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TheStreet Open House

National Institute For Trial Advocacy Creates Online Learning Portal For Attorney Accreditation And Mentoring Via Mediasite Webcasts

The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) has created an online learning portal for continuing legal education and attorney mentoring via Mediasite by Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the trusted market leader for video management and academic, enterprise and event webcasting.

NITA is a provider of learning-by-doing, hands-on education for the legal profession. Its team of expert professors, judges and practicing lawyers train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates of justice. NITA offers about 300 one-day or multi-day courses annually for continuing legal education credits and accreditation. Last year the organization launched an online program called Deposition Skills: Online for attorneys unable to attend in-person classes due to time, location or budget restraints. The instructors record their lectures via Mediasite in NITA’s studio71, and remote participants access a catalog of on-demand presentations to watch. They also take part in live classes via webcams. The online program was not only well received by the participants but also by the CLE industry. NITA’s Online Deposition Program was named ACLEA’s Best in the programming category for 2012.

“In our first year, we’ve had over 6,000 views of our on-demand video content. Our volunteer educators are giving lectures all around the U.S., and our goal is to increase our distance learning capabilities to include even more online programming on different topics,” said Wendy Velez, NITA’s Associate Executive Director of Operations. “Mediasite for me means innovation. It gives us the freedom to try new things and reach more attorneys nationwide.”

NITA also holds private classes for individual firms and uses Mediasite for flipped instruction, a model where faculty pre-record lectures for attorneys to watch before class. Class time is then dedicated to learning-by-doing workshops, dynamic discussions and interactions about what they learned.

“Mediasite is easy to use and anyone can do this. You don’t have to be a film school graduate to be able to operate the platform,” Velez said. “We can also track analytics and see who watched what, which is important for the state accreditation boards. Our online program via Mediasite will only get bigger from here, and we’re looking forward to experimenting with more online courses and webcast series in 2013.”

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