Online chiropractic continuing education opportunities let DCs travel the country via their computer or device
WITH ADVANCEMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY — computers, smartphones, smart tablets and the internet — online chiropractic continuing education has seen a major transformation.
Currently all states, except for Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Wisconsin, allow all or a portion of their continuing education requirements to be obtained online. This surge in online chiropractic continuing education reflects the many benefits of online presentation and has changed the landscape of chiropractic CE.
Flexibility and convenience
Technology has provided chiropractors with alternatives to live seminars that, in most cases, provide a more flexible and conducive learning environment. Live seminars are usually presented in a hotel conference room with hundreds of attendees. These conference rooms are usually very cold, the chairs are usually very uncomfortable, and the attendees are forced to be in the room for hours at a time. For many chiropractors this setting is not always conducive to learning, and the online experience provides a great alternative.
Online attendees can view high-quality courses in the comfort of their own home or office, providing a more conducive learning environment. In addition, online attendees can start and stop the course as many times as they like. In the online environment, if the attendee gets tired, he/she can simply stop the course, take a nap, take a walk or get something to eat, and then come back and resume where they left off without missing any course material.
Based on the surveys that online attendees must fill out at the completion of the online course, most chiropractors would agree that the online format for learning is much more beneficial than the live setting.
The online environment provides a much greater selection of course topics that may not be available otherwise. For some chiropractors, depending on where they live, the selection of live seminars offered near their location may be very limited. These chiropractors would have to travel long distances, at great expense, to attend a seminar that may interest them. The online experience allows these same chiropractors to choose topics that may not be otherwise available to them.
For example, a chiropractor who lives in a small town in Nebraska and does not want to travel far to fulfill his/her continuing education requirements may only have a small number of live courses to choose from. If that chiropractor was interested in a topic that was only being offered in Los Angeles or New York, he/she would have to incur travel and lodging expenses as well as having to close their office to attend that seminar. The online alternative offers that chiropractor the opportunity to take that same course topic from their home or office.
If you are considering obtaining your CE requirements via an online format, here are some things you should know.
Requirements and timing
Most states require online courses to have a timing element and a testing element. The timing element is designed to ensure that the viewer is watching the course for the full amount of time that the course is giving credit for. This is usually accomplished with a timer that indicates the time spent in the course.
The testing element is a test that is offered at the end of the course, once the timer reaches zero. It is important to note that the viewer may be allowed to take the test multiple times to get a passing grade. If you are taking an online course that does not have both elements, there is a good chance that the course may not meet the requirements of the state. Even if the course is approved in that state, the state board may choose to disallow the course, if the board discovers that there was no timing or testing feature. The bottom line is, make sure the online course you choose has both elements.
While there are many benefits to both live and online formats, there are some minor drawbacks as well. For some chiropractors the live environment may be more beneficial because they enjoy, and learn better, in an interactive environment. For others the online format works better because they learn better in a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. When each individual chiropractor can choose what works best for him/her for online chiropractic continuing education, the entire profession benefits.
GUY ANNUNZIATA, DC, BCN, is the founder and owner of DCHours.com, a company that has provided online chiropractic continuing education since 2008.