Learning Tools

Learning Tools for Healthcare

admin Healthcare Technology, Our Thots

“What’s your favorite gadget?” is one of the most common questions that I get from friends, family, and colleagues. For some people, gadgets and tools might be for construction, automobiles or sports. For me, it is technology, learning, and cooking. Yesterday, a higher education colleague who has award funding asked me for some recommendations of learning tools to purchase. One idea that I gave him was a LiveScribe pen.


My #SmolkaScholar doctoral candidates have been using LiveScribe pens as data collection and learning tools in their qualitative research on technology, learning, and innovation. The digital pen allows you to write notes, capture the audio that is in sync with the notes, and convert it all to a digital system for data analysis. As you go back to review your handwritten notes, you can tap the pen on the paper and immediately recall that moment in the audio track. While my friend was looking at this from an educational research perspective, it got me to think about ways that this type of tool could be valuable for healthcare when paired with natural language analytics.

Capturing Patient’s Words With Learning Tools

As an advocate for disability and mental health, I have collaborated with numerous practitioners who still take notes when listening to their clients and patients share their successes, struggles, and symptoms. The more I learn about natural language analytics, the more I believe actually searching both the practitioner’s notes and the audio transcripts of patient’s own words could elevate the accuracy of predictive analytics. The additional data points could provide a level of depth, richness, and robustness to support data-based decision making. This makes LiveScribe one of the data analytics and learning tools to investigate in 2017.

Additional Learning Tools to Watch in 2017

Our February webinar focused on learning tools trending for 2017. Here’s a sample of a few of the hot tools and strategies to be watching this year. Check out the full recording of our webinar to see them all.

Adaptive Programing

We all learn differently and need to be able to follow a different path to achieve learning outcomes. One of the benefits of eLearning is the ability to personalize that learning path through mass customization of programming. There are three different types of adaptive programming:

  • Adaptive: Learning path adjusts and modifies by learner control and supported by data.
  • Targeted: Learning path is designed by diagnostic assessments.
  • Scaffolded: Learners preferences and choices provide navigational assistance through categorization and sign-posting.

ThotWave’s Healthcare Analytics Competency Skills Assessment provides a diagnostic assessment for Data Champions to create targeted learning opportunities to fill the gaps between current and aspirational skill sets, mindsets and tool sets.

Analytical Learning Tools

As Data Champions, we know the value of collecting and understanding healthcare data for the organization, the practitioner, and the patient. The same is true within the context of a learning environment. Each talent development program needs to be able to harness the data that exists about both the progress of learners and the context of learning. The learner analytics plan needs to include the process for data measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting.

Social Learning Tools

The millennial generation has taken hold of social media as a way of connecting and collaboration without the physical boundaries of classroom walls. We have to think beyond these boundaries to extend and expand the learning environment to match the mindsets of the future Data Champions. Social learning provides multiple opportunities for building engaging learning through grassroots and crowdsourcing identification.

Performance Support Tools

Transferring learning from the classroom to the workplace often needs performance support:

  • When learning is new for the first time
  • When learning needs to be more and take the deep dive
  • When learning needs to be applied and remembered
  • When learning needs to solve a problem and fix what’s wrong
  • What learning needs to change the patterns and processes

Many tools can be directly integrated into the workplace environment to help support “just-in-time” learning including microlearning, mobile apps, interactive PDFs, eBooks, animations, and recordings.

Watch the Recording

Learning Trends WebinarIf these data and learning tools have piqued your interest, watch the recording of our February webinar.


Each month we offer a topic relevant to developing the talents of the Data Champion to improve organizational capabilities. Our March webinar will be The Unintentional Liar: Data Visualizations That Mislead on Tuesday, March 14 at 2 pm ET.  We hope you’ll join us!