Three Years of Ascend Training: A Remarkable Journey of Skill Enhancement

Time flies when you’re on a journey of constant learning and growth! Today, we’re celebrating a remarkable milestone: completing our third year at Ascend Training by Stenograph and reflecting on the impact this resource has had. With Ascend, court reporting professionals in need of guidance and training on their Stenograph software products are working faster and more efficiently providing “gold-standard” realtime translation and transcripts.

Prior to Ascend, CAT software training that goes beyond the basic skills required to put out a transcript involved hiring a trainer, or electing to attend a conference where CAT software training was offered. While these methods were (and are) effective, they have a few disadvantages. You can only take training when the instructor is available (possibly requiring you to take time off). You may be required to travel to the training. The cost will vary. They also necessarily involve limited agendas, because of the fixed number of training hours. Last, and most important, they don’t allow much room for follow-up questions (without additional expense).

A wide variety of groups on various social media platforms have attempted to fill the gap of answering software questions via colleagues helping each other on a voluntary basis. From the beginning, this was shown to be an unreliable resource, because the people who were willing to help weren’t always the best-informed. The “free” information found online was worth exactly what was paid for it: one person’s anecdote, even if well-intentioned, is most often inaccurate or at best, misleading, as it is colored by individual ignorance and inapplicable experience. The environment, which is ad-filled and constantly tracking you for the benefit of its advertisers, is often toxic and even at its best, frustratingly inefficient.

Three years ago, Ascend Training was born out of a vision to provide reporting industry professionals and students with expert training plus in-between training answers to their CAT software and writer questions in a safe, polite, and supportive online community that they could access on-demand.

It began with the promise of at least one new webinar every month, and four Live Q & A sessions each month, along with the ability for members to post questions and receive guaranteed reliable answers from experts. Shortly thereafter, Ascend began adding tips and tricks articles at least once per week focusing on specific problem-solving topics. Later on, weekly professional polls were added, encouraging additional discussion about preferred methods and techniques. A social section was added to accommodate interaction that enable the members to get to know each other as people and not just as colleagues.

Over the past three years, in addition to expert answers provided daily to member questions, Ascend has bloomed into a huge resource library, containing 187 videos on a wide variety of topics covering all aspects of CATalyst, CATalyst BCS, CATalyst VP, CaseViewNet, and the Luminex, plus 213 “Tips & Tricks” articles.

Before Ascend, guided training methods were structured around the amount of time the reporter spent learning and documenting that time to make a class eligible for continuing education credit. However, a poll taken prior to the opening of Ascend determined that many reporting professionals weren’t as interested in CEUs as they were in getting the information they needed as quickly as possible and applying that knowledge immediately to save time. So, when Ascend was created, it was designed to ensure that reporters could learn in minutes, not hours. This is why every video on Ascend is accompanied by a time-referenced content guide, so that a member can search for what they want to learn about, and if they don’t need an entire webinar, they can fast forward to the specific segment they need, watch, and learn what they need. Those who prefer to read vs. watch a solution can often get all the info they need directly from the content guide.

Of course, there will always be a segment of the community that needs to earn continuing education credit, and so Ascend adapted to meet that need as well. Premium Events take place approximately once every 6-8 weeks, enabling attendees to attend a late morning or early afternoon Saturday webinar and earn CEUs. For those who prefer to earn credit on their own schedule, four NCRA pre-approved Premium Courses are currently available enabling reporters to watch a series of videos, then take a quiz to earn documentation they can submit for credit.

As we celebrate the third anniversary of Ascend, we look forward to its continuing evolution as a training resource. One thing is certain: Ascend will continue to offer officials, deposition reporters, captioners, and scopists, the most cost-effective and convenient way to learn how to use Stenograph products. It will continue to be a community of polite, supportive  professionals focused on the mutual goal of working faster and more efficiently.

Cheers to three years of growth, learning, and excellence. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this incredible platform. Here’s to many more years of ascending together!

If you’re not yet a member, don’t miss out on another moment: join Ascend today!

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