The world of continuing legal education is a complicated one. And as a CLE service provider, law firm or legal association catering to today’s professionals, it’s critical that the tools you’re leveraging to deliver and manage your continuing education programming are state-of-the-art – and built with CLE specifically in mind.
Of course, platform end users in this day and age expect a super intuitive, seamless, mobile-friendly CLE experience. They expect to operate in a Flash-free environment, taking in complex content using a simple, streamlined interface. They require technology that isn’t going to suddenly crash on them in the midst of a course, and they want immediate access to any certificate or grades they earn from a personalized portal. And what’s more, it’s important that your CLE platform reduces your organization’s administrative workload – all the while increasing revenue and helping you to retain and impress your employees, members or customers.
However, with various accrediting bodies offering credits to the end user in different ways, you also need to be equipped with an adaptable platform. Therefore, it’s critical that the CLE technology you’re using meets all possible national and state requirements without any additional applications, plug-ins or downloads. The key to doing this is to utilize a system that is driven by virtual event templates and makes use of the right CLE workflows. Here’s what we mean:
Step #1: Enable users to create profiles.
The best way to ensure compliance with all possible CLE requirements—down to the individual state level—is to partner with a platform provider that creates virtual event templates to meet the requirements for every available credit type you offer. Each template should have configurations set up for the specific type of event you’re running to deliver educational content. These could all be prepared in advance or as needed.
From there, your organization could offer end users the opportunity to create a personal profile or account through which every activity they do, every event they register for, every class they participate in, etc. would be tracked and easily visible and accessible for that specific user. In this environment, the user could watch live events, replay on-demand content, pause and later come back to a specific course in which they’re enrolled for a certification, and carry out numerous other actions.
Alternately, if a user profile is not necessary for your organization’s specific needs, the platform should provide the flexibility to simply allow users to go through a certification process after viewing a live event and to receive an email with the corresponding results and certificate.
Step #2: Collect and verify personal information.
Building on Step #1, your CLE platform should include a built-in way to securely collect and store information about your end users, similar to how a CRM (customer relationship management) system works. That way, all of your eLearners’ personal info, account preferences, professional memberships and previous certifications are located in one convenient place – no disparate applications necessary. This would also be the time where any additional information for the certificate requirements would be submitted.
Then, after selecting the content they want to view, you should also be able to customize how customers would enter their payment information – and your platform must be able to verify and store this information in compliance with legal regulations (sometimes across international borders – think about the GDPR, for example).
Step #3: Offer a quiz or evaluation.
Once the content is viewed by your customer, the next step in the workflow would be to offer a quiz or a course evaluation of sorts. Of course, this can be optional, depending on the accrediting body requirements to which your organization must adhere. Note that the formats of the quizzes and evaluations offered by your platform should be highly customizable, and the order in which they are presented to your users should be configurable.
Step #4: Deliver certificate.
Finally, your CLE platform should automatically grade any quiz or test taken by the user, and then display the results on screen. No quiz? Then jump straight to the certificate details and credits your customer is entitled to, assuring them that they’ve met code requirements. With a click of a button, your end user should be able to generate the actual certificate, have it emailed to them, and have it displayed in their account if an account for them has been created.
If your current CLE platform doesn’t follow this type of workflow (or you're using multiple applications to handle the activities involved), it may be a good time to look into another option. Aligning your content and certificate delivery processes with these steps provides a simplified, air-tight, and engaging user experience for your customers, mitigates the risk of errors, and lightens your administrative load by eliminating hours of tedious paperwork.
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