The Virtual Externship

Transforming training opportunities
for Administrative Medical Assistants

CLIENT: W.B. Saunders/Elsevier Publishing Company
PROJECT: Transforming training opportunities for Administrative Medical Assistants

Teleologic worked with W.B. Saunders to develop an innovative online learning strategy for attracting new and returning purchasers of their community college and proprietary trade school textbooks. Not only did Teleologic meet the needs of its client, but to do so, it had to understand and meet the needs of its client's community college administrators, professors, and their associated learners. By advancing the effectiveness of W.B. Saunder's clients, Teleologic advanced their strategic comparative advantage in the technical textbook market.

This highly competitive market includes programs for students wanting to become administrative assistants in medical clinics. In the initial planning stages, the client shared feedback from learners who consistently identified their post-classroom internship experience to be the most valuable part of their training. From this feedback, Teleologic determined to create an online "externship" in a fictitious health clinic setting. The scenarios and virtual clinic setting allowed learners to engage detailed technical content and apply their training in context.

Business Challenges

W.B. Saunders needed to develop an innovative online learning strategy for attracting new and returning purchasers of their community college and proprietary trade school textbooks and to gain a comparative advantage in the technical textbook market.

How could their textbook market be effectively leveraged to begin and grow their supplemental online learning market?

Learners in this market must show success in their coursework in order to continue receiving Federal Financial Aid a revenue stream that constitutes a large percentage of community college and trade school funding.

How could the client protect their federal financial aid revenue stream by ensuring their supplemental online learning products resulted in demonstrable learner competence?

Teleologic Solutions

The Teleologic team developed a project architecture that included a thorough understanding of the client's context, a diagnosis of the most important challenges for the client, and a proposed learning solution. The solution included attention to the following principles:

Purposeful: What is the client trying to achieve?

  • Market differentiation with effective online supplemental offerings.

Outcomes-oriented: What are the project outcomes for the client? For the learners?

  • Client outcomes clearly defined up-front.
  • Learning objectives and specific outcomes explicitly identified.

Learner-centric: How will the learners' needs be addressed?

  • Virtual internship experience within a fictitious online medical clinic.
  • Scenario-based problem-solving in the clinic context.
  • Clinic staff avatars to assist with learning activities.
  • Strong emphasis on student accountability and responsibility for managing learning (learning objective checklists).
  • Use of "guided practice" in procedures.

Visually Meaningful: How does the graphic identity and supporting visual elements support the purpose?

  • Clinic-based identity.
  • Used existing, familiar Saunder's textbook floorplan.
  • Clinic staff avatars, complete with distinct handwriting, were developed.