1. What type of data can be collected at programs?
With our system you can collect both qualitative and quantitative types of data from your program. This data includes responses to demographic, knowledge based, behavior, and case vignette questions. Open-ended questions can also be asked and stored in our databases. Any information relevant to your specific program or activity can be collected, displayed, and analyzed in our web-based database.
2. Can the web-based database be customized to collect specific information?
Yes. All of our databases can be customized to fit your specific needs. The layout and functionality of the database is fully customizable to meet the requirements of your organization. Tabs, questions and search criteria can also be added or changed as needed.
3. How much information can a database hold?
There is no limit to the amount of data that can be stored in our database. We have multiple servers that are backed up on a daily basis to ensure no information is damaged and it is always protected. The information can be accessed via a password protected and secure web address.
4. Can we include program information from past activities in the database?
Yes. Data previously collected can be cleaned and entered into the database for analysis. The data can be in multiple formats including spreadsheets, ARS raw data, individual forms or paper based summaries.
5. What do I do with the information once it is in my database?
Once your information has been collected and stored in your database, you can start to analyze trends, generate numerous reports, and cut the data based on specific criteria such as age, location, response, etc. You have the option to look at all your programs collectively or individually in order to compare program findings. You can also use the database to collect and store follow-up information after the program in order to evaluate retention and program outcomes. Information stored in the database can also be exported to a number of basic programs such as Excel and PowerPoint. This allows you to begin to answer hypotheses with real data, assess outcomes and ultimately improve planning for future meetings.
6. Why should I house my data in a database? Will I use the results later? Can I add future programs to my database? Can I look at my CME Unit as a whole, including every program I sponsor, in my database?
Putting all the data collected into one data repository allows you to view all your educational activities and provides you a means to compare and contrast your programming. The database allows you to analyze trends and draw conclusions based on demographic groups, knowledge questions, behavior questions and case vignettes. The data can also be used to assist in development of needs assessments and to help you further define your study design. All of your past and future programs can be entered into the database by utilizing a normalization process and technology that will help streamline the data entry process and allow for real time viewing of your information.
7. Why should I measure outcomes from my CE activities?
Carefully collected and processed outcomes data can validate the appropriateness of educational objectives, content and faculty to participant learning, retention and practice application. Such data are also useful tools to identify activity components needing strengthening or modification. Further, providers of educational grants have interest in knowing whether the educational objectives have been attained.
8. I have limited resources and a small CE budget. How do I start to measure outcomes?
Outcomes measurement is most effective when it is customized to meet the needs of the activity provider. You should not feel obligated to design an outcomes program that exceeds your management or budget capacity. Plan to start small by, for example, using a questionnaire to simply test participant knowledge pre- and post-activity as linked to learning objectives and content. Measurement models can be expanded later as resources may permit. You can facilitate the process and use fewer resources by meeting with the outcomes company early in the planning process.
9. Should I use a control group?
As in medical research, data from control groups not exposed to the educational content when compared with data from activity participants provides solid confirmation of the outcomes findings and often can be validated statistically. While use of control groups is recommended, they may be difficult to recruit and add to program cost.
10. Is self-reported behavior change valid?
Several published and widely accepted outcomes research studies have recommended and confirmed the value of self-reported educational needs and behavior change. The new ACCME accreditation changes speak to the value of self-reported behavior change.
11. How often should I follow-up with my participants?
There is no hard fast rule of thumb regarding follow-up frequency but most researchers recommend pre- and immediate post-testing, with follow-up at intervals of three and six months post-activity. Follow-up intervals can be adjusted to fit the circumstances but must be applied consistently. Valid data also can be obtained without use of longer-term follow-up.
12. What other services can Educational Measures provide?
We are a one-stop shop for all your technology needs from planning your program to completion. Educational Measures guarantees progressive technology and updated systems which include the following:
- ARS- Audience Response System
- Full Service A/V Equipment Planning and Implementation
- Digital Capture- Digital Video and Audio Recording
- See our services listing
13. Can Educational Measures help me with my publication or online activity?
Yes, outside of collecting information for live programs, Educational Measures can integrate their technology with other data collection methods. We can collect information online through questionnaires or collect pre- and/or post-tests from publications through electronic data capture.
14. Why should I use Educational Measures for my Audio Visual Needs?
By working with Educational Measures, not only do you save significant time and money, but you reduce headaches as well. At Educational Measures we specialize in managing all technical aspects of your program. Not only will we supply you with all of your equipment needs, we will also plan and coordinate with the venue staff to ensure that setup, pre-planning review, and the overall event run smoothly. Educational Measures also supplies you with an experienced technical operator that will handle all event coordination, be present throughout your program and can be contacted 24 hours/day in the days leading up to your event. Educational Measures strives to give you the highest quality equipment and best service in the industry.
15. What is the advantage of using our ARS services over your standard ARS?
While ARS is an excellent tool to utilize at your meeting, it does not provide you a means to easily analyze your information. Our ARS service gives you all the advantages of a standard ARS system combined with the ability to quickly and accurately examine the data collected at your program via a web based interface. It makes your information interactive by allowing you to analyze trends, compare meetings or a series of meetings and collect/store follow-up information. Our system is a unique tool that can help to improve both the planning and outcomes of future meetings.
16. Is ARS affordable; will it fit within my budget?
You will be surprised at how inexpensive this technology can be. Educational Measures has many ways to work within your designated budget to provide you with the services your program requires. We can also offer the option to bundle any combination of our services (ARS, A/V, Digital Recording, etc). By bundling services you can see significant cost savings in operator fees, travel expenses, and shipping costs, not to mention time saved on having one contact to coordinate and handle all services. Several hospitals, associations and universities utilize our technology because we have worked within their budgets and made it affordable to them.