Volume 4, Number 4

December 2013

Insignia Contest – Vote now!

See our Insignia contest entries and vote now. ASHA staff chose five entries showing how CE providers use the Insignia in promotional materials. Now it's your turn to vote! The winner will receive a $100 gift card. The voting deadline is December 31.

Intersections is the quarterly e-newsletter distributed to ASHA Approved Continuing Education Providers to connect and exchange ideas in order to better accomplish their continuing education activities.


We Hear You—Survey Results Are In!

In August 2013, 13 months into Requirement 3 implementation, we sent a survey to our 641 CE Administrators (CEAs) and CE Content Consultants to get feedback about how implementation was progressing and what, if any, additional resources you need to help you comply with the new requirement. We received responses from 242 (37%) of you. Our survey focused on collecting information about the current resources we have made available to you, how useful they are, and what additional resources would be helpful.

We learned that 90% of respondents had accessed resources related to Requirement 3.1 (content specifications) and 3.2 (planner and instructional personnel disclosure); 22% and 25% respectively said additional resources would be helpful in those two areas; 73% said they accessed resources related to 3.3 (recordkeeping and disclosure of financial and in-kind support of courses), while 22% indicated additional resources in this area would be helpful. Finally, 22% indicated additional resources related to 3.4 (placement of ads and exhibits) would be helpful. Here is the specific breakdown of responses to our questions in those four areas.

Question: Has disclosure of course content focused on a single product or service in accordance with Requirement 3.1 been difficult?

3.1 Disclosure Difficult? (n = 217)

  • 22% Yes
  • 46% No
  • 32% N/A

Question: Have you experienced challenges related to any of the following Requirement 3.2 activities?

3.2 Challenges? (n ≥ 208) Yes No

  • Collecting disclosure information from planners and instructional personnel 45% Yes, 55% No
  • Reviewing disclosure information from planners and instructional personnel 21% Yes, 79% No
  • Deciding if an individual should be disqualified from planning or presenting based on identified financial and nonfinancial relationships? 10% Yes, 90% No
  • Disclosing instructional personnel's financial and nonfinancial relationships in promotional materials 39% Yes, 61% No
  • Getting instructional personnel to disclose at the beginning of the course 16% Yes, 84% No

Question: Have you experienced challenges related to any of the following Requirement 3.3 activities?

3.3 Challenges? (n ≥ 203) Yes No

  • Keeping accurate records of financial and in-kind support? 8% Yes, 92% No
  • Managing allocation and disbursement of financial and in-kind support? 6% Yes, 94% No
  • Disclosing the names of organizations contributing financial and in-kind support to learners prior to the course? 10% Yes, 90% No

Question: Have you experienced challenges related to any of the following Requirement 3.4 activities?

3.4 Challenges? (n ≥ 202) Yes No

  • Managing exhibits so that they are not in the same physical or virtual location where the CE course is conducted? 12% Yes, 88% No
  • Managing ads and promotional materials so that they are not in the same physical or virtual location where the CE course is conducted? 13% Yes, 87% No

We had an open-ended question for each of the four parts of the requirement asking your input on challenges you were having with implementing the requirement. Many respondents gave us feedback in those areas, which we appreciated. After analysis, the feedback seemed to group into four areas:

  1. Planner and instructional personnel resources: You said you need additional resources and outreach to potential presenters and speakers. This is understandable, given the significance of the requirement and its impact on all planners and presenters. In 2014, we will develop materials you can use with planners and speakers to help them understand what is expected of them, particularly with regard to disclosure.
  2. Resources related to nonfinancial relationships: Respondents told us there is still confusion about what constitutes a nonfinancial relationship and how CEAs can better explain this requirement to planners and presenters. We will develop additional resources, definitions, and examples on the subject.
  3. Our website: We know our website is dense with information about Requirement 3! Unfortunately, more is not always better. In response to the survey results, we created a new landing page for the seven most frequently accessed Requirement 3 resources. We hope you will now be able to find those resources quickly. We will continue to revise the website to make it more user friendly.
  4. Provider-specific questions and concerns: Some of you had specific questions about implementation in your organization. If you gave us permission to pair your survey answers with your identifying information, you have probably already gotten a call or e-mail from us addressing your questions. Other questions or concerns you raised help us identify topics needing additional resources (e.g., frequently asked questions and answers for our website).

If you have questions about implementation, please contact your CE provider manager in the ASHA National Office. Your manager can help you or refer your questions to the Continuing Education Board for interpretation. We thank those of you who took the time to complete the survey!

New Staff: Jillian Henderson

The CE unit is pleased to welcome Jillian Henderson, our new manager, CE Provider Services. Jillian will receive and review course and offering registration forms, process independent studies, and provide technical assistance to providers.

Jillian joined the CE team in November 2013. She has an undergraduate degree in hearing and speech sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park. Jillian started her career at ASHA in August 2008 as an account manager in the Action Center. For the past 3½ years, she worked in the Certification department as a certification case manager.

Another Benefit of ASHA Approved CE Provider Status: Ohio Licensees and CE Broker

The Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is now using CE Broker as its continuing education tracking system. CE Broker stores the continuing education records of Ohio licensees and conducts continuing education audits for the Ohio Board when 2014 licenses are up for renewal. ASHA CE is happy to report that it is now transferring ASHA CEUs earned by Ohio licensees to CE Broker on a daily basis.

Your organization offers Ohio licensees an important benefit because of your ASHA Approved CE Provider status. Ohio licensees who earn ASHA CEUs by completing your courses and using the ASHA CE Registry will have their credit submitted to CE Broker automatically and will not need to self-submit.

To have credit transmitted automatically, Ohio licensees attending your courses offered for ASHA CEUs must take the following steps.

  • Submit the ASHA CEU Participant form at the end of the course.
  • Pay the ASHA CE Registry fee for the year in which the ASHA CEUs are earned.
  • Ensure ASHA has his/her Ohio license number.

Please feel free to share the ASHA CE/CE Broker Frequently Asked Questions with your course participants. You can post a link to this information on your website and insert it in handouts at your courses and in communications with participants.

We appreciate your help with getting the word out to your participants who are audiologists and speech-language pathologists licensed in Ohio.


More Thoughts About MOOCs by Renee Levinson, associate director, ASHA CE

Wouldn't call myself a "news hound," but I really enjoy paging through different newspapers to see how the news is covered. For me, flying presents the perfect opportunity to do that. So, on October 9, on my way to a conference (and buckled in for a 3-hour flight), I picked up the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Prominent in the Marketplace section was a story on MOOCs (massive open online courses)! It's a personal bias, but I feel like a new technology or program covered by WSJ has effectively hit the "big time"!

I wrote an introductory article for the June 2013 Intersections, titled "Are MOOCs in Your Future?"; I described the idea behind MOOCs and provided some resources. MOOCs courses are intended for large-scale interactive participation and open access via the Web. In addition to using traditional course materials-such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants. The majority of MOOCs are offered free of charge or for a nominal fee.

Most learners who take MOOCs and successfully complete their courses receive a certificate of accomplishment. It's not an official document that includes information about course hours or grades. However, some MOOC students are able to subscribe to a premium version of the course: they pay a fee between $50 and $150 to receive a certificate that confirms their identity and that they met the passing course criteria. They also have access to a course record that provides more information (e.g., the university offering the MOOC, a course description, instructor identification, and the estimated weekly time commitment-primarily based on video run time).

At this time, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and audiologists can earn ASHA CEUs by successfully completing a MOOC and documenting their participation and learning through an independent study (IS) plan under the direction of an ASHA Approved CE Provider. The MOOC must be related to the science or practice of speech-language pathology or audiology or to the speech and hearing sciences. The learner and the CEA would need to develop an IS plan prior to the time spent in the course and—as suggested for other types of IS—could consider writing a review of the learning experience and explanation of how the newly acquired knowledge could be incorporated into practice.

We have received several inquiries from SLPs and audiologists about MOOCs and ASHA CEUs. As MOOCs gain in popularity, we anticipate that more ASHA members will join the ranks of those who either learn or teach using this innovative technology.

I've just completed my second MOOC. Because my first course featured top notch presentations, discussion forums, and assignments, I had great expectations for my next course. As it turned out, the course, on dementia, actually exceeded those expectations. The video lectures, course resources, and peer interaction provided practical information, as well as scientific and medical perspectives on the topic. The course formats were similar, so I knew how to find my assignments, course handouts, and examinations. I had "graduated" from a freshman to a sophomore in terms of MOOC navigation! So, not only was I successful in completing my second course and enhancing my knowledge about dementia, but I was feeling almost tech savvy. Talk about a win-win situation!

These are still the early days for MOOCs. Universities and corporations are considering how courses taken through MOOCs can be used toward college education and/or enhancing job skills. How these institutions could begin to partner with MOOCs in the future is being studied; however, the potential is there for creating new learning opportunities for individuals all over the world.

Are you CAN-SPAM compliant?

Many of you use e-mail to market your CE courses. Make sure you are CAN-SPAM compliant. Noncompliance can be costly! See the handy guide for businesses on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission website.


Annual Fees Are Due

All CEAs were sent an invoice for the 2014 ASHA Approved CE Provider Annual Fee ($550) in the fall. If you recently sent the payment, no further action is needed. Be aware that it is due by 12/31/13 and that no courses may be registered in 2014 until this fee has been paid in full. To expedite processing, call ASHA's Action Center at 800-498-2071 and have your invoice number available to make your payment. If you have questions about the fee or need a duplicate invoice, please e-mail [email protected].

As mentioned in a June 2013 e-mail, the annual CE provider fee will increase to $700 in 2015. It has been $500 since 2011. In addition, the fee for the first course offering associated with a cooperative party will increase from $250 to $325 in 2015. Further information is available on the ASHA CE Provider website under fees. We chose to announce these increases well in advance of the effective date to enable providers to properly plan for this in their budgets

We understand that an increase in fees can be concerning. We hope providing information about the program's structure will be helpful. We are one of only two programs in ASHA that do not receive money from other sources, like dues. We must generate enough revenue to support the staff, benefits, and resources and also help support programs that do not generate revenue. Increases in program expenses must be balanced by increasing fees. We try to keep our provider fees low and actually supplement that revenue with revenue generated from the CE Registry (participant side of the program). Our goal is to run a successful program supported by reasonable charges to the participants and providers.

Reporting Participants to the CE Registry: What works best for your organization?

The ASHA Continuing Education (CE) Registry offers ASHA Approved CE Providers three ways to submit participant information. Providers can mail or fax the Course Offering Report form and ASHA CEU Participant forms or apply to report electronically. It is important to choose the reporting method that works best with your organization's business model. The goal is to submit participant information in a timely and reliable manner.

If using paper forms is your preferred reporting method, please make sure to mail or fax the forms so that they arrive at the National Office within 45 days of the end date of the course offering. It is essential that the forms are filled out with dark ink and that the bubbles are filled in correctly. The participant name should be the same name that is on the ASHA account, and the participant's account number should have eight digits. The submission of forms of poor quality delays the awarding of CEUs to the participants.

Organizations that mail or fax paper forms can use PDF versions of the ASHA CEU Participant forms [PDF]. This form can be especially useful to organizations that have virtual classes. If you are e-mailing or posting a link to the PDF, please inform your audience that the form must be tabbed through. You can give the participants a firm due date by which to return the form to your organization. Specifying a deadline helps ensure that the reporting is received by the ASHA CE Registry before the offering due date.

If your organization is supported by an information technology (IT) department and utilizes an electronic database that includes course offering details, participant names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, ASHA account numbers, and amounts of CEUs earned, then electronic reporting might be best. For more information, review the details and specifications [PDF] and notify [email protected] of your organization's interest.

Tips for Writing Course Descriptions

ASHA CEAs are experienced with writing course descriptions, but may not be aware of the all of the ways that those descriptions are used. While potential registrants using ASHA CEUFind read the descriptions to find courses that interest them, a course description also serves another purpose. Provided participants are ASHA CE Registry users, their transcripts will include a description of the course along with the course title, content code, instructional level, completion date, course provider, and number of CEUs earned. State licensure board personnel then read the description on the transcript to determine if a course meets requirements for licensure renewal. Keeping this in mind, it is very important that course descriptions be clear, concise, and professional and that they describe what the participant learned in the course. Here are a few tips for writing course descriptions

  • Use the past tense; the description will appear on registry users' transcripts after the course has taken place.
  • Do not include the delivery method; saying online or videotaped or journal presents a red flag to some licensing boards and may prompt them to reject the course.
  • Include the key learning outcomes and key elements of the course. This information is helpful to the participant and others who review courses/transcripts.
  • Show the connection to the science and practice of speech-language pathology and/or audiology.
  • Use person-first language (person first, disability second). For example, use "children with hearing impairments," rather than "hearing impaired children."
  • Be concise; the description should be 300 characters and no longer than one long or two short paragraphs.
  • Spell out acronyms the first time they are used—autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and ASD thereafter.
  • View the description through the eyes of state licensure board personnel for readability and content. Assume board staff are not familiar with your organization or any products/techniques addressed.

We hope that this information is helpful when you submit your next course registration!

Intersections is developed and written by:
Karen Cohen, Clay Colbert-Dorsey, Joan Oberlin, Brandi Wilkins and Zachary Roach

Intersections is published by:
ASHA Continuing Education staff with the assistance of a volunteer advisory panel of ASHA Approved CE Providers: Wayne Secord (Red Rock Publications); Donna Spillman Kennedy (Selective Mutism Anxiety Research & Treatment Center), Susan Almon Mantangos (Aegis Therapies, Inc.), Cory Tompkins (Career Improvement & Advancement Opportunities), and Mark Witkind (Witkind Associates)

Managing Editors: Joan Oberlin, Ellen Fagan

Continuing Education Board Members:
Pauline Mashima (chair), Linda Carroll, Candice Costa, Twhanna Green, Sherri Lovelace Brooks, Mary Hooper, Ninevah Wood Murray, Mona Ryan, Amy Weiss, Robert Novak (monitoring vice-president), Jennifer Watson (monitoring vice-president) and Ellen Fagan (ex officio)

Want to read past issues of Intersections? Visit the Intersections archive to see what you missed!

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