Webcasting of Continuing Professional Development Courses: an effective learning and revisionary tool?
In recent times there has been a significant trend in the use of technology in education. There is a danger that technology in education is implemented for technology sake and not enough thought is given to embracing and designing technology so that it leads to more effective ways of learning. This paper describes an initiative at the Law Society of Ireland’s Diploma Centre whereby a webcasting facility was customised for the needs of students. In providing professional continuing development to busy practitioners accessibility is one of the key factors. Adopting a student centred approach and placing control in the hands of the student in terms of providing ample opportunities for interactivity and providing various means of accessing courses is of paramount importance. According to Fullan (1993) organisations must be “actively plugged into their environments” in order to prosper. This paper outlines the efforts made to ‘plug in’ and align the provision of higher legal professional development education with developments in technology. This paper demonstrates the use of key features such as video, timed slides and instant messaging. It compares the performance of students who accessed lectures by means of live webcasts against those who attended onsite lectures and analyses how and when all students used the recorded webcasts for revision purposes. It also outlines the results in terms of positive student feedback and an overall increase in interaction between the students and lectures. (Approx 200 Words)