We have a number of staff preparing for mandatory exams that are compulsory to pass in order to continue providing financial advice to clients. Currently they have paper manuals and optional seminars but need some creative ways to further support their learning requirements ideally via e-Learning. Any thoughts on ideas to add value here rather than just re producing manual online?
We've encountered similar issues with financial and professional exams. Our main professional body is the CII and while they do have an online portal which essentially reproduces the books, you have to pay double to get access. Unfortunately there seems to be a real lack of third party resources out there, which probably explains the high prices and low quality (gap in the market for somebody!).
Anyway what we've been doing is trying to harness the knowledge and experience of those who have already passed the exams by using community tools like wikis and discussion forums. It's still early days but the signs are promising and students feel like they are getting more support than in previous years. This is one of the first projects we've employed such tools, so there is no history of using them within the organisation, but it seemed like an ideal way to introduce them.
There are obviously lots of different platforms to choose from to suit all budgets and needs. In our case we had to wait until we upgraded our LMS to the latest version of Saba, which has these tools built in, because we would have met with certain resistance from our IT department had we tried to do this independently. It always amazes me that IT departments seem to be the biggest inhibitors of employing new technology (unless it's for their own personal use!).
I have many years experience in preparing students for non financial examinations and also acting as a Chief Moderator for a professional body. The main barrier/challenge to learners passing the examinations is frequently not the content of the learning but actual examination techniques.
reading the question
identifying the key issues
managing the time element (many able learners have failed as they have run out of time)
One of the best ways I found was to help make learners aware of the skills they needed and then to practice, practice, practice.
Most awarding bodies do issue examiner feedback on past papers. This provides valuable insight into what to do and what not to do.
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