Where Science Meets Instructional Design
Springer Healthcare Training's Lori Salamida

Meet Springer Healthcare Training: Lori Salamida

Meet Lori Salamida, Springer Healthcare’s Lead Instructional Designer, as she shares strategies for
implementing sound learning solutions.

Q: What kinds of things does Springer Healthcare consider when formulating learning recommendations?

LS: The kinds of things we consider can vary depending on whether we’re making a recommendation for a discrete learning solution or an entire launch curriculum. If we’re making a recommendation for a stand-alone learning solution, we start by working to understand the overall project goals and objectives, audience size and characteristics, audience location(s), and where the solution will complement the existing curriculum. We review components of the existing curriculum to see what learners have been exposed to, and we learn as much as we can about what learning gaps exist. It might sound simple, but we listen carefully when a client describes their training needs, and we ask questions to gain clarification. This enables us to formulate the learning objectives, identify the content needed, and understand what modes of delivery might best suit both the learner and the content we’ll be developing.

Q: Once you understand the learning need, how does Springer Healthcare implement sound instructional design strategies?

LS: On a high level we’re concerned with engaging and motivating learners, managing cognitive load, ensuring storage and retrieval in long-term memory, and leveraging technology for convenience, data collection and facilitating learning. For example, if mastering foundational knowledge is the goal, we would look for ways to create an immersive experience that engages learners to facilitate faster and easier recall. To do this we might recommend a self-paced solution that weaves clinically relevant patient stories into the learning content to build empathy, and help learners gain insight into both patient and physician perspectives. Or, we might suggest using a character to guide the audience through the learning process and personalize the experience for the learner.

If the goal is to practice and apply knowledge learned during foundational training, we might recommend environments where learners could collaborate in groups and engage in practice activities to improve learning and retention. This might include a demonstration of a task or desired behavior, followed by an opportunity for learners to practice performing the task or behavior in an environment that’s as close to real-life as possible. The critical success factors for this type of learning activity are providing motivation, structure and support, combined with careful observation and meaningful feedback. We might leverage iPads to record a verbalized message or the performance of a task for immediate analysis and feedback.

This kind of purposeful, cognitive practice is as valuable as actual performance because the brain stores the information in the same way.

If sustaining knowledge or performance support is what’s needed, we might consider less formal learning strategies in favor of convenience and easy access. This can be accomplished with interactive digital magazines written in an engaging journalistic style that contain engaging features and rich media links, or custom mobile platforms that offer bite-size content designed around a particular learning topic. With these and any other solutions we implement, we leverage high-resolution graphics and illustrations and strive for learner-friendly interface designs that minimize eye movement, create visual flow and reduce cognitive load.

Wherever possible, we endeavor to help our clients better understand their clients.

Finally, wherever possible, we endeavor to help our clients better understand their clients. Working within Springer Nature makes us very lucky in that we have established relationships with many of the world’s leading physicians, and they recognize and trust our name. We try to leverage this by including interviews and insights from these physicians into training tools, so that sales reps and MSLs can better understand their decisionmaking
processes and the daily challenges they face.

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