Progressive Approach Improves Member Engagement
In 2010, IMCA embarked on a new e-learning program to provide its members and prospective members with broader access to preparatory programming for the CIMA and CPWA certification process.
“We are a membership and accrediting body where people can build their professional knowledge and earn CIMA and CPWA certification. We recognized that we needed a better way to support members going through those certifications,” explains Jamie Lewis, Education and Product Development Manager for IMCA. “CIMA certification is governed by accreditation rules and regulations beyond our control. So, while the certification team can give suggestions and recommendations on what knowledge is required, our members really need more education to help them prepare for this really tough test. IMCA saw an opportunity to create this educational programming as a value-added service for our membership.”
Quickly Adapting to a Changing Investment Management Landscape
“The landscape is perpetually changing and our course content must adapt accordingly,” says Lewis, who is also IMCA’s Brightspace administrator and is responsible for the organization’s educational delivery strategy.
“For instance, literally every year tax regulations change and we need to change with them. It’s a bit like doing aircraft maintenance when the plane is in flight. One of the things I love most about the Brightspace platform is its flexibility. It is incredibly nimble. We can go into the system and alter content on the fly to keep our members on track for their certification.”
The Right Information at the Right Time Keeps Professional Development on Track
IMCA is currently focused on building out its content to leverage the features of the Brightspace platform while also adapting the online learning and development solution to the organization’s unique needs.
“We don’t do lecture capture in the traditional way an educational institution would. But we do use Brightspace Capture™ to deliver video-based content to our members. We can easily load all of our Fundamentals videos using the functionality of the Brightspace platform and quickly add them to course material,” says Lewis.
“Video-based content delivered through Brightspace has also provided the IMCA team with a workaround for a technical issue facing some members. Many of our clients within large financial services firms have firewall issues and are prevented from viewing video-based content online. This gets in the way of their learning and professional development goals. And yet, we’ve found many more can successfully access videos stored in the platform via Brightspace Capture,” says Lewis.
Similarly, the IMCA team has implemented an “ask the expert” feature in Brightspace using the platform’s online discussion feature. An outside consultant monitors the discussion board and answers members’ content-related questions within forty-eight hours. “It’s just one more way we’re molding Brightspace to fit the unique needs of our association,” says Lewis. “We don’t have a facilitator guiding members, and members are cycling in and out of the educational content we provide. But, nevertheless, we’re interacting with our members and fielding their questions as they arise.”