Implementing a blended learning approach for a Big 4 member firm
Since 2003, we’ve traveled to the Caribbean for a Big 4 member firm to deliver live, on-site training to their professionals. I know, tough life! But this was not just any training. See, standard off-the-shelf U.S. GAAP and IFRS training wouldn’t cut it because their client base included hedge funds, fund-of-fund structures, private equity firms, and captive insurance companies. They required industry-specific training and, lucky for them, we specialize in providing learning solutions to financial services companies and their auditors!
So, each year we’d develop and facilitate U.S. GAAP and IFRS fundamentals and update courses in the following industries:
- Investment management
And so it went, year after year, with rave reviews. However, as they continued to grow, many of their professionals resided on other islands and, due to scheduling conflicts and/or the price of travel, found they could not attend the live training for the weeks that we were “on island.”
Utilizing our online learning platform, the Revolution, in 2018 we designed a blended learning approach, giving the learners a choice in how they received their industry-specific update training. For the update courses, we divided the live training into the following ½-day ILT courses:
- U.S. GAAP Update for Investment Management
- IFRS Update for Investment Management
- U.S. GAAP Update for Insurance
- IFRS Update for Insurance
- U.S. GAAP Update for Enterprise
- IFRS Update for Enterprise
We then converted each ILT course into a 90-minute live webinar, then quickly converted these live webinars into CPE-compliant eLearning courses. We also created post-course assessment questions for each course.
This solution gave their professionals options. The learner was in control as to which modality worked best for them! It actually gave us inspiration for another learning solution for firms that we call the A&A “Your Way,” a blended learning solution that’s perfect for today’s busy CPA. And because all the course options and post-course assessments were hosted on our online learning platform, we were able to give the client the management reporting they needed to ensure compliance with their training requirements.
For the fundamentals training, we granted them licenses for 65 seats to our online Investment Management Industry Fundamentals course collection. This learning path, consisting of 7 eLearning courses (totaling 7.5 CPE credits), explores the investment management industry, including how investment funds operate, their investing strategies, and the unique accounting and reporting considerations these entities face.
How did it go? Great! The client is in its third year of offering this blended solution to their professionals. And because we already had an online solution in place, the firm was not left scrambling to figure out how to roll out their training in 2020 as a result of the global pandemic. We’re always there, helping our clients deal with any unexpected challenges that arise!
Another beneficial thing we are doing with this client is helping them build a library of microlearning modules – CPE-compliant self-study in 10-minute increments. This library will consist of the “hot button issues” that engagement teams regularly face on their engagements for investment management entities. Imagine being on an engagement, having a client issue pop-up, and being able to access relevant, engaging microlearning instantly at your moment of need. How cool is that?
Are you looking for a blended learning solution for your organization? Let’s talk!