With Kevin O’Hare, IBAO Education Manager & Lead Instructional Designer
The way we deliver education has changed. It’s had to. But recent challenges have given rise to new solutions. The latest of those solutions is an On Demand version of Broker Launchpad—our flagship course designed to prepare future brokers for the RIBO Level I Licensing Exam.
“There’s been a lot of communication with the general public with people saying things like, I have to get into this session it’s my only window or I can’t take that much time off,” said Kevin O’Hare, IBAO Education Manager & Lead Instructional Designer. “So we needed a way to get people into this channel that afforded a lot more flexibility on their time and concentration.”
The On Demand version of Broker Launchpad allows participants to work through material at their own pace. From the time of sign up, they have six months to complete the course.
This version was built on the philosophy of Broker Launchpad—unveiled in 2020—a complete overhaul of the way we taught licensing courses, with a new textbook rewritten from page one.
“The older IBAC textbook was more of a manual, intended to sit on your shelf as reference throughout your career, but it kind of required an instructor to explain it. When we had the opportunity to write a new book from scratch, we started with who will be listening to you and then how do they need to hear what you’re trying to say?
“We made a deliberate choice to acknowledge that readers are trying to pass the exam. The Becoming an Insurance Broker textbook is learner-oriented, we made sure readers can follow along and more of it sticks. It guides them through the material slowly and carefully, with a ton of practice—there’s 300 questions in it.
“We didn’t want this version to just be a series of recordings of an instructor. We wanted the overall experience to feel as though it’s guided by an instructor’s hand.”
“Becoming an Insurance Broker was chosen as the title because it’s a common search term for prospective brokers. Renaming the course Broker Launchpad and designing a new microsite differentiated the course and helped ensure people can find it when they’re looking to start a career in the broker channel.”
Taking the intended audience into consideration and putting the learner at the center were guiding design principles behind Broker Launchpad On Demand.
“We didn’t want this version to just be a series of recordings of an instructor. We wanted the overall experience to feel as though it’s guided by an instructor’s hand. It had to be constructed for someone who’s independent, self-studying and needs to take a lot of breaks throughout the course, because of life. We tried to find a lot of ways to connect the dots to help a learner, by themselves, figure out where they can improve and where they’re doing well.
“At the end of every chapter there’s a self-assessment tool that asks what did you score on the quiz and what are your areas of strength and weakness? And as they fill this out, they’re also creating focused study notes for themselves. So if they take the full six months to finish the course, they can look back at these notes and review the areas that gave them the most trouble the first time.”
The early response to the course has been overwhelming. We’ve seen immediate and steady registration numbers both from brokerage employees looking to get licensed and people from outside the industry looking for a career change.
“Brokerages who previously sent their staff to Broker Launchpad in person love it. There are no hotels or travel expenses, they just pipe in from their home or office as their schedule allows.
“Right now, during a pandemic, single parents are the most disenfranchised population. If they couldn’t dedicate the scheduled time for the old format but they’re looking for a new career, the on demand version was created to bring them in. By focusing on who the learner is, and crafting education to fit their needs, we’re empowering more people to be able to join the broker channel. That’s where we’ve cut new ground and insurance is going to benefit.”