SETTING THE STAGE FOR IMPACTFUL DIGITAL ANIMAL HEALTH TRAINING: THE KEY IS STRATEGY
On the new path of digitalisation, having a good training strategy is necessary if you want to make veterinary training a real asset for your company.
To do this, it is essential to lay solid foundations before even thinking about the training itself: carry out an audit to discuss the expectations of all stakeholders, define the key points of your digital training, and then focus on the way in which you will run these courses.
Carry out a productive training strategy audit
Behind any training strategy, development is crucial. Before rolling out your training project, it is important to ask yourself about the key points that define the scope of your animal health training. This is an essential step in effectively adapting digital training to the culture and global strategy of your organisation.
An audit takes time, but this will just be time saved later on. There are different key themes that we will see later: objectives, context, vision, audience, constraints and finally evaluation.
Discussing and interacting on these issues will help kick-start the project exponentially. Each stakeholder should be included in the process so that each one has the opportunity to share their vision of the project.
Defining the foundations of your animal health e-learning strategy
Here is a list of questions that need to be addressed:
- What are the expectations and objectives of the training project?
- How should the (results, operational, educational) objectives be classified? Which ones have a higher priority?
- How can these objectives be defined in a precise, specific, temporal, achievable and measurable way?
- What is the context of this training course?
- What is the intention and vision behind this training?
- What are the constraints for this development? Resources, time, budget?
- Who is/are the target audience(s)? What are their needs, expectations, and motivations?
Let’s not forget that in order to develop a training project that is relevant to your learners, you must place them at the heart of your strategic choices, and therefore know first of all who they are! You need to have information about their culture, professional background, knowledge and skills (of new technology, for example), motivations and possible obstacles… These questions are crucial for targeting your audience, so that you can offer them the most personalised e-learning course possible.
Then there is the crucial question of investment… and therefore profits.
Although at first sight it may seem incongruous to talk about the profitability of training, it is unavoidable. Creating and rolling out an e-learning programme represents a relatively large investment, regardless of the scale of your project.
You need to know if the results you are getting justify the financial investment you are making, and to do this you need to calculate the return on investment (ROI) of your training programme by evaluating your digital training course.
The transition from trainer to coach in the animal health sector
One of the prerequisites for the digitalisation of your animal health training is also to rethink the role of your veterinary trainers within the training itself. This applies to all types of training. Digital learning requires the trainer to get to grips with digital tools and to review his or her relationship with the learners.
The trainer must adapt to this new training environment, remotely. As well as being familiar with tools such as online chats, forums and corporate social networks, they have above all a role of “coach”: they accompany, guide, direct and motivate learners and ensure that they are committed, by making them actively participate in the training course. This implies that he/she knows the techniques of delivering lessons and distance learning.
The trainer has a role of mediator: a real role of facilitator of the digital training path.
In the digital age, he must also focus on his pedagogical role as he could well intervene at all levels of the training process. Before the training course, for example, he may have to set up placement tests. During the course, his role may be to provide personalized advice. Then, after the course, he can take part in the follow-up activities to get an overall feedback.
These qualities need to be reshaped in today’s world, but this step is essential to creating effective animal health training pathways.