Professional practice gap: The term “professional practice” encompasses all domains of the learner’s professional life (e.g., teaching, conducting research, team leadership, clinical practice, etc.). “Gap” refers to the difference between actual/current practice (“what is”) and ideal/best practice (“what should be”).
Learning needs: Professional practice gaps have underlying needs, or reasons, as to why the gaps exist. These can be identified as knowledge (“needs to know”), competence (“needs to know or show how”) and performance (“needs to do”). Planners must identify the underlying needs and design educational interventions to address them. Continuing medical education activities are required to address higher level learning needs (competency or above).
Educational Outcomes: The changes you expect to accomplish in the learners as a result of the education. These are expressed as changes in
Knowledge: Evidence that learners have acquired facts, data, etc. designed to increase their understanding of a topic.
Competence: Evidence that learners know how to apply the knowledge and/or skills, or intend to change their practice in the future.
Performance: Evidence that learners have applied the knowledge and/or skills gained into actual practice.
Patient Outcomes: Evidence that improved health outcomes have resulted following the education.