President's Desk

Advancing Education

The CCIM Institute has pro­vided the commercial real estate industry’s premier educational resources since 1969. While many of the core invest­ment principles taught in CCIM courses are timeless, today’s busi­ness climate constantly is evolving, which means the institute’s courses also must evolve to remain competi­tive. To keep CCIM students at the industry’s forefront, the institute is revising its world-renowned edu­cational curriculum. This complex, multiphase process will culminate in educational offerings that provide students with the practical know-ledge and skills required to make key commercial real estate investment decisions in today’s marketplace.

Technology provides the founda­tion for the curriculum rewrite, just as it does for most of the business CCIMs conduct today. In fact, Black­board, a Web-based suite of learning, content management, and commu­nity software, already is being utilized. Through Blackboard, the institute has created online course sites that facili­tate interaction among students and instructors before, during, and after each core course. Since last Septem­ber students have been using these online sites to access course reference manuals, discussion boards, and quiz­zes. In addition, instructors can cus­tomize the sites to their courses’ spec­ifications. Blackboard also provides a technology-based framework for managing and organizing the insti­tute’s educational content.

The curriculum redesign initiative also includes plans to immediately test and incorporate new content and tools into our existing courses. For exam­ple, currently the institute is collabo­rating with Kenneth P. Riggs, CCIM, chief executive officer of Real Estate Research Corp., on new course con­tent relating to capital markets. Upon completion and approval, the material could be introduced into the curricu­lum as early as this summer. By con­tinually piloting and phasing in new content and tools, we ensure that stu­dents have access to the most-current industry information available.

Another objective of the curriculum revision is to present students with a diverse array of resources and tools as they progress through the entire CCIM educational track. Online com­munities will play a pivotal role in this process as we create new resources and team-based projects that extend learning outside the classroom. In a future phase the institute will take this process a step further by incor­porating online assessments into the instructional design of the curricu­lum — a process that will provide students with immediate, meaning­ful feedback as well as assist with the measurement of effective instruction. It also will allow for the delivery of an automated course evaluation system to provide more timely and proactive reviews of student feedback.

Another tier of the curriculum redevelopment process is the CCIM Knowledge Base, an online tool for members that will be available soon. In its first phase, the Blackboard-based, searchable resource will give members access to all of the informa­tion provided in the CCIM courses in HTML and PDF formats. This resource is ideal both for students who want more information about particular course topics as well as seasoned CCIMs who want to refresh their skills. Future plans include the development of a knowledge reposi­tory that encompasses a broader range of educational content, best practices information, and business tools.

An undertaking of this magnitude requires a series of carefully planned steps. The institute’s leadership, instructors, and staff are skillfully navigating the path to a state-of-the-art commercial real estate education program that will provide designees and candidates with the knowledge and tools they need to excel in the industry.

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