One of the qualifications required for being a provider of courses in states that require ARELLO certification is the course needs to be ARELLO Certified. ARELLO Certification itself requires that the course provider must have a CDEI certified instructor.
On September 9, 2008, I completed the first CDEI qualification certification courses. I found the program to be a great help to me in giving us a better direction in our course development and understanding how to make our program, across the board, better. Last week I completed the eight (8) hour renewal course, as required by ARELLO.
When I took the original course almost three years ago, I first agonized over having to take the two extensive module programs for the original certification process. But upon completion of the program I was so glad it was required. So, when I tackled the renewal course this last week, I was very much into the program. As I mention, the program is an eight hour course, but it probably took about 32 hours to complete the program, for I was determined to have the course help me re-evaluate our course offerings.
As a result of the course, I am instituting a matching exercise in all of our streaming video programs for every session. In advance courses, such as broker and post license courses, we are adding discussion questions to help develop more interactivity between student and instructor.
We presently have text links for each session of the course(s) but by bringing into the discussion the findings of the text links, we feel will also help interactivity with students. It will also expand the students knowledge of the material.
What the course told me is that we need to continue to make an effort to bring resources of the Internet into the virtual classroom. This will help students retain the information from the course and give the student more understanding of the material. In turn, the student will be better real estate agent because of this effort.
Cooke Real Estate School
It is easy to see why so many states list Cooke Real Estate School as an approved distance education provider for real estate training. I was a bit concerned that the materials, pacing and instructor would fall far short compared to a classroom course. I was also concerned that once in receipt of my fees, the School would fail to respond to any issues I might have.
I am happy to say that I was wrong on all counts. The material is well-organized, with the objectives and associated vocabulary clearly presented at the beginning of the session. The quizzes, both the short and long versions, provide an excellent means of reinforcement and review. The instructors present the same slides, but the personal asides are memorable and helpful. Being able to go back over any lecture more than once is another benefit of the online vs. classroom experience. The main textbook provided is a great outline for study as well. Links to online resources are provided with almost all sessions. Instructors answer questions sent to them very quickly, another completely unexpected benefit.
As an educator myself, I know how difficult it can be to put material together in a cohesive way, especially with widely diverse student backgrounds and experience to consider. I saved time, money and frustration utilizing the Cooke Real Estate School, and I hope to pass the state exam in another couple of months, which puts me far ahead of schedule versus the classroom course.
Thank you to everyone for making the whole process painless and interesting.