COPE announces new synchronous and asynchronous course formats

0

(PRESS RELEASE) Over the past several years, the COPE Steering Committee has conducted an extensive review of COPE course format options and the effectiveness of these formats within optometry and the continuing healthcare education system. The committee also conducted an extensive review of the literature and research on CE/CME formats in many healthcare professions.

COPE has determined that the overall quality of continuing education is more important than the location of the course. Methods of delivering continuing education have changed during the pandemic, and technology now allows for immediate interaction with a course instructor, regardless of whether learners are present in the same room. In February 2022, COPE proposed updating its synchronous and asynchronous course formats to align with modern educational terminology. Feedback from stakeholders has been overwhelmingly positive. Stakeholders have requested clarification on attendance tracking and outcome measurement for the new formats and in response, COPE has developed clear and simplified guidelines to ensure that COPE requirements and standards will remain intact with the changes. format.

COPE will be implementing the new synchronous and asynchronous course formats with all new course and activity submissions on January 1, 2023. To prepare for this change, the following information/guidelines have been created to ensure a smooth transition between stakeholders:

  • NEW COPE Synchronous/Asynchronous Format Table (includes definitions and examples)
  • Attendance Monitoring and Outcome Measurement Guide (includes definitions and examples)
  • New COPE format FAQ

It is also important to note that state and provincial licensing boards may limit the number of virtual synchronous and asynchronous hours that optometrists can take for license renewal. COPE advises optometrists to contact the state or provincial board where they are licensed to verify what is acceptable.

COPE 2023 Course Formats

Exam Continuing Education (CEE) is also known as Transcript Quality (TQ) or Certified CE. This type of continuing education must be in person, last at least 2 hours and include a post-course test to verify learning. Learners must achieve a minimum of 70% on the post-course test to receive CEE credit.

Advertising

Important: State and provincial licensing boards may limit the number of virtual synchronous and asynchronous hours optometrists can take for license renewal. COPE advises optometrists to contact the state or provincial board where they are licensed to verify what is acceptable.

COPE Attendance Policy Requirements

Attendance monitoring is required for the COPE accredited CE and should be an active process conducted with integrity and impartiality. COPE administrators/providers MUST monitor attendance at all activities and ensure that continuing education credits are only granted to those present during teaching hours. No partial credit is permitted under any circumstances. Attendees should only be credited if they attended for the full duration.

COPE hours/credit units are defined in the following increments:

  • 0.25 hours/credit units = 15 minutes of teaching time
  • 0.50 hours/units = 25 minutes of teaching time
  • 1.00 hours/units = 50 minutes of teaching time

To help COPE administrators/providers ensure accurate attendance, COPE has provided a list of examples of acceptable attendance monitoring options. **Please note that this list may not include all available presence monitoring options. COPE administrators/providers are encouraged to contact ARBO to discuss other potential options.

Attendance Monitoring Options for COPE Accredited CE

Advertising

  • Virtual Roll Call
  • Message Boards/Chats or Discussion Forum – Ask learners to post comments/something they learned at different times
  • Interactive Polls – Ask questions throughout the course to ensure learner participation
  • Quiz – Quiz before and after class or quiz after class only
  • (Reminder: post-course tests are required for asynchronous and CEE courses.)
  • Post-course surveys or evaluations
  • Questions posed throughout the course for learners to answer in chat
  • Meeting Platform/Attendance Software Attendee Sign-in and Sign-out Time Tracking

COPE Results Measurement Requirements

COPE administrators/providers are required to conduct a post-activity educational evaluation that includes the collection of data or information about changes in learners based on stated goals of competence, performance, or patient outcomes, such as identified when planning the activity. This is extremely important for synchronous courses which no longer require testing after the course. (Note: Courses submitted for CEE credit require post-course testing.) COPE has provided a list of outcome measurement options that COPE administrators/providers can use. **Please note that this list may not include all available outcome measurement options. COPE administrators/providers are encouraged to contact ARBO to discuss other potential options.

Outcome Measurement Options for COPE Accredited CE

  • Short pre-test and post-test – Ask the same or different questions to measure change
  • Simple question at the end of the lesson asking what learners plan to change in practice
  • Interactive survey at the end of the course asking outcome measurement questions
  • Open-book test questions based on the lecturer’s handout at the end of the course
  • Self-assessment question(s) given at the beginning and end of the course to measure change
  • Pre-Course Skills Checklist – Ask “Are you doing this activity in your practice now?” » Unchecked areas can be addressed in the speaker’s presentation and reported at the conclusion.
  • Mandatory/Highly Recommended Pre-Reading – Ask questions related to pre-reading and course content at the end of the course
  • Post-course surveys or evaluations

COPE Synchronous/Asynchronous Format FAQ

What is the difference between “Synchronous In-Person” and the old “live” format?
There is no difference. The synchronous in-person (formerly “live”) format is when the instructor is in the same room as the participants, although other formats are used as audio-visual aids to teach the course. The instructor is face to face with the audience and can touch the participants.

What is the difference between “Synchronous Virtual” and the older “Interactive Distance Learning” format?
Synchronous Virtual is the same as the previous interactive distance learning format with regards to course delivery. There must be immediate interaction between the instructor and the learner. The only difference is that post-course testing will no longer be required for courses presented in the synchronous virtual format. Required attendance monitoring and other performance measurement methods are now available to COPE administrators/vendors to ensure accurate attendance and to assess their stated competency, performance, or results goals for patients.

Advertising

What is the difference between the “Asynchronous Distance” format and the older “Enduring Distance Learning” format?
There is no difference. Since there is no real-time communication between instructor and learner during these courses, post-course testing for learners will continue to be required for this format.

Have post-course testing requirements changed for asynchronous distance courses?
No. Courses submitted for COPE review in the Asynchronous Distance format must meet the following requirements:

  1. Courses must include a post-course test to verify learning.
  2. Post-course tests and answers must be reviewed by an accredited school of optometry, medicine, pharmacy or osteopathy.
  3. Tests must be in the form of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and must conform to the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) Item Writer’s Manual.
  4. Post-course tests must receive a grade of at least 70% or better for a certificate of completion to be issued.
  5. Post-course tests must include a minimum number of questions depending on the duration of the course.
    1. 0.25 hours/units require a minimum of 3 questions
    2. 0.50 hours/units require a minimum of 5 questions
    3. 1.00 hours/units require a minimum of 10 questions
  6. The post-course test and the answer key must be uploaded with the application documents on COPE.
  7. Tests may accompany a course as part of the delivery mechanism (i.e. an Internet-based course may allow candidates to take the test online; or a correspondence course may include the test in the same publication than the article, etc.)
  8. Post-course test grading may be done by the sponsoring school or by another unbiased method. The sponsoring school is responsible for ensuring that the test and answer key are valid and that the marking process is objective. The school must ensure that the administration and scoring of the test is unbiased if they do not mark the test themselves.

Will my licensing board award “live” credit for a synchronous virtual course?
State and provincial licensing boards may allow synchronous virtual classes to count as “live” credit toward license renewal, while others may not. COPE advises optometrists to contact the state or provincial board where they are licensed to verify what is acceptable for license renewal.

Why did COPE remove the post-course testing requirement for synchronous virtual courses?
COPE has determined that there are other effective tools for monitoring attendance and measuring the success of a CE activity besides a multiple-choice test. A comprehensive list of acceptable attendance and performance measurement options is now available to all COPE administrators/vendors based on the nature of each individual CE activity.

If I have a course that was approved under one of COPE’s previous formats, will I need to resubmit it as synchronous or asynchronous in order to present it in 2023?
You won’t have to resubmit a course until it expires and the course delivery method changes. Starting January 1, 2023, all new course submissions will be in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.

Are there any changes to the course qualification periods?
The course qualification period for each COPE-qualified course depends on the course format. These deadlines will not change with the new formats. They will remain as follows:

  • In-person synchronous courses: one-year qualification period
  • Synchronous Virtual Courses: One-year qualification period
  • Asynchronous distance courses: 3-year qualification period
Share.

Comments are closed.