Look for credentials when buying insurance
(NC) How do you know if you can trust your insurance advisor? The answer is found in his or her credentials, a requirement taken seriously by The Insurance Institute of Canada.
Did you know, for example, that in a recent Leger poll, nine out of 10 Canadians reported that they would better trust insurance professionals who kept their credentials up to date ? This is encouraging news in the insurance field where recent trends in learning and technology have made it easier for individuals to advance their knowledge and skills.
If you’ve been out of study-mode for a few years, you may be surprised that the traditional bricks-and-mortar education model is changing – especially in the world of professional development, including courses that lead to the ‘chartered insurance professional’ designation (CIP).
“The use of virtual learning is becoming a favourite for students, for many reasons,” says Lisa Bruff, a CIP instructor and client relationship management consultant at the Co-operators General Insurance Company. “Rural areas can now be part of a larger learning experience and students in large cities that would have long commute times can now save on the cost of travel.”
The Insurance Institute of Canada has been using new virtual learning models and updates since 2009 to deliver education to property and casualty insurance professionals.
Real-time virtual classes are featured in several professional development seminars, as well as courses in the institute’s chartered insurance professional (CIP) and fellow chartered insurance professional (FCIP) designation programs.
There are more than 1,000 graduates each year from these programs, requiring the institute to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to learning in the 21st century. Here are a few of the trends in professional development:
• Social media will continue to have a significant role in the delivery of education programs. Students will continue to use social media for real-time updates, study tips and other information. They will also develop lifelong learning plans and personal learning networks via social media.
• There will be more offerings online and blended learning programs. Virtual learning in itself is not new, but as technology evolves so do new learning models. Podcasts, online learning tutorials, virtual classes and interactive learning create more convenient and flexible learning models.
• Massive open online courses (MOOCs) and open education resources (OERs) will increase. The use of online educational tools has expanded to include MOOCs, online courses aimed at open access and unlimited participation, and OERs, freely accessible and openly-licensed media for research purposes. One challenge associated with the growth of MOOCs and OERs is how to validate the learning that has occurred as well as the credibility of the source delivering the course.
• There will be more ‘gamification’ elements in instructional design and delivery. Gamification is the addition of game-like elements to digital learning and other online environments. In the context of online learning, that might mean a learner is encouraged by means such as a progress bar, earned badges and even competitive role-playing scenarios.
• Increased use of mobile design and delivery. According to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, we will subscribe to plans for more than 30 million wireless mobile devices by the end of this year. As our schedules get tighter, more learners will be seeking flexible ways to learn. Mobile devices provide that opportunity.
More information is available at www.insuranceinstitute.ca/insurance-education.