Bringing Science to Life, One Student and Instructor at a Time

Bringing Science to Life,
One Student and Instructor at a Time

At the American Heart Association, we believe exceptional learning is driven by the act of truly listening and responding - to both students and instructors. Just as resuscitation science evolves, education methodology transforms, and we're proud to offer new ways to teach new science in 2015 and beyond to save more lives.


Course Design



Innovative design and technology are at the heart of today's learning environment. They can support and enhance the experience of both the instructor and the student by


The AHA is building a full range of new experiences that will engage different types of students.

eLearning will allow students to access certain courses and compete coursework on mobile tablets with mobile-ready content
Stat of the Art 3D Animations will demonstarte skills such as high-quality chest compressions with correct hand placement and body mechanics
Engaging Simulations will allow students to practice the full sequence of procedures
Videos will allow students to access specific scenarios that are relevant to their work settings

Instructor-Led Training

Instructor-led training (ILT) is the practice of training and learning between an instructor and students in an in-person group environment. ILT is an effective means of delivering information, because it allows for real-time feedback, questions and answers, and the ability to modify delivery to suit the needs of students.

In a classroom setting, instructors deliver courses designed to include both the cognitive portion of training and the psychomotor component of thorough skills practice and testing.

It's this combination of successfully completing both cognitive and psychomotor skills that enables students to receive a course completion card.


Blended Learning

Blended learning uses online technology not just to supplement but to transform and improve the learning process.

Successful blended learning occurs when technology and teaching inform each other: material becomes dynamic when it reaches students of varying learning styles.






"Flipping the classroom" is a concept of blended learning that combines online education prework with classroom work. An online course could have a variety of media assets—such as dramatizations, simulations, animations, self-directed learning, and interactive learning activities and exercises—that would make up the cognitive portion of the learning. Blended learning is a combination of eLearning, in which a student completes part of the course in a self-directed manner, and a hands-on session in a physical location.


Student Flexibility

We know everyone processes and retains information in different ways. So we'll be offering flexible solutions to match students' varied needs through real-world scenarios and customized activities.

Real-World Scenarios

Simulating the student's real environment through role-based scenarios increases engagement and motivation, which leads to improved knowledge transfer. Our new scenarios are being constructed to reflect students' reality with specific on-the-job details and team activities for our classroom and blended-learning courses, during practice and testing. The scenarios range from simple to complex, and offer students the opportunity to participate in a debriefing session at the conclusion of the course.


Emergency cardiovascular care (ECC) and first aid protocols vary by city, state, and country. That's why we encourage students to share best practices and discuss protocols with each other during courses, with some direction from the facilitator. The group's active discussion helps students understand how the AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC can be applied alongside local protocols in adaptive ways.


Building Skills and Knowledge

Competency: the capability to apply or use a set of related knowledge, skills and abilities required to successfully perform critical functions or tasks in a defined setting. We're designing courses that help students successfully achieve the competencies they need.


Perfect Practice Makes Perfect: Maintenance of Competency

Maintenance of competency: achieving and maintaining proficiency in any skill requiring practice and assessment.

That's because the more often resuscitation knowledge and skills are practiced, assessed, and refined based on feedback, the better the performance is, which can ultimately lead to better patient outcomes.


Resuscitation Quality Improvement™ (RQI™) serves as an example of the low-dose/high-frequency approach to maintenance of competency for resuscitation skills. RQI aims to reduce the decay of resuscitation knowledge and skills through frequent exposure to cognitive content and quarterly demonstration of skills proficiency. The AHA's RQI program offers 3 basic training components: didactic sessions, psychomotor skills practice, and integrated simulations.


Feedback Tools for Enhanced Course Development

Students can provide feedback about eLearning courses via an electronic survey. These surveys cover students' level of engagement throughout the course, the ease of use, and use of course scenarios as related to their individual needs and environments.




Instructor Tools and Materials

ILCOR continually reviews the latest research on a large number of topics and questions related to CPR, as well as educational practices, to ensure that patients are receiving the very best that science has to offer. Every 5 years, ILCOR creates a consensus document that AHA ECC volunteer writing groups use as a foundation to develop updated AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC. These Guidelines are then used as the scientific foundation for the content of courses that will train people involved in the entire Chain of Survival—from bystanders to first responders to healthcare professionals—so that more lives can be saved.


To bridge the gap between the release of the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC and availability of updated training materials, we're designing a suite of Interim Training Tools. Each will address the science changes in the 2015 Guidelines and provide instructors with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to continue effectively training students with existing materials.

Instructor Flexibility

Instructors can best serve students when they have the flexibility to adjust courses during facilitation. That's why you'll see some enhanced features in our new courses that offer options to instructors while still ensuring that all learning objectives are met.

Instructor Manuals will have supporting materials, including a variety of scenarios. Scenarios will be customized by course, ranging from simple to complex based on the training solution needed.
Sample Agendas will demonstarte how to modify the organization of course topics
Clear Instructions will help conduct more effective debriefing sessions
Direction for using multiple instructors will maximize classroom efficiency. For example, we might offer directions for one instructor to handle remediation and another instructor to administer and grade the exams

Lesson Plans

We've gathered your feedback and made several revisions to the instructor Lesson Plans.


Local Customization


Local Protocols

Our courses provide flexibility by allowing instructors to incorporate local protocols into their training. Lesson plans with common local procedures and FAQs aid instructors in generating rich discussions that allow students to share procedures used in their specific places of work.


Localization the process of modifying content (or a product) to make it usable and relevant for a new region.


Often, localization includes translating content from the source language into the language of a particular country. For example, if we wanted to offer a course in Japan that was originally developed for the United States, we would need to translate it into Japanese. The localization process, however, includes much more than just translation of words. We must consider geographically specific information, drug and equipment availability, and graphic design, to name just a few things.




ECC Programs has improved our exam development process by incorporating exam writing standards and best practices. Exam questions will be aligned to learning objectives and, if used across multiple exams, will be validated to ensure there is a level of consistency between courses. Skills Testing Checklists have been improved as well.

Skills Testing Checklists

The new courses will have revised Skills Testing Checklists:


Scenario-Based Questions

ECC written exams will offer an increased number of scenario-based questions, customized by course and ranging from simple to complex based on the training solution needed.

Scenario-based Questions challenge students to synthesize and evaluate real-life occurrences
Critical Thinking skills show mastery of the content and ensure transfer of knowledge

Open-Resource Exams

An open-resource exam allows students the ability to use available resources, such as the ECC Handbook and the course Provider Manual, to process information analytically, but also to think independently and creatively with curriculum content. Open-resource exams reduce the amount of information that is memorized for an exam and, in most cases, is forgotten thereafter. They can be used to differentiate those who truly understand the concepts from those who have merely "crammed" the night before.