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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ISA Launches New Online Learning Center

The Board of Directors and the office staff have promised to listen to you, the members, when deciding the future of ISA.  This time we’ve also listened to market analysts and research results from providers of higher education.  Everyone seems to want online educational offerings.  Learning at home over the internet really makes sense in our profession.  After all, part of the beauty of what we do is being able to work on our own schedule and in pajamas, right?

By now, you’ve probably seen an email announcing the new online version of the Core Course.  This is probably more exciting for future members, but we all realize that more members make for a stronger organization and online options make our excellent educational offerings available to more people. (More professionals in the market doing appraisals means more people are hearing about us and deciding to use us.)  It’s easy to share the link with people who’ve asked you how they might become appraisers.  I don’t believe the online version of the Core Course will ever replace live offerings, but there are a significant number of people who want this option.

The flexibility of the online platform will allow ISA to develop more classes.  This isn’t the old PowerPoint webinars we have seen in the past.  The new system allows PowerPoint type slides, with audio integration – which can include a lot of photos and short video clips.  Quizzes and most final tests are online and you get immediate feedback.  If you give a wrong answer you are provided feedback on what areas to further study.  If you have questions you can join a chat room or email the instructor for help.  Nothing can completely take the place of learning in a room full of people who speak your language but this is so much better than the old correspondence course options when I first started appraising.

If you are wondering how this new platform will help us “old guys” the first answer is easier access to USPAP.  I just took the 7 hour update on-site last fall but look forward to being able to take it online from now on, not that I didn’t have great time visiting with everyone in Naperville.  Like everyone else, I’m busy, and it is easier to commit a few hours rather than a few days for the class.  By the way, the first online 7 hour USPAP was full within a few hours of the announcement so we’re hoping to schedule another one.  Other classes in the planning stage include a short course that is an introduction to the Fine Arts specialty course for those of us who don’t have an educational background in art.  We want to hear your ideas for other courses you’d like to see developed.  I can’t promise every subject will become an online course but I’m sure lots of you have great ideas.

Even if you have already done the Core course take a look at this short video.  It will give you an idea of what to expect from other courses.  Then all you have to do is watch for information about new offerings.  Oh yeah, if you need the 15 hour USPAP you better hurry and get registered.

Libby Holloway, ISA CAPP
Chair, LMS Taskforce

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