Some people view change as exciting new possibilities. Most of us hate change. We’ve always done things a certain way and it works for us so why change? Change is a necessity of life. If we never changed, we would still be getting around in a horse and buggy. We wouldn’t have electricity or pain killers when we go to a dentist. I think you get my drift.
Computers and the internet have changed the way business is done all over the world. Some people are barely hanging on by refusing to use a computer. They feel like they are too old to learn so they’ll keep doing it the old fashion way. In the past few years that has been possible because it takes time to get changes in place and to begin seeing the results. The real estate industry seemed to change overnight. It didn’t. It took three or four years but when it changed, it was like waking up in another world. Suddenly you realized that you could no longer practice real estate like you have done for years. The contracts, the closing process is all done on computers. It mandates that we change or we’re left behind.
Real estate education is also changing. Prelicense classes, which are state required classes, have transitioned from a classroom setting to the internet. There are a few instructors that hold prelicense classes in a classroom setting but they are few and far between and getting fewer all the time. Five or six years ago my prelicense classes were equally split between the classroom and online classes. I had no intention of discontinuing my classroom classes until I saw the results of a comparison study the real estate commission did. The study was over a 12 month period, from all over Alabama. The results were shocking. The online students made almost 30% higher scores than the students taking a classroom course. I must tell you that I took offence to the results because I consider myself to be a good teacher. At least that’s what my students tell me and I’ve been doing it for a long time.
There are a lot of advantages to taking classes online. First and foremost, as you can see, the results are much better. Of all the people in Alabama taking a prelicense state exam, each and every month, the state-wide average for passing is only 48-52%. You see, the majority fails. Given this fact, that 30% higher score is very important. Since my job is to help people get and keep their real estate license, I decided to discontinue offering classroom course for all prelicense requirements. The results were astonishing. The passage rate for my students soared to an all-time high and continues to climb each year.
The fact that I can offer an online class for almost half the cost of the same class in a classroom setting is beneficial to the student. Another cost saving feature is the student doesn’t have to travel to a class location. Online classes can be taken from home, work or any location that has internet service. Another advantage for taking an online class is the learning atmosphere. A person can generally find a quiet place to study online, where there are no interruptions, where other students aren’t breaking your concentration by talking, coughing, sneezing, and tapping on a table or a lot of other things.
In a classroom setting, the sales prelicense class is limited to a total of 60-clock hours. If for any reason some material isn’t covered, the student loses out. My experience is that in every class, there is at least one student that likes to talk about things that aren’t related to the subject being taught. This means there’s not enough time left to cover all the material. An advantage to taking an online class from us is that the student has access to the material for six months from the date of purchase. This is sufficient time to complete the online material and still have sufficient time to review prior to taking the state exam.
Our five senses are very important to our learning abilities. It is a proven fact that we remember much more of what we see compared to what we hear. In a classroom setting the student is mostly listening to the instructor. With an online class the student is reading every word in the material, therefore, their retention and comprehension is much greater; which is another advantage.
According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, this is a study of learning habits; it states that most of us were taught on the very lowest level of knowledge. It requires less thinking. We have been taught to memorize things and then when testing, use our short term memory, recall, to answer a question. Other words we didn’t really learn the material. We just stored it in our temporary bank for testing purposes. Once the information is used, it will fade away. Most classroom instructors teach on the “knowledge” level. Online classes teach on the “evaluation’’ level and this is the highest learning level in Bloom’s Taxonomy. Online classes cause you to think rather than react.
I have a few people that tell me they can’t learn using a computer and they have to take a classroom course. I can understand their feelings because I have been there myself. We doubt our own abilities because of fearing the unknown. Without being smart about it, I try to explain that if they can’t learn to use the computer networks, they should consider work in another field. It’s not impossible to perform day-to-day real estate activities but it is improbably. It would cost a lot of money to have a computer person by your side at all times. Almost everything in real estate sales is done using a computer and the result is faster and more proficient service than ever before.
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.