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Continuing Education Technology

This past weekend I spent 2 or 3 hours with a client of ours, ESSA, at one of their annual conventions. ESSA is Exercise and Sports Science Australia. The vision promoted by ESSA is that they will “enhance the health and performance of all Australians through the support of exercise and sports science professionals”. A very noble vision. The group I spent time with was the continuing education group that had representatives from each state and territory in Australia. Even in the brief time I spent with this group the focus I saw on providing better outcomes to their constituents was really great. Most impressive was the great demographics they had. Almost 90% of their growing membership was under 40 years old. To my mind this bodes well for the growth of their profession and organisation. More importantly, I think it bodes well for the adoption of technology to deliver continuing education programs to their members.

ESSA is focused on many of the problems that many similar organisations face. How often do we run events? How can we provide better value to all out members? How do we reach out to our regional and remote members more effectively? I spent about an hour running through some options for using Chorus Call’s services to better reach their constituents. Chorus Call supports many organisations in the delivery of continuing education. The improved penetration of broadband, coupled with the decreasing cost of technology has allowed many of our customers to deliver high quality video tutorials, with slides, live and archived on demand. The ability to control content delivery and access across geographic divides and allowing the end user to participate at a time convenient to them, is a game changer in the CE industry. As video becomes more and more cost effective we will begin to see organisations of all sizes using this high impact medium to provide value to their clients. Other mediums that have been used for years are the voice conferencing and more recently data sharing or web conferencing.

My belief has always been that you need to mix the delivery between the use of technology and face to face. Video does not replace the need for live tutorials, it supplements it. Having a 45 minute voice conference at lunch once a week does not mean that you don’t need the full day workshop once a quarter. These communication tools allows your clients to learn at their pace and take advantage of the medium(s) that are best for their personal situation and learning style.

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