Our custom eLearning development team loves partnering with organizations of all sizes to create meaningful learning content that educates and drives behavior change. We were excited to work with the Columbia Center for Eating Disorders, an internationally recognized program committed to the research and treatment of eating disorders.
Designated a Center of Excellence as part of a New York State initiative, the center is part of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, located at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
The unit provides comprehensive clinical services based on best practices. This program is unique in its ability to offer treatment at no cost in exchange for participation in research. As a result, length of stay is not limited by finances and allows patients more time to experience normalization of eating behaviors.
Eating Disorders Education
The learning content focuses on eating disorders education for healthcare students, trainees, and generalist clinicians. The project consisted of the creation of six (15-30 minute) online training courses, job aids, and helping the client, Columbia Center for Eating Disorders, create a website showcasing the courses.
Columbia Center for Eating Disorders wanted the modules to have a look and feel that was animated and yet professional looking, with a high level of engagement, interactivity, and application of the content to the real world. All of the animation and custom graphics were done in-house by the eLearning Brothers team.
Care was given to display a range of body types, skin tones, and ages in the course, while faces were deliberately left blank to make the course more universal.
To make the courses engaging and applicable to the real world, we used realistic patient scenarios and situations to frame the content. Custom-made animations were used to tell the stories and set up the situations for the learners to follow.
Short knowledge checks are included in each module to ensure the learner is retaining the desired learning objectives. Feedback is provided for right and wrong answers.
Learners can take the modules in any order. Each one is designed as a stand-alone course. These courses covered:
- Risk Factors
- Medical Complications
Several modules included downloaded checklists or reference materials that could be used for just-in-time learning, job aids, or to learn more about a topic.
The course was presented at the 2020 meeting of the Eating Disorders Research Society and a 2021 Quarterly Meeting of the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry.
Feedback for these modules has been incredibly positive.
"I recently completed the PreparED course as part of my training as a Research Assistant in an eating disorders clinic. I found that the content of the course was well structured, easy to navigate, and engaging. I particularly liked that the modules could be completed in any order, which made the course feel more personalized as compared to other healthcare training courses that I’ve completed in the past."
- Monica J.
Learners see their value both as a teaching tool and a reference aid:
"As a nurse practitioner, PreparED gave me new perspective on the complexity of eating disorders. Also, PreparED can act as a continual reference point which is unique to other trainings. The information is readily available and easy to navigate. If I have a pressing question or need a refresher on a certain area, I can go to PreparED and easily access the information that I need."
- Matthew P, RN, NP
Users appreciated the interactivity and how easy the courses were to navigate:
"PreparED is an excellent eating disorders resource for medical students and other trainees. It clearly and succinctly outlines key information about eating disorders in an interactive and user-friendly format. Currently, the majority of individuals with eating disorders aren't in treatment, and the diagnosis is often missed. PreparED gives future clinicians the tools to help change that reality."
- Sam K., MD, Chief Resident in Psychiatry