Learning from the Differences in CME and CLE

//Learning from the Differences in CME and CLE

Learning from the Differences in CME and CLE

“We learn from each other.  We learn from others’ mistakes, from their experience, their wisdom.  It makes it easier for us to come to better decisions in our own lives.”  – Adrian Grenier


Seven years ago, this coming March, I started working at InReach.  I love my job for many reasons:  great clients, hardworking and fun staff, and I’m always learning.  Coming from the continuing legal education industry, I felt quite comfortable in that realm.  I understood the rules, and I understood the culture.

However, to effectively do my job, I had to learn about other industries:  healthcare, finance, etc.  I’m still learning, but I do better understand continuing education in those other verticals, including the culture around providing that education.

After the 2017 InReach User Meeting last September, I was struck by how much our clients have in common in their work in providing continuing education:  dealing with governance, learners, marketing departments, and speakers.  But what about the differences between the industries?  Can something be learned there?  Absolutely.

What InReach Legal Partners Can Learn from InReach Healthcare Partners

  • Identify and publish learning objectives with every program

Healthcare partners are required by rule to expressly identify the learning objectives of their programs.  Legal partners are not required by rule to do so but recognize the importance of doing so —deliver what you promise.  In the chaos of day-to-day work, doing the things that are good, but not required, easily falls by the wayside, including the formal creation of learning objectives.   Legal partners need to incorporate this task into programming planning checklists, and just do it!

  • Make registering as convenient as possible with a single sign on

Healthcare partners are focused on providing their learners with the easiest possible shopping experience.  This means navigation that gets the learner to the online catalog with few clicks, and this means providing single sign on (SSO), so their learners must remember only one user name and password.  Granted, our healthcare partners came later to the online education game, so the understanding of the needs to provide this type of service to learners was more commonly known.  Legal partners should consider the SSO option because the convenience alone can make your learner only shop your catalog.

  • Determine if learning objectives were met with every program

Healthcare partners are required by rule to measure outcomes through evaluations and tests.  Legal partners are not required by rules to do so, but there are circumstances where measuring outcomes could be helpful.  For example, many InReach legal partners are now required to provide mandatory new lawyer training.  If a Court or your leadership has required you to provide this programming, measuring outcomes should be done as a best practice.  Data collected from measuring outcomes can assist in changing topics, providing more time with certain topics, changing speakers, or tweaking sessions.  Isn’t the goal to make better lawyers?

What InReach Healthcare Partners Can Learn from InReach Legal Partners

  • Increase available programming with a set plan and cycle programming

Legal partners provide more programming because they plan and cycle programming.  For example, there is a two-day bankruptcy program every year, around the same time, and generally, using the same volunteer program planner.  Deadlines are identified and adhered to in most instances.  Every year the work is easier, takes less staff time, and allows staff to devote their energy to first-time programs and recent updates.  This type of programming is on an annual or bi-annual basis.  Overall, it results in the creation of more content, especially when the sessions are recorded.  Some healthcare partners do repeat conferences annually, but they do not as frequently capture the content.  It also results in saving time and allowing staff to do something new and different for learners.

  • Use the InReach Sharing Network™ aggressively

Legal partners aggressively use the InReach Sharing Network to create the most comprehensive catalog.  In legal there are federal and state laws, and as a result there are programs created that are relevant to every legal partner.  Some legal partners plan with the idea of leveraging the InReach Sharing Network™.  Healthcare partners will produce what could be national programming, but will add a state perspective to the program.  The lesson learned here is think about the sharing network when you are planning.  Of course, you never compromise when it comes to providing what your learners need, but if you can do that and still create a program that is marketable to other providers, why not?

  • Be creative

Legal partners go crazy from time to time and provide programming that teaches and entertains:  musicals, tours of vineyards, history lessons, and even bringing dogs to a program!  These things lighten the mood and make the day more interesting.  Why couldn’t a healthcare partner do a program with someone playing Dr. Dreamy?  IJS!

Let’s celebrate our differences and steal from each other like any good CE staff person would do!  Questions?  Contact me:  ddouglas@inreach.com and 512.904.1808.

By | 2018-01-10T23:08:09+00:00 January 10th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

About the Author:

Donita Bourns Douglas is Executive Vice President of Client Success. She has held the position as director of educational programs for the Oklahoma Bar Association, where she developed one of the most successful CLE programs in the United States. Donita has also served as an instructor at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, is an emeritus member of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court, and is past president of the Association of Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA). She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oklahoma College Of Law.

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