The Allterra Group has always been known for their top notch on-site continuing education. Whether it is the lender sponsored appraiser events, seminars and webinars, or the national conference held every year at Valuation Expo. Now they are expanding their options and making continuing education available in the comfort of your own home or office! We sat down with their Director of Online Education, Ashley Hammond, to discuss Allterra Online and its offerings for appraisers.
Buzz: Why did Allterra Group decide to get into online education?
Ashley: Hosting conferences across the country, we get a lot of feedback from appraisers about continuing education. We were hearing the same message: the online courses available were dry and appraisers were taking the same courses over again just to achieve their CE requirements. We saw the need for fresh appraisal online education and decided to fill that void in the industry.
Buzz: What sets you apart from other online education services?
Ashley: We are offering quality online education courses. Our courses include HD video to enhance the users learning experience as well as interactivity within the course to help apply what they have just learned. Our courses don’t just have users reading through material; we have implemented checkpoints in the material, so clicking through to the end of the course is not an option. We are developing courses on topics that appraisers have requested and we staff top-notch instructors who know the material. Most of our courses are also iPad and Tablet compatible for those appraisers who are always on the go.
Buzz: What went into the development of the courses you are offering?
Ashley: A lot of planning is involved in the development of all of our courses. We have reading components, video components, discussion questions, and downloadable documents, which are all combined to create a cohesive presentation. Our instructors are required to deliver a video introduction to provide users with a face and to help eliminate the disconnect some online courses can have. We take the time to ensure the course material presented is current by running the course through several quality control testing procedures.
Buzz: Are the courses available nationwide?
Ashley: Not yet, but they will be available in every state soon! We are offering the courses during this beta period to appraisers in California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. We feel that these states will give us a good cross section of what the appraiser population thinks of the classes we are offering. This will help us make sure we are on the right track and producing continuing education appraisers need and enjoy.
Buzz: What is the reason that this beta period is being offered?
Ashley: This beta period allows us to gain feedback from appraisers. We think our courses knock the competitors out of the water, but we want to hear from you! We have spent a lot of time and energy developing quality courses. We want to make sure what we are offering, is what appraisers are looking for.
Buzz: Can you tell us a little about the classes being offered during this beta period?
Ashley: During this soft launch of our product, we have two courses available to users.
The course, A Practical Guide to Appraisal Review, provides an in-depth examination of the significant role reviewers have in identifying and communicating deficiencies in valuation reports. Additionally, the responsibility lenders/investors have in the partnership between those providing valuation services, including reviews and the users of those services. This course is approved for 7 hours of continuing education in California, Maine, and Virginia.
Our second course, Appraisal of Single Family Residential New Construction, reviews the importance of the valuation professional in the lending process; and the basic principles of valuation that are essential to the appraisal of new construction. This course is also approved for 7 hours of continuing education in Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.
Buzz: What types of courses and options will be available to appraisers in the future through Allterra Online?
Ashley: We have several courses in development. Some of these include a course on Basic Charts & Graphs, FHA Appraisals and Reporting Requirements, and a look at Best Appraisal Practices. We are also looking into providing short educational webinars for appraisers and non continuing education courses to help users gain additional information/experience in the industry.
Buzz: Where can our readers find out more about Allterra Online?