Guest post by WBT Systems
This past year, what you need to know as an association professional changed unexpectedly. You had to quickly wrap your mind around new non-dues revenue streams, virtual conferences, remote work, and virtual governance.
Your members are also adjusting to new pandemic and economic conditions. They need to learn new skills and acquire new knowledge. You’re exploring new ideas for online learning programs, but how can you spin up new educational content for them when you don’t have the time or money to design an online course?
When is an online course the answer and when isn’t it?
Online courses provide opportunities for social learning (synchronous courses) and convenient, self-paced learning (asynchronous courses). They’re the foundation of certificate programs and learning pathways. They also give professionals a hefty dose of the credits they need for certification programs.
But you probably can’t go from zero to launch in a matter of weeks unless the content is good-to-go. Instructional design requires a budget and time. Courses also risk becoming outdated unless you build flexibility into them, schedule regular reviews, and switch out content when necessary.
Respond quickly to changing member and market needs with these new ideas for online learning
During the pandemic, many associations quickly shifted gears to deliver education that helped their members deal with new operating and/or economic conditions. For example, medical societies hosted webinars on COVID-19 and practice management topics.
Associations continue to launch new educational products, such as this self-paced online course, Pandemic Challenges: How to Return to Work Safely from the American Society of Safety Professionals. Webinars are more common. The Association of Women, Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses hosted a webinar on a relevant topic for any association, From Chaos to Calm: Developing a Self-Care Toolkit for COVID-19 and Beyond.