We Wrote the Book On It

Kevin O’Hare—Education Supervisor & Instructional Designer, IBAO

In 2019 we took up the project of rebuilding the licensing course we’d been running from the ground up. Yes, RIBO maintains the keys to the gates and identifies who can and can’t pass through, but how individuals get to that gate is up to us. Broker Launchpad is our evolution of insurance broker licensing education.

One of the fundamental changes that needed to be built into this course was a clear, updated and accurate profile of who’s enrolling. On average, the majority were 30-45 with some in their 20s and a few over 50. The most common reasons for attending: switching careers, having recently been hired at a brokerage, or newly arrived to Canada. We assessed how well our current course and textbook synced with this profile and it turns out, not very well. The textbook and course overused legal and insurance jargon and lengthy technical content and didn’t highlight real world examples.
From this analysis, a new textbook had to be succinct, guide the learner through the jargon in plain language and offer numerous and realistic examples to help amplify key points. Most importantly, it needed to offer a pace the learner could easily adopt and gauge their progress. Individuals who attend our course are taking their first steps into insurance—they need clear, concise, practical information and a means to test themselves to know if they’re getting it. No easy task, but thankfully we had amazing contributors including Lyall Bell, Michael Carberry and JoAnne Mitchel—all experts in teaching for comprehension and focusing on learner outcomes.

The new textbook has received 100% satisfaction from survey respondents.

One year later, a brand new textbook, Becoming an Insurance Broker, was born—now available in both hardcopy and as an eBook. Our Broker Launchpad course was similarly rebuilt alongside these new materials. New visual elements were created to increase class interaction and engagement and help visualize difficult concepts.
Since launching Broker Launchpad, responses have been overwhelmingly positive. Textbook readability, structure and layout have received 100% satisfaction from survey respondents. And despite the pivot to a hybrid classroom, engagement remains as high as it was when all students were learning from our classroom.
Starting with the average learner’s profile and goals, then working backwards made all the difference. Because we focused on who our students are and what they’re looking to accomplish, we customized our product to greatly improve their chances of getting through that gate. The textbook will continue to evolve as insurance changes—the more we learn about our customers, the better we can build programs to respond to their specific needs and goals and set them up for success in the broker channel.
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