programming that represents all our member groups, both clinical and scientific. This will follow an annual gap analysis where staff and member volunteers will carefully review the current portfolio, evaluation feedback, and performance outcomes to design and produce programs that meet the education needs of the endocrine community.
Speaking of new programs, the Society will introduce a new diabetes-focused certificate program in 2022, developed in partnership with the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. This product will include new and engaging learning modalities and an enhanced assessment experience in the new Center for Learning. The Fellows Training Series, a staple in the in-training community, is also receiving a significant upgrade to both better meet the content needs of today’s fellows while providing a mobile-first learning experience for improved accessibility.
The Endocrine Society has remained nimble during this trying time, and these are just some of the innovations planned for the coming years.