Sage green background with dark green font. All text. Says "Using pre-tests to customize a learner's curriculum" as the title. Subtext says: If your learners are diverse in their professional or therapeutic experience, pre-tests are an excellent tool to stratify them and customize coursework.

Overall Challenge:

The client was undergoing a field team expansion. They were hiring a diverse group of people. There were those with expertise in the therapeutic area but no MSL/industry experience: a clinical care nurse, a PhD coming straight from the bench, and a newly graduated pharmacist. On the flip side, there were the new hires with years of professional experience (all senior MSLs) but no direct experience in the therapeutic area.



How does one training program provide what each learner needs to be field-ready in a reasonable amount of time? A new hire with a doctorate degree in the pertinent scientific area is not going to benefit from the type of introductory (disease state, MOA, epidemiology) courses that someone without a background in that field would need. Likewise, a senior MSL, aside from needing to know company-specific policies, is not going to need hours of training on territory management and KOL relationship building.



Graphic of a path with two arrows going in opposite directions. Different employees on each path. Show possibility of personalized curriculum.


We tackled this issue by designing a series of pre-tests. All incoming hires completed these pre-tests (therapeutic, product-specific, MSL-specific, and pharma industry-specific) during the HR onboarding phase, prior to beginning any Medical Affairs training. It allowed the training team to “sort” new hires into several levels of expertise in each area and assign course work accordingly.


The benefits of the pre-test method are that it greatly reduces the amount of time to full proficiency for a new hire by customizing and streamlining their content and it provides a baseline against which a learner can be measured post-training.



Face page of Articulate pre-test to personalize training to the level of the learner.


Take our 5-question “MSL Compliance 101” test to see whether you are a beginner, advanced, or expert when it comes to compliance issues MSLs commonly face.




Graphic showing three cartoon employees. Each has different levels of expertise on the topic of interest. The pretest will differentiate between the three and provide training relevant to their expertise.


This project required intensive instructional design from the Versant team. We needed to collaborate closely with the client to develop the types of questions that would effectively stratify learners into different levels of expertise. Also, we needed to develop individual learning pathways for each “level” of the learner. This involved reviewing training assets and determining whether a particular level of learner would benefit from training with a specific asset. And finally, we needed to validate the pre-tests on current Medical Affairs employees to be certain that the questions were accurately sorting learners into the various levels.




Contact Us For Your Training Needs

If you would like to discuss your training program needs, be it a pre-test, online training course, or curriculum development plan, please contact us.