Our new online learning system is up and running on SWOG.org. This is an important milestone for our group, one that allows members to easily find and take part in our training and education sessions. These include our Clinical Trials Training Course and the new TeamScience series, which demonstrates how to best incorporate patient advocates into our cancer trials.

It’s easy to find. Log into SWOG.org – yes, you do need your CTEP credentials to do this – and click on the “member resources” tab. Scroll down and select “training.” There it is.

On this page, you’ll see that study-specific training offerings can be found elsewhere on the website, as they always have been. But general member sessions, which include the Study Chair Workshop, Investigational Agent Handling, Nurse PRO Training, as well as SWOG’s TeamScience sessions and Clinical Trials Training Course, are now on the new system. There’s a one-page explainer document you can read, or check out this video by SWOG’s training manager, Lisa Barnstrom, to see how it all works.

The new Cerego system is a major improvement over our old training platform. Called Moodle,  the old system was challenging to sign into, hard to create sessions for, and the way the system quizzed members on content wasn’t popular. Because Moodle is a non-profit, open-source training solution, one built for universities, it was also difficult to get customer support to address problems or adapt the platform. It also didn’t support video content well, so we often had to post training videos to the SWOG YouTube channel.

We knew we could do better for our members, so we did. Our training manager, Lisa Barnstrom, who is based in the SWOG operations office, was hired in 2018 and her first priority was creating a new online training platform. She went with Cerego for one big reason: It’s simple to use and to manage. Creating courses is a straightforward process. It’s a single sign-on system – just log onto SWOG.org and you’re in. The system allows for video and other engaging content as it can accommodate courses created in Captivate, an Adobe platform. Lisa can also track who starts and completes training, giving committee chairs and senior staff the power of accountability.

Finally, Cerego continues to quiz users on training content up to two weeks after a course is taken, to ascertain users retain what they’ve learned. This system is based on artificial intelligence and brain science, and Cerego claims their process results in a 90 percent learning retention rate.

An important note about Cerego: We have licenses for 100 users. That means only 100 people can be enrolled in the system at once. This shouldn’t be a problem most of the time – we don’t have that many folks needing training access all at once – but it does mean you should go in and complete your training within a month of logging into the system. Given the fact that sessions take anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours to complete, we should be able to accommodate everyone’s needs easily.

My thanks to Lisa and the ops office for making this new system possible. Next up is modernizing the content of all the current training sessions (for content, look, and feel) and creating new modules for members. Please reach out to Lisa with ideas and questions at yoneafgebz/ng/fjbt/qbg/bet.

It’s obvious, but worth noting, that a well-trained organization is a more effective organization. So, this new system will make SWOG even better. Remember, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” (Malcolm X)

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