CCIM Education

Blended Learning

CCIM takes the lead in 21st-century education.

CCIM Institute’s new course delivery method is also delivering a new member benefit to designees. As part of the blended learning initiative, CCIM is creating its own online education library. For CI 101 alone, CCIM’s senior instructors have already produced more than 20 online learning assets, including video and e-learning segments on the time value of money, discounted cash flow analysis, and loan underwriting. By year’s end the number of these education resources will triple.

These online resources represent CCIM’s most up-to-date educational tools and the goal is to make them available to all members as a permanent repository of each course’s core concepts and skills, says CCIM Senior Instructor Steve Cannariato, CCIM, chair of the Blended Learning Presidential Task Force. “Members will be able to access the online library to watch a video, complete a self-paced module, or review sample problem to refresh concepts and skills,” he says. Members will also have the ability to rate the effectiveness of each learning asset, providing feedback and ideas for future enhancements. The online library is scheduled for release in late summer 2014.

A Changing Landscape

Blended learning — a combination of classroom, independent study, and online instruction — is more than an educational fad: in fact, technology-enabled learning is now becoming a mainstream education delivery method.

“The education landscape has changed,” Cannariato says. “Information is everywhere, available any time and often for free. For example, take one of our core CCIM concepts, net present value. There are 36,800 videos available online on that topic. And all of them are free.”

Given such an overwhelming amount of information on any one topic, how learning is delivered becomes even more important, and well-established organizations such as CCIM can leverage their reputation and remain world-class by focusing on content curation and delivery methods. “We need to adapt to this new landscape or risk becoming irrelevant,” Cannariato says.

CCIM itself has seen strong, steady growth in its online education offerings. In 2013, more than one-third of all U.S. designation education enrollments were for either self-paced online or instructor-led online courses; 75 percent of these students chose self-paced online instruction.

Yet the hallmark of the CCIM education program is its instructor-led, live classroom experience, where participants gain insight and knowledge from instructors who are commercial real estate practitioners themselves. In addition, the chance to network with classmates often results in contacts, leads, and transactions, as many designees can attest.

The 21st-century challenge is to combine technology and the classroom experience while enhancing both experiences for the student. That’s what blended learning does, says 2014 CCIM Institute President Karl Landreneau, who has championed the development of this education model. “A blended learning format offers students the best of both worlds: face-to-face access to instructors and 24/7 access to web-based learning opportunities and materials.”

CI 101 Rollout

To pilot the program, CCIM senior instructors, staff, and instructional designers are creating a blended learning format for CI 101 to debut in fourth-quarter 2014. The course will include

  • 12 hours of self-paced e-learning content, divided among 40 separate topics and learning activities, ranging from three-minute videos to 45-minute interactive learning sessions;
  • seven hours of instructor-led virtual training sessions;
  • three hours of self-paced, independent study activities;
  • 12 to 14 hours of classroom-based case study application; and
  • ongoing grading of student learning in addition to an end-of-course exam.

This type of education is characterized as “go and do, then return and report,” Cannariato says. For example, in one activity, students research and compare the yields on bonds, the stock market, Treasuries, and real estate and then develop a $2 million investment portfolio. In another assignment, students contact lenders in their markets and report back on local underwriting trends.

The self-paced learning and virtual sessions for CI 101 are followed by two days of classroom instruction and a networking event, introducing students to the benefits of CCIM networking and local chapter participation.

Landreneau points out the blended learning delivery does not replace the current classroom licensed delivery model, nor any other CCIM education offerings. It’s just another way to reach a larger audience. First, it appeals to a younger generation raised on computers, tablets, and smartphones. “E-learning is nothing new for them,” Landreneau says. Plus it cuts down on the costs and amount of travel time. “Not everyone can get away for four days to take a course,” he says. “We hope this innovation will give more students access to CCIM’s world-class curriculum.”

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