ICM reaches pandemic-related milestone

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ICM reaches pandemic-related milestone

The coronavirus pandemic forced the world to pivot in order to continue to operate and provide services, and NCSC’s Institute for Court Management is no exception.

This week ICM will offer its 35th virtual course since the pandemic began 15 months ago.

“I believe the pandemic changed the way everyone looks at the virtual classroom,” said Juli Edwards-McDaniel, ICM’s curriculum developer. “Before the pandemic, learning in a virtual classroom was often looked at as less than. Now we see the many benefits of virtual education and that the virtual classroom and the face-to-face classroom both offer pros and cons. Our course evaluations support the assertion that virtual delivery is not second-best to face-to-face courses but rather an equally effective way to offer courses to court managers across the United States and around the world.”

ICM is no stranger to using video technology to teach. For more than 10 years, it has offered online Certified Court Manager courses. Now all of its courses are available remotely, including courses such as public relations, leadership, visioning and strategic planning and educational development.

Before 2020, its leaders discussed teaching more courses virtually, Margaret Allen, ICM’s director of National Programs, said, “but frankly we thought the barriers were too steep, given the amount of interaction that goes on in our courses.”

As it did for so many institutions and organizations, the pandemic forced ICM to adapt, and Edwards-McDaniel began meeting with Paul DeLosh, an ICM faculty member and the director of Virginia’s Judicial Services Department, to figure out how to maximize Zoom’s potential. Six weeks later, in May, ICM offered its public relations course remotely. It was so popular that it was offered three times in six weeks, each time to 50 people. Edwards-McDaniel said the project management for courts course also stands out as being very popular.

Starting in 2022, ICM plans to teach all of its courses annually in a combination of in-person and virtual offerings, allowing students to choose which type best meets their learning needs, schedules and budgets.

“We believe virtual offerings are here to stay alongside in-person course offerings,” Edwards-McDaniel said. “While face-to-face courses do offer a unique opportunity to connect with faculty and students, our model of virtual delivery also offers valuable networking opportunities through the many class discussions and activities, conducted in breakout rooms, just as our in-person courses include those elements through large-group and table discussions.”

For more information on upcoming virtual courses, go here.

Ohio program receives Sandra Day O’Connor Award for its civic education work

The Civic Education Program of the Ohio Supreme Court is the recipient of the 2021 Sandra Day O’Connor Award for the Advancement of Civics Education, presented annually by NCSC. The award honors an organization, court, program, or individual who has promoted, inspired, improved, or led an innovation or accomplishment in the field of civics education related to the justice system. This year’s award comes during the 40th anniversary of Justice O’Connor’s unanimous Senate confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1981.

The Ohio program was selected for its multi-faceted approach to civics education, its longevity, its continued program expansion, and its ability to be replicated in other jurisdictions around the country, according to the selection committee of NCSC’s Board of Directors.

The Civic Education Program engages students and adults through on-site exhibits in the court’s Visitor Education Center through educational resources and lessons developed for teachers and students that are aligned with the Ohio Department of Education’s learning standards.

“Each aspect of the program is researched, designed, and reviewed with the goal of having a meaningful impact on individuals’ understanding of our justice system,” Kate Strickland, executive director of the Ohio Center for Law Related Education, said in a nomination letter.