Multimedia Coordinator and Diploma Administrator Steve Collender talks about the Society’s leap into online-only learning.
Over the coming weeks, the Society is shedding light on the work done for solicitors nationwide in education, public affairs, members services and regulation. Here, Multimedia Coordinator and Diploma Administrator Steve Collender talks about the Society’s leap into online-only learning.
What’s your background?
I come from a diverse background which encompasses legal studies and creative work in the fields of multimedia, audio and video production. I combined these interests by undertaking a Bachelor’s degree in Law from University College Cork (2010) followed by a MA in Music & Technology with Cork Institute of Technology (2011).
After working as a technical support advisor with Apple in Cork for a number of years, I moved to Dublin to work with the Law Society as an Administrator in 2014 and have stayed with the Education Centre ever since. I worked with the PPC department for a year-and-a-half before moving to the Diploma Centre, developing my own role within the team as Multimedia Coordinator and Diploma administrator.
What does the role involve?
I have a mixed role with responsibility for coordinating digital projects as well as day-to-day administration of Diploma courses.
The Diploma Centre offers a diverse range of postgraduate courses open to solicitors, trainees and barristers and suitably-qualified professionals. We are a busy department, offering an average of 33 courses a year to approximately 1,200 students. Law Society members receive a discount on all courses offered, with a range of additional discounts being provided for trainees, unemployed solicitors and returning students who undertake multiple courses.
Diploma courses run on evenings and Saturdays to facilitate participation for busy working professionals, so the team is used to working on evenings and weekends. Since Covid-19, we have moved to an exclusively online delivery system, using Zoom as our webcasting software for live sessions. All sessions are available to view on playback, and in the last year our online learning resources have become more important than ever.
One of our key events in the year is the annual Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), a free initiative which is open to the public and specifically designed for large numbers to participate in. I play a central role in coordinating this program, which is in its seventh year. The MOOC typically attracts up to 3,000 students annually and presents an opportunity to showcase our Moodle platform and digital learning resources, as well as providing the general public with a greater understanding of the law and highlighting the Law Society’s commitment to embracing technology and online learning. We’re making preparations for our upcoming MOOC on Environmental Law & Climate Change currently, which is scheduled to launch on Tuesday 18 May.
Now approaching seven years working with the Law Society, I’ve greatly enjoyed the variety of my role and delivering innovative legal education with a small but dedicated and committed team. From using web design knowledge to enhance our web content, to creating interactive eLearning activities for students and editing innovative trailer videos for upcoming courses, there’s been no shortage of opportunities to strengthen the Diploma Centre’s digital presence.
This article originally appeared in the 4 May Member eZine. For more information, and to subscribe, visit eNewsletters.