Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
Our eCademy is a learning initiative specifically designed to fit the needs of our students interested in enhancing their education online by using our syllabus to become qualified Corporate Accountants. We had looked at the various ways that people were currently learning and we thought there had to be a better way, where the quality of training worked in parallel with the values of the association. To put it more specifically, our students had to be educated to a standard that matched the association’s ambition, which is to produce members who are not only better qualified but stand out from the crowd, the future game-changers of the accountancy profession. Not only that, but we also wanted to incorporate Lifelong Learning and CPD – Continuing Professional Development.
So, to produce game-changers we had to become game-changers ourselves. To enable this, we started at the beginning and looked at the trials and tribulations that our students would face when studying online, a lack of energy, motivation, hopelessness, being overwhelmed, low self-esteem, and loneliness to name a few. Secondly, we had to allow that all our students are different and therefore learn in different ways, one class doesn’t fit all. Lastly, we had to develop the technology and techniques that would not only deliver an outstanding learning experience but also ensure that not only were the courses immersive but that the whole eCademy was inclusive and involved.
When we looked into how people were currently being trained to be Management Accountants we concluded that they were being trained in an old school style where teachers led and students followed. In other words, they were being groomed for a vocation, not being trained for it. Obvious changes were needed. One, students needed to be more involved and responsible for their education. Secondly, employers expect more, they want to employ people who can hit the ground running, not start training again, we enable that.
To this end, we decided that we would adopt EaaS, Education as a Service. A ‘learner-centric’ evolution in accountancy education where we ensure that our students are kept abreast of all new developments within the profession and are therefore ‘vocationalised’ when they leave us. To enable this, we adopted ‘Moodle’, the largest LMS – Learning Management System in the world, and repurposed it to suit our student’s needs. With this came all the benefits of engagement, versatility, topical learning, and involvement.
Once we developed the learning ‘machine’, we then had to look at the type of learning techniques we would employ. The issue here is that all students are different and learn in different ways. Search the internet and you will find there are many different learning styles. Some say 3, visual, aural, and tactile/kinaesthetic. Others 7, adding social, solitary, verbal, and logical. Solely, following this path could lead to false expectations and excuses that are detrimental to learning in general as no one learns in any one way but in combination.
Knowing that we built our learning program incorporating various methods to ensure that none would be excluded. This gives us flexibility in what, when, and how we deliver our content. Building on this we realised that we would need to develop methods to help our students take on board information, internalise and then apply it.
By adopting these learning methods, we realised there was a value that traditional schools and universities could have over an organisation like ours. The ability to take a break, walk around campus, and meet friends. Put plainly, social lives. We looked at what was available in the marketplace and how to realise this in an e-learning environment. Unless we wanted a forum there wasn’t much choice. We wanted something deeper and more involved, something that not only connected the students but could also be used as part of the learning structure. To that end we created our own Community Portal, ensuring no one need ever feel left out or disenfranchised. It offers as perfect a solution as we could wish for:
- Audio & Video Chat: Being able to communicate using audio, video, or messages
- Direct Messaging: Sending directly to any user in private chat
- Group Chats: Chat rooms with unlimited numbers of members
- File Sharing: Sharing pictures, documents, media files and geolocations
- Live Chat: Connecting all our members to online support services
To add some extra layers and depth to the eCademy we decided to incorporate our Lifelong Learning courses that will add extra skills to our members and also CPD where our qualified members can keep abreast of developments within Management Accountancy. More information is available by clicking the links.
What makes it all more palatable is it is FREE to qualify as a CAA Corporate Accountant. How?, by simply becoming a Student Member of the Association you can access all our coursework for FREE! Click here for more details.