Changing Insurance Education for a Changing World

Faculty revising curriculum. Four faculty members discussing changes to curriculum to match the ever-changing world.

By: Paul Martin, CPCU

When the pandemic hit, the team at The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research had to pivot quickly. We were forced to use an all-web-based educational platform.  While we had been offering CIC and CRM programs in a live online instructor-led format prior to the pandemic, we were forced to conduct all our live classes this way.  In fact, the organization had never offered any of our CISR programs in a live online format, so we had to adapt.  And it worked.  

What participants in our programs didn’t know when the pandemic hit was that a complete recreation of what we offered in our self-paced, online Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) programs was already underway, and had been for the past year.

The online, self-paced CISR courses are being rebuilt from the ground up.  We are rewriting each course—keeping the same valuable technical information but in a new format—and adding tons of new features. Each revised CISR program will have a new learning guide and study guide for each course with additional online resources available. This same rewrite is the foundation of the new self-paced CISR classes. But in an effort to include the kinds of insights and examples a real teacher would give a student in class, the self-paced classes will have video elements and other interesting and fun activities that will keep the learner engaged with the material.

Here are some the features we’re including in the new CISR online courses:

Assessments throughout the course: 

  • Check-Ins: Quick checkpoints to assess understanding of the material covered
  • Knowledge Checks: Open-ended questions that allow learners to apply what they have learned given a novel situation
  • Reflections: Opportunities for learners to make connections between the course content and their own career experiences

Remediation for all assessments (i.e., real-time feedback)

High-quality multimedia including animations and live footage

Accessibility elements: 

  • Narration on every slide 
  • Closed captioning on all multimedia 
  • Mobile responsiveness (can be taken on any device) 
  • Learning guide for participants to print and use as a resource as they complete the course 

Click-to-reveal and drag-and-drop exercises help to chunk the content so that it is more digestible

No doubt, the pandemic has made us change many things. Because when people need insurance education to change, we at The National Alliance change with the times. We have completed work on the CISR programs and will debut these pilot classes in the summer. Watch out for news and course schedules throughout 2021.

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