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Award-worthy education.

Winners of the 1992 Education Awards of Excellence, sponsored by ASAE's Education Section, include these associations with progressive ideas about programming.

Teaching members what they want to know, what they need to know, and in ways in which they want to learn takes a lot of know-how. Highlighted here are associations with praiseworthy ways of accomplishing their educational objectives.


AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, CHICAGO (association budget of $1,000,000-$4,999,999)

Perhaps nothing will ever enable lawyers to enjoy a mere 40-hour workweek, but technology is helping them get more done faster. That's assuming that attorneys and others in legal services know what they're doing with their computers.

The American Bar Association was receiving a lot of questions from members about technology when it decided to develop a training program. ABA's membership surveys and sales of books on technology also indicated the need for a program. The association responded with a three-day conference and exhibition, "1992 Techshow: Technology in the Law Practice--The Future Is Now," designed to help lawyers and staff make maximum use of hardware and software and stay on top of technology trends. Included were plenary sessions, specialized program tracks, workshops, and product and service demonstrations. ABA marketed the program through various media, including direct mail and magazine advertisements.

ABA distributed evaluation forms to attendees and held an attendee debriefing session from which "Techshow" received excellent reviews. In addition to meeting members' needs, the association benefitted from excellent publicity. One of the leading legal technology publications, The Lawyers PC, did a six-part article on the program, giving ABA members who couldn't attend a good look at what will be a repeat program.



A seminar so good that it became an industry model was developed by Carolinas Associated General Contractors. Filling the need to help construction workers learn newly enacted Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, the association developed an eight-hour workshop on excavation and trenching. The workshop, which routinely sells out at least 30 days in advance, has spawned more than 60 programs like it by other associations, government agencies, and private companies using Carolinas AGC's materials, methods, format, and instructors.

The workshop is an example of a unique cooperative effort on the part of an association with a university and the government. The effort stems from Carolinas AGC's recognition of members' need to be in compliance with a new law addressing excavation and trenching. The association formed a task force of members from North and South Carolina and of OSHA officials from both states. The task force distributed a request for proposals outlining program objectives to the leading university in each state and, based on proposals and pilot workshop results, contracted with North Carolina State University to teach the workshops.

Upon completion of the workshop, which includes a pass-fail test, participants receive 0.7 continuing education units and a certificate. The knowledge gained by participants has been tested through six inspections by OSHA compliance officers. In each situation, workshop graduates have been found in compliance with the regulations. As a result, Carolinas AGC has enjoyed an excellent relationship with OSHA in both states.



"INVOLVE" is the Instrument Society of America's (ISA) award-winning interactive videodisc courseware, so named because students not only see and hear but also perform based on what they're taught. The "INVOLVE" library of programs is designed for instrument and control technicians, who study topics ranging from electronic maintenance and instrument calibration to personal computers and instrumentation safety.

The curriculum consists of 72 lessons, each on a laser disc with 30 minutes of full-motion video and up to an hour of audio narration. The laser disc technology permits instant access to any frame or segment of the program. Each lesson has 100 interaction points, which provide the student with opportunities to do, as well as see and hear. The learner is offered job-related simulations and three to five hours of personalized, self-paced instruction per lesson. His or her progress is recorded for self-evaluation or review by an instructor. A built-in customizing feature allows course administrators to enter site-specific information about the subject being taught.

An enormous amount of research preceded the production of the "INVOLVE" courseware, including six months of research on interactive videodisc instruction.


GENERAL AGENTS AND MANAGERS ASSOCIATION, WASHINGTON, D.C. (association budget of $1,000,000-$4,999,999)

Networking and sharing take a big step forward in the trophy-taking education program produced by the General Agents and Managers Association. GAMA's objective of providing "growth through sharing" is achieved in this subscription series of eight 60-minute audiocassettes featuring interviews with members in the field. The nine-year-old series presents innovative practices, techniques, systems, and strategies that agents and managers are applying in their work.

This nationwide link to colleagues is called "Agency Management Today--Bringing You the Best Ideas on Tape." To produce the program, GAMA interviews members who have an established track record of success in key areas of agency management. The program content is determined and prospective talent is selected by an editorial board composed of general agents and managers, who meet twice a year. GAMA conducts listener surveys every two years to assess the most wanted program topics.

A recent survey of subscribers indicated a high level of satisfaction with the series. Seventy-five percent said they implemented a new process or changed an old one based on the content of the tapes.

In addition, the tapes have been a significant source of income to GAMA, comprising an average of 12 percent of total association income.


COLLEGE OF AMERICAN PATHOLOGISTS, NORTHFIELD, ILLINOIS (association budget of $5 million or more)

Physicians, pathologists, and patients stand to benefit from a professional alliance between physicians and pathologists. To further enhance this alliance, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) conceived "A Guide for Today's Physician Office Laboratories," a seminar package focused on educating physicians and their laboratory staffs. The package consists of 15 modules, 450 slides, text, and handouts covering laboratory operations and administration in the small laboratory.

CAP administered an assessment questionnaire to determine the needs of physician office laboratories with regard to federal regulations. Almost all surveyed were interested in educational products and programs that would provide information on new regulations affecting their industry.

The program that CAP developed to meet these needs offers continuing medical education credits upon completion, something that generated high interest on the survey. An additional benefit of the program is its flexibility. Because of the modular construction, the seminar is suitable for a wide array of uses. The seminar can be structured with combined sessions for areas of common concern to physicians and technologists or technicians, followed by separate sessions that address appropriate interests and training levels.

Evaluation comments by participants show a great degree of enthusiasm for CAP's program. The seminar has enhanced CAP's image as an organization dedicated to improving and promoting education and communication in the laboratory community.


VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATIONS OF AMERICA, DENVER, COLORADO (association budget of $999,999 or less)

The Visiting Nurse Associations of America acknowledges that "some may think it naive" to apply for an educational excellence award when the organization has only recently focused on education. But to VNAA, that was all the more reason for submitting its entry. Precisely because the 10-year-old VNAA just hired a full-time director of education in 1991, the year the association truly began concentrating on education, and because its 1992 annual meeting was such a success, the association believed it deserved recognition for its "quality improvement" in educational programming.

A trophy was awarded to this proud and driven association, which admits that "education was not considered of primary importance" at the time of its founding; "public relations and marketing were the foci." Despite this, VNAA held its first annual meeting and exhibition in 1983, mainly for the purpose of networking. In the years that followed, as VNAA realized members' growing need for programming, the association distributed evaluation forms to meeting attendees to assess the usefulness of the event, as well as to solicit recommendations for future topics and speakers. The 1992 annual meeting included 36 workshops, keynote addresses, an exhibition, leadership training, and networking opportunities. The program quality went well beyond what the attendees had experienced in the past; the exhibition size more than doubled; and the logistics management was smooth and professional. A look at the letters of appreciation and the evaluation forms from members--and at the impressive revenue figures--proves to VNAA that the objectives for the event were exceeded.
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Title Annotation:winners of the 1992 Education Awards of Excellence
Publication:Association Management
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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