eLearning In The Pharmaceutical Industry – 5 Things That You Should Look Out For

Written by Alexander Perko from eWyse

The events of 2020 have turned the world upside down. And no area has been affected so dramatically as the world of healthcare.

Priorities have shifted to cope with the changes, but the need for the service is as vital as ever. In many ways, or especially because of this, there’s a continued need for medical staff to be trained and upskilled.

And this is where eLearning really comes into its own. 

Here are five of the most important factors in the development of eLearning courses for the Pharmaceutical Industry.

The need for speed

The Pharmaceutical Industry sits in a fairly unique position and is subject to a huge amount of regulation and change. It also occupies a place of almost unchallenged importance in our society, with the very demographics of the world shifting based partly on the availability of reliable healthcare in an area. 

With so many pressures, there is a constant and often sudden need for courses to be built when training has to be implemented. 

To achieve this, the experience to build courses rapidly, while maintaining quality is key. This is where tried and tested systems come to the fore. When developing a training course, look for an agency that can respond to your request quickly and has in place proven systems to allow production to seem effortless. You want your course to be effective, but it also has to be delivered on time. Asking about their Rapid eLearning processes and experience with similar clients in your industry is a great way to decide on the best partner.

Limit the gamification

One of the greatest challenges that employers face is ensuring that their learners are motivated enough to undertake or even to finish the training courses. 

Regulatory or competitive pressures all highlight the importance of training at an organisation level, but this does not necessarily mean that those tasked with completing the training will do so.

However, in the Pharmaceutical Industry, our experience tells us a different story. We have found here that there is an unusual level of intrinsic motivation within learners, which means that nurses, pharmacists or technicians, for example, do not need the usual bells and whistles in courses to keep them engaged. In fact, adding elements such as gamification, with its rewards, badges or leaderboards can actually nullify the effectiveness of the course and switch off these highly motivated learners. Limit the gimmicks and focus on the delivery of quality content.

Distraction-free learning

When working with Pharmaceutical clients we’ve also found that learners have a strong preference for courses with less distracting elements such as fancy animations or highly stylised voiceovers.

This reflects the previous point and underlines the fact that these extrinsic motivation tools are far less relevant to a highly motivated learner, who sees the training as part of a mission to add value in what they are doing.

The challenge is to find an agency with the experience of producing eLearning courses that help further engage the audience with their clean, simple and streamlined design.

Keep it simple, stupid

One of the most important factors in the designing of courses for the Pharmaceutical Industry is the consideration of the learners’ needs, such as the preferred method of learning or including ways to maximise the chance of the learner being able to incorporate the training into their busy schedules.

With such a varied audience, in terms of age, qualifications or cultural background, this can be a challenge. Our experience has shown that the design of simple, predictable and easily navigable courses is key to their successful completion. 

Great User Experience, tied with universally accepted rules for simple course navigation means that users of all backgrounds will be more likely to engage with the learning material. 

They won’t be off-put by the uncertainty of getting started or the fear of wasting time by progressing through complex course journeys, especially if they are also balancing the training with hectic daily schedules. 

Close client cooperation

It’s said that the ability to build a close rapport with people is the most valuable skills to possess.

This rings true in working relationships and is especially important in an industry where the rapid production of mission-critical learning materials is key, as well as the need for feedback to ensure course style and content stays on track. The application of scientific principles, wording and theory to course materials must be guided by the client the Subject Matter Expert, to ensure that the learning materials retain their credibility, engagement and effectiveness. 

The building of strong working relationships means that pharmaceutical companies working closely with one or two trusted agencies will benefit from long term relationships that deliver fast, accurate and hugely valuable learning benefits.