Monthly Archives: August 2012

bee flying dandylion

Lately everyone is asking “what happens after the workshop is over?”

In high school I worked as a cashier in my neighborhood convenience store. The pay wasn’t great, but at 16 what do you expect? However I got to see, over and over again, the actualization of the “let’s go to the corner store” meme: the place would be dead quiet (time to read a trashy celebrity mag cover-to-cover), then suddenly – how did all these people appear out of nowhere??? From a social anthropology perspective it allowed me to experience the “hive mind” in action.

Well, a similar phenomenon seems to be happening this summer: I am seeing a convergence in the training requests I’m getting that go beyond “can you do a one-day workshop”.  For the first time, organizations and individuals have been initiating the ask to explicitly integrate time and process on implementation during and after the course or workshop. Now, I’m not suggesting that in the past no one cared about implementation – in fact the opposite is true. It just seems like there is more attention being paid from the very beginning of the continuing professional education (CPE) process to a longer-term perspective and ultimate goal of performance improvement. This is in line with the proliferation of publications and calls for competency-based medical education, including recommendations in the 2012 “Future of Medical Education in Canada” report.

It’s exciting to me that organizations are starting to hold us educators accountable for what happens after the workshop is over. Positive course evaluations aren’t enough to demonstrate value when the real purpose of CPE is to facilitate change. And that’s a tough one. That’s why I no longer make New Year’s resolutions (they were always the same resolutions).

But the beauty of the hive mind is that it generates a certain energy. If our collective gaze (hive mind) is focused on the horizon as opposed to the windshield, I foresee some creative paragogical alternatives to “business as usual”.












Continuing Professional Education in 2112


Predicting the future is a risky and uncertain business, despite what psychics and fortune-tellers might proclaim. Still, I’ve been thinking about science fiction transformed into reality by the successful landing of NASA’s Curiosity Mars explorer vehicle. How many years before the first humans embark on the six-month journey to another planet? All this wondering has inspired me to consider what continuing education might look like a century from now.

So here goes – some predictions for continuing professional education:

The focus of continuing education requirements for professionals will shift away from accumulating a set number of accredited CPE course hours, and reflect an assessment of the richness and density of practitioners’ electronic networks and their contributions within and beyond these networks

The primacy of skills in researching and locating information will be replaced by skills in creating/designing an individualized architecture to harvest, sort, store and share essential knowledge and ideas

There will not be slideware

Knowledge Curator will be a popular job title

The CV will be replaced by a tag cloud or an infographic resume with active links to relevant media, and this will be a more accurate reflection of professional contributions and experience

Education will be evaluated based on net benefit to learners in practice, and this will be possible at low cost due to the proliferation of mlearning applications and integrated performance databases

Didactic lectures will still exist, but they will look more like (high production value) TV commercials and less like (low production value) infomercials. They will be a lot shorter too.

For fun – here is a tag cloud for this website updated October 2012:

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