Continuing professional education providers need to teach by “facilitating fun learning” experiences, Joe Urbanski, COO of Total Solutions Group, recommended during NASBA’s National Registry eSummit, held on September 22 via Zoom. Approximately 250 participants heard Mr. Urbanski observe: “Most training and lectures are not interesting…We have to do things differently.” The content can be great, but the goal of webinars is to bring content to life — because the same information can be read somewhere else, he explained.

“It is not the content: It is the context,” Mr. Urbanski noted. “Being a subject matter expert is not enough. We don’t teach content; we teach people.” Additional coverage of Mr. Urbanski’s talk on “We’re Doing Webinars All Wrong” can be found in the October issue of NASBA’s CPE Monitor, including a link to all the virtual eSummit presentations at

“The Science of Attention and Engagement” was discussed by Julie Dirksen, of How long a person will allocate their attention to something depends on how that person can use the information you are giving them. If a person has something to do with the information, it makes it easier for them to pay attention, Ms. Dirksen explained.

“We know there is no limit to people’s attention span capacity: The Netflix binge shows how some can pay attention for hours,” Ms. Dirksen remarked. To assist participants in remembering material, she suggested slides be: unusual or surprising, meaningful to the organization, relevant to previous experience, repetitive, interactive, and create an emotional reaction – though she acknowledged this is not usual when dealing with technical information.

Besides providing the eSummit attendees with a state-by-state update of changes in CPE rules, Elizabeth Wolfe, NASBA Counsel of Regulatory Affairs, reminded CPE providers and developers of the need to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as updated. This requires electronic information technology that is developed, procured or used by the Federal government, including any course under contract by the government, be accessible to people with disabilities. States have been adopting their own 508 legislation, Ms. Wolfe pointed out. This is important to keep in mind when course updates are developed.

The CPE Sponsor Registry asked two of the Registry sponsors to share their experiences of converting in-person courses and events to virtual presentations during the pandemic. Cate Ekegren of Baker Tilly, and Olivia Patrick of Plante Moran described how their firms made the switch. Ms. Ekegren reported Baker Tilly pivoted to a totally virtual environment for their CPE in one month using Microsoft Teams. Ms. Patrick said Plante Moran upgraded all their employees to a Zoom Pro account.

NASBA Director of Compliance Services Maria Caldwell invited all to attend the next National Registry eSummit, to be held in August 2021 in Nashville, TN.

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