“There’s an assumption that continuing medical education providers tend to make—we have all made it—that learners know what to do with the information they gather during continuing medical education activities, that learners know how to learn efficiently,” says Medical Meetings columnist, research scientist, and educational technologist Brian S. McGowan, PhD. “While medical education providers offer increasingly well-designed content, and we are becoming increasingly adept at using adult-learning theory, the classic CME model depends on the idea that, when you hand ideas over to a learner whether through a lecture, or a webinar, or a journal—the learner knows what to do with that material. We started to challenge that premise last year, and what we found through extensive research is a need to structure the learning experience to make it simpler, more effective, and easier to retain knowledge that’s been transmitted during education.”

Enter ArcheMedX, a learning architecture McGowan and co-founder Joel Selzer created to both strengthen and simplify the learning process by helping learners take better notes, build in reminders so they can reflect on what they learn over time, search for further information to help them integrate learning into practice, and collaborate with faculty and other learners to validate their perspectives on the information.

“If learners do not effectively leverage these four learning actions, learning is hit or miss at best,” McGowan believes. “We are proposing that education needs to be delivered within a learning architecture that’s not only designed to support note-taking, reminders, searches, and social learning endeavors, but should also help the learner leverage these learning actions more efficiently.”