Faculty Development

Your New PA Education Community Awaits

By Meredith WiseApril 24, 2019

Image: Shutterstock

Strong communities are the backbone of progress.

Communities offer a place for members to network, engage in conversations, share resources, and foster collaboration. As many of you are aware, PAEA previously hosted listservs related to various topics of interest or professional roles for exactly that purpose. The listservs served our membership well for many years — but now we are taking it to the next level.

That is why PAEA is making the shift from listservs to Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) as of June 19.

We have heard our members’ request for a “one-stop shop” for their professional development needs. To that end, PAEA is building out a more robust member platform. The PAEA Learning platform, which includes the PLCs and Digital Learning Hub, enables us to bring the PA education community together in a more transparent and robust way — and allows members to tailor their experience to their own unique professional development pathway.

What’s New?

A subscriber to a listserv typically receives separate emails for every reply to the original. On the new platform, responses to a post are contained in a thread — not unlike how you would respond to a LinkedIn or Facebook post — making conversations easier to follow. And, you are now able to tailor your notifications to your personal preferences. For example, you can choose to receive an email each time there is a new post, each time you’re tagged in a conversation, or a collective daily or weekly digest.

We have created a PLC for each existing listserv to streamline the transition of your essential conversations to a more functional platform. We have also added communities for a few new hot topics in the PA education realm: Evidence-Based Medicine, Interprofessional Education, and Leveraging Tech in Learning. This platform is built to grow along with PA education and the profession, allowing new communities to emerge as the issues, wants, and needs of our members evolve.

The PLCs offer several ways to share information and start conversations. The new system allows members to share insights, ask questions, or take a poll of their fellow PLC members. Each community also offers document storage for easy access to shared resources, such as PDFs or PowerPoint presentations.

And finally — perhaps the most exciting update — all of the content within each PLCs is archived and searchable. Instead of scouring your inbox for a specific email or a document you remember receiving, you can now search for a keyword or scroll back through past discussions to find exactly what you’re looking for.

What’s Next?

If you have already created a PAEA Learning account, through which you can access the Digital Learning Hub and the PLCs, you’re all set! The PLCs are active and waiting for you to start a conversation. If you have not yet signed up for PAEA Learning, now is the time. As of June 19, communication should be sent only through the PLCs, because the listservs will no longer be available.

Please note that information shared previously on a listserv will remain available within their original email chain, but documents and conversations previously distributed via a listserv will not be transferred. For any topic that you thought was engaging on the listservs, please begin the conversation or re-introduce the topic into your new communities.

If you have any questions about PLCs or this transition, please contact the PAEA Learning team at Learning@PAEAonline.org.

Meredith Wise

Meredith Wise is the manager of communications for the Physician Assistant Education Association. She has a background in communications and joined PAEA in 2016.