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Interview with an Expert: Beth Hayson, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Beth Hayson has been working in education at associations for the past 20 years, with 14 of them being with AAOMS.

Beth is the Associate Executive Director of Continuing Education, Meetings and Exhibitions at the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. She’s been working with AAOMS for the past 14 years and has spent 20 years working in education in some capacity at associations.

1. How long have you been involved with eLearning?

Since I began working at AAOMS in 2002.

2. How did you get involved with eLearning?

I worked with my colleagues to help educate our membership about mandated HIPAA regulations through live and recorded webinars.

3. What are some of the most common questions you get about eLearning?

  • Does AAOMS have an online library available?
  • What types of offerings do you have? (self-study, interactive, live webinars, etc.)
  • How do I access the online library?
  • What software do I use?

4. What are the common mistakes you are making?

Most of eLearning content that is done is repurposed live content that is recorded and turned into enduring on-demand content. It is not developed for the purpose of eLearning. Ideally, eLearning should be very interactive and created specifically for an eLearning experience vs. recorded content. Content should ideally be available in chunks vs. lengthy sessions.

5. Is there anything new or revolutionary in eLearning that you’re seeing that people should be aware of?

The use of xAPI vs. SCORM that allows learning content and learning systems to speak to each other in a way that records and tracks all types of eLearning experiences at one time. I see a focus in experiential learning such as virtual and augmented reality becoming more mainstream, less expensive, and more widely used. We also need to be aware of the use and need for metadata that exists in digital badges vs. relying on traditional certificates or diplomas alone.

6. What trends do you expect to see in the coming year(s)?

There is going to be an expectation for accessibility of better data to create educational strategy as well as meaningful and relevant content for your membership. Educational content will need to be more instructional, targeted, purposeful (i.e. the concept of YouTube to learn just about anything will be expected). Microlearning experiences will be expected. Education will not just be two dimensional; it will need to be blended, tying live and eLearning activities into an overall program with enhanced networking opportunities through communities. I also see a need for a heavier reliance on marketing, using segmentation to reach targeted audiences and increase attendance. Gone are the days of “if you built it…”

7. How will these trends impact organizations?

It could be a member benefit to stay up-to-date with technology and trends as well as provide tailored unique education, especially if it was cost-effective and streamlined. However, in reality, this is an expensive endeavor, especially when additional staff position(s) would be required to implement or a content or instructional designer to build.

8. What is the greatest value your members receive from eLearning?

Easy access and variety to hundreds of sessions for credit at a time, making it convenient for them.

9. What are your Top 3 eLearning Tips to share with the audience?

  • Don’t be afraid to try new things; you never know what might work unless you try it.
  • Survey your membership and specifically those who attend your eLearning programs to provide relevant learning experiences.
  • Use data whenever possible to make decisions on timing, content, relevance, cost, and marketing.

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