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Propositions Concerning Delivery of the LESI Educational Curriculum

Issue #3 : Delivery of Curriculum

The Task Force has been requested to make recommendations on how to best publicize and deliver the LESI educational offerings.

In terms of publicizing the LESI Educational Programs, the Task Force consensus would be to use the presently-available Education Committee pages on the LESI website as the primary source of information which would be liked to a prominent space on the LESI Homepage publicizing the courses. This could be economical both financially and human-resource wise.   To some degree this happens now but seems a bit inconsistent in its approach (the pages have not been used this year). The Education Committee Web Pages could also be used to announce Educational Program updates and changes to members, list scheduled education events, provide individual LESI course descriptions, and allow for course registration and even payment for LESI Educational Programs. Through the use of special log-ins, the Website also could be used to house Instructor PowerPoint Presentations and course-related materials for trainers as a central repository where current versions are kept up-to-date and stored.

In terms of delivery, the Task Force took note of the long-term desire to eventually move to provide more and more content “to the desktop” so to speak – in other words by Webinair, CD Roms and the like.

Understanding that there are several different initiatives ongoing at LESI in this regard, the Task Force only states it belief that eventually LESI will wish to go to a Learning Management System (LMS), such as those that are presently used at many Universities, that allow individuals to pay for and immediately access LESI courses (via online or download to a CD rom), network /collaborate with other members on course work, track completion of courses, take self-assessments, and review their progress—online, at will, anytime.  Accordingly, the Task Force would urge LESI to consider looking into investing in an appropriate system with the realization that this would require current courses be reformatted for online delivery, which would likely require a financial investment that may delay its adoption.

In view of the foregoing, and until the LESI decides the precise Educational Platform that it will wish to use in this effort, the Task Force concentrated its efforts on ways of improving the traditional method of delivering its content in an “in-person” setting.

To this end, the Task force recognizes that, even though numerous individuals have been trained to teach the various courses, volunteers (especially good volunteers) remain difficult to find and retain.  The Education Committee has pointed out that there is a pool of trainers internationally that travel and teach but that it is not as large as they would like due, in their opinion, more to local member societies not being willing to train and deliver trainers as needed.  Accordingly, in the short term the Task Force is considering recommendations to increase volunteer numbers and retention by better interactions with local member societies concerning trainer training and recruitment. 

In the longer term, the Task Force is considering recommending the adoption of a Social Collaboration Approach to recruiting and retaining trainers along the lines that has been very successfully employed at Microsoft.

Questions on which Consultation/Comments are sought

1.      Should ways, other than using the LESI Website, be employed for publicizing the LESI educational offerings and, if so, what would those be?

2.      Should consideration be given to investing in a LMS that could give individuals access to LESI Education Program courses from their desk/lap-tops?  If so, what types of LMS should be considered and what features (such as online payment and course tracking capabilities) would be essential?

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