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How CU Custom courses play an important role CU’s mission

CU custom courses, housed in Skillsoft, help CU campuses and departments meet their training needs, advance university goals, and, as shown in the examples below, may even help save lives. The Employee Learning and Development team’s instructional designers partner with campus departments to develop CU-specific courses that have the potential to make a significant impact.

CU: CSI Resident Room Training

Sharon Durlak
Lab Coordinator, Center for Surgical Innovation
Anschutz Medical Campus

This spring, the Center for Surgical Innovation (CSI) moved into a new, larger space in the Anschutz Medical Campus’ Bioscience 3 building. A new surgical training suite gives residents the opportunity to practice surgical skills and techniques on cadaveric tissue – a crucial component for their career development.

The training suite is designed to be available outside regular business hours, any time residents have free time to book the room, said Sharon Durlak, lab coordinator for the CSI. “Residents have such odd hours,” Durlak explained. “They work all hours of the day.”

To facilitate training suite use, CSI worked with Employee Services instructional designer Kay Miller to develop a focused Skillsoft course. This curriculum introduces residents to the training suite and its equipment before an in-person orientation.
It plays a crucial role by making that learning space available at any hour, and by training residents to recognize and safely use the equipment.

Overall, Durlak said the process of working with Employee Services to develop the course was phenomenal, “Kay is really awesome about keeping their interest there, keeping it super streamlined.”

CU: UCH-Obstetric Hemorrhage Management Module

Andrea Elmore
Clinical Nurse Educator
University of Colorado Hospital
University of Colorado Denver
& Anschutz Medical Campus

Andrea Elmore, a clinical nurse educator, and her team developed a course for in-patient obstetrics nurses at the University of Colorado Hospital, focused on identifying and treating hemorrhage in pregnant and recently delivered patients – one of the most common causes of maternal mortality.

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any industrialized nation, and that mortality rate has been climbing steadily for the last 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

After developing the course for the obstetrics nurses, Elmore teamed with Employee Services instructional designers to build the same curriculum in Skillsoft, so it could be shared with any university-associated providers, including obstetricians, family care physicians and residents.

The course includes training required by the Joint Commission, but Elmore and her team wanted to ensure the curriculum was tailored to the facility and the unique chain of responsibility within the hospital. “We tried to build this in a way that it’s a case study-based format,” Elmore says, “So it goes through a case and then they have to use some resources that we actually have available on the unit to guide their care decisions.”

The team is now assembling a training curriculum to address hypertension in pregnant patients and will continue its collaboration with Employee Services instructional designers.

CU: Sustainability

Jarrett Smith
Sustainability Manager – Facility Management
University of Colorado Denver & Anschutz Medical Campus

The CU Boulder Athletic Department is nationally-recognized as one of the nation’s most environmentally-friendly college athletic programs.

In 2017, three CU athletic facilities were awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status, and in 2019 they signed a commitment to the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework.

So it’s no surprise that CU prioritizes sustainability initiatives systemwide. Campus sustainability leaders recently put together the curriculum for a Skillsoft course with Employee Services instructional designer Angie Young, providing an introductory overview of what sustainability is and how each of the campuses implement sustainable practices.

Jarett Smith is the sustainability manager for CU Denver and the Anschutz Medical Campus. For him, the course is a way to introduce and highlight some of CU’s sustainability efforts while generating curiosity and conversation.

“We wanted to make sure that people understood how multifaceted sustainability was,” Smith said. “It wasn’t just recycling. It’s not just energy efficiency. It’s not just renewable energy. It’s all those things plus many, many other things. It’s a very large umbrella.”

Smith stressed how varied each campus’s sustainability initiatives are – some may assume that everything happening at CU Boulder is happening systemwide.

However, each campus has its own setting and its own constraints that dictate the most effective methods and programs.
Overall, Smith hopes staff and students across the CU system will take the course, feel empowered to ask questions and suggest changes that can further the university’s sustainability goals.

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