Published on October 8, 2009
1 firstname.lastname@example.org E-Learning in Pharmaceutical industry Pharmaceuticals is a knowledge based industry where all people connected with any aspect of the work need to be updated with latest information. The Pharmaceutical industry is unique in its constant need for information and knowledge updates. Traditionally, the industry has always relied on the detailing and personal visits by sales rep to promote their products to physicians. Many studies have shown that Doctors consider the information and drug literature provided by a Sales rep as an important resource in keeping updated about the latest innovations in the field. This makes it imperative that the sales rep going to meet a physician is well versed with the product he/she is trying to promote, and also makes sure that physician gains some valuable insight about the product. Free samples and detailing account for the largest chunk of promotional expenditure. The industry spends about 20% of total sales (amounting to close to US$$ 30,000 millions) on promotional activity. With so much spent on these activities, one should make sure that the sales rep and the physician have a fruitful and valuable interaction. Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
2 firstname.lastname@example.org $35,000 Samples $30,000 Detailing DTC $25,000 Professional Advertising Samples $20,000 $15,000 $10,000 Detailing Expenditure ($ millions) Professional $5,000 Advertising DTC $0 199 199 199 199 200 200 200 200 200 200 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 Year (Source: N Engl J Med 2007; 357:673-81) Training for sales personnel is critical and expensive. Sales teams are often dispersed geographically, and need frequent updates to stay abreast of the latest technologies, regulations, or other factors that might affect sales. Taking them from their workplace for six weeks of training is costly, even once—but in a world where learning is a life- long exercise, with complex new products arriving in the market place each week, innovative training methods and tools are essential. Training Costs for Sales Reps in Pharmaceuticals (2007-08) • Average annual cost of employing sales rep: $160,000 (salary and overhead) • Number of reps employed by pharmaceutical companies in U.S.: 65,000 • Cost to pharmaceutical companies to employ reps: $12 billion • Amount currently spent on training reps: $1 billion • Amount of that figure spent on actual content/knowledge costs: $150 million • Amount of that figure spent on travel: $850 million. (Source: Merck Capital Ventures) Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
3 firstname.lastname@example.org Technology based learning- E-learning and mobile learning both offer new ways to keep sales reps informed, while minimizing expensive classroom time. While computer-based access to the Internet is the basis of most e-learning solutions, MP3 players, tablets, and other handheld devices, representing mobile learning, can provide more convenient access to e-learning. Intelligent combination of these learning landscapes, in addition to traditional face-to-face training, is the basis of a time and money saving option: blended learning. The most commonly used content and learning management system, which is also open source, is Moodle. We look at one open source management system which allows for all the diverse requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. MOODLE (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) 'Moodle is a course management system (CMS) - a free, Open Source software package designed using sound pedagogical principles, to help educators create effective online learning communities'. It is distributed under the GNU General Public License and is an active and evolving work in progress, subject to a roadmap. Introduction Moodle is used for online course management and delivery. It provides a range of functionality covering content creation and delivery, communication, collaboration and management, including tracking and assessment tools. It incorporates the best of multimedia based learning theories with constructivism and collaborative learning. Moodle can also be called a 'Virtual Learning Environment' (VLE). Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
4 firstname.lastname@example.org Moodle is the most widely adopted LMS in the world, the rate doubling every year. It presently boasts of about 48,000 registered sites and 30 million registered users. Moodle.org site provides hundreds of free plugins/modules to choose from. Every Moodle setup can be individualized for specific needs and desired functionalities. Currently, there are about 300 registered Moodle sites in India, 90% of them are private and have protected access. Some of the benefits of using Moodle based Learning platform includes: Anytime, anywhere access encourages independent learning and Personalized learning. Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
5 firstname.lastname@example.org Facilitates Collaboration and communication between trainers and trainees. Motivates trainees who enjoy, and are familiar with, using communication tools such as virtual classrooms, collaboration tools, discussion forums, and chat. Allows use of multimedia (text, videos, animation, and audio) for training purposes. Saves time and money by erasing need of traveling for training at cost of normal work. New updated content can be loaded easily by the trainer/Administrator, so the learning content is always fresh and recent. Login access only with password, thus ensuring security of content. Moodle offers a range of functionality designed around a core structure of a customizable homepage with learning activities organized into “courses”. Users are given login access to the Moodle and then enrolled on “courses” relevant to them. The homepage can be customized, using “blocks” to meet the needs of individual company and a users view of the homepage is personal to the access rights given to them e.g. a trainee will see entries on the calendar personal to them or relevant to their courses whereas an administrator will see all events and courses. Proposed outline of Home and course page Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
6 firstname.lastname@example.org 'Building blocks' of Moodle: Hundreds of plugins are available allowing an administrator to choose his/her own media mix and evaluatory tools. Third party games, crosswords, puzzles, flash cards etc. can also be added easily using Java and HTML coding. Also see SCORM Content. Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
7 firstname.lastname@example.org The most commonly used plugins / activity modules are- Assignments - for managing project works, including the ability for trainees to download/upload their assignments and for Trainers to mark it online Resource links - to WebPages and files to help trainers build topics or courses or units of work Forums for interactive discussion of ideas and concepts Quizzes and multiple choices Questionnaire Wikis Interest groups File sharing Chats and communication programs ( eg.instant messenger) Content- commercial content can be uploaded (SCORM packages) Calendars News and RSS feeds Video and Audio players Multimedia games Comprehensive monitoring of all activity Each course can be designed to include resources and activities. Activities available in Moodle correspond to the modules included in the core Moodle code to be hosted by Digital Medical Communications LLC and each course can use any combination of activities and resources. Typical activities include: assignment, quizzes, hot potato questionnaire, forum, chat, messages, RSS feeds, Wiki and blogs. Typical resources include: files, links or html pages. Trainers can mark and review assignments, view and download answers and results, control timing of events, block and monitor access as well as add to content. Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
8 firstname.lastname@example.org Forums Forums are like online message boards. You can post a message and others can respond over the following hours, days or even months. There is also the option of including attachments with your post. Users can subscribe to forums - and trainers can force everyone to subscribe when setting up the forum. By subscribing to a forum, participants will receive email copies of each new posting, if they have an enabled email address. . Assignments Assignments allow trainers to put up tasks for trainees to complete. All assignment types have the facility for trainers to mark online and feed back to trainees with comments. Trainees can also complete them by recording their assignments on their personal Moodle blog. There are three types of assignment: 1. Offline tasks where trainees complete a task away from the computer but it is set online and marks are recorded in the online mark book. 2. Online submission where trainees use the built in text editor to submit their work. 3. Upload assignments where trainees complete their work using any other package (Word, Excel, Dazzle, Textease, etc.) and submit it by browsing and uploading on Moodle. Questionnaires, Choice and Survey These elements of Moodle all allow users to make a choice in one way or another and collate the information gathered. The trainer can use certain question types such as tick boxes, drop down menus and text boxes for evaluation and scoring of trainees. The total results can also be viewed as a graph, for individuals and course levels. Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
9 firstname.lastname@example.org Files and web pages This resource allows the user to link to existing files or web pages. Any document types can be posted but your users will need the software to open them. These can provide background information for a topic or could direct pupils towards other online activities. Wikis Wikis are editable web pages. There are several types of wiki available in Moodle, allowing pages to be seen and edited by everyone, some people or just the user and teacher. Using a standard text editor within Moodle you can add words and pictures and even create multiple pages linked together.Wikis are great for collaborative projects spread over time and logging of changes makes it easy for the teacher to see who has added what. http://moodle.org/ - the Moodle website which contains lots of very useful information about Moodle, documentation and community forums. Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
10 firstname.lastname@example.org Examples of Moodle based training websites operating in Pharma industry http://newschoollearning.com/ Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
11 firstname.lastname@example.org http://hexagon.universidadhebrea.com/ Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
12 firstname.lastname@example.org Screenshots of Moodle LMS questions and profile tools. Mark IV Medical Communications LLC email@example.com
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