Social Media: Reinforce Learning and Get Noticed

By Shelley A. Gable

You just completed an insurance continuing education course and you learned loads of new information. Now what?

If you can apply that newly learned knowledge on the job right away, you’re more likely to remember it long-term. But sometimes that’s not feasible. But all is not lost – social media can help!

A previous article on this blog recommends talking about what you’ve learned to help you remember it (If You Wanna Remember It, Talk About It). While there are memory benefits that come with physically talking about what you’ve learned, some of those same benefits can be reaped by using social media to participate in online discussions.

Contributing to online discussion forums is not only an effective way to reinforce your learning, but it can also help you get noticed by colleagues and potential clients!

How will this help you learn?

Here are a few of the reasons using social media can help you learn:

  • Applying new information in a practical way. When discussing newly learned information in an online discussion, you’ll probably present that information in your own words. You may even offer personal examples to enrich the discussion. This can help solidify that information in your memory.
    -
  • Exploring knowledge from a different perspective. Online discussions tend to attract a variety of perspectives. A comment from another participant might prompt you to view an issue in a different light, thus deepening (or perhaps broadening) your insight into the topic.
    -
  • Repeating what you’ve learned. In order to discuss newly learned information in an online forum, you must recall it again. If you visit that forum more than once and leave multiple comments, the repeated exposure can help to gradually make the topic feel more familiar.

How do I join one of these discussions?

Personally, I think that LinkedIn is probably the easiest outlet to join or initiate an informative, professional online discussion.

Suppose you’re interested in discussing an “ah ha” from an insurance continuing education course. First, you should join a LinkedIn group or two for insurance professionals (such as Global Insurance Professionals or Insurance Professionals of America). Then, browse through the discussion forums for a relevant topic. Or, better yet, start a new discussion thread on your topic.

If you opt to take advantage of social media to enhance your learning, put thought into what you say. Every comment you post should offer an informative perspective (in other words, avoid simply saying “I agree with Shelley” or “Good point”). If you initiate a new discussion thread, visit it regularly. Comment on what others say and act as a moderator for the discussion. This type of behavior might even prompt others to view you as an expert in the field.

If you’re not a fan of LinkedIn, you can apply these suggestions to other social media outlets too. Consider Twitter, industry blogs, and other social networking sites.

Are you new to social media? Don’t be shy…give all this a try by posting a comment on this blog!

___

If you appreciate these ideas, it’d be swell for you would share them (button below) or subscribe via the feed.

Click here for 5 reasons why you should subscribe!

Interested in sales?  Perhaps Insurance, Real Estate, or Finance is your calling.  Click here to get licensed.

Need your Insurance Continuing Education?  Click here to take your continuing education classes online.

___

Shelley A. Gable is an instructional designer and freelance writer. She has developed training for functions such as financial services, call centers, and engineering education. Shelley has written articles on topics related to training and management for print and online publications. Visit Shelley’s website at http://shelleygable.webs.com.

Primacy and Recency Can Help You Learn

By Shelley A. Gable

Think about the last course you took. Maybe it was an online insurance continuing education course.

What pieces stand out the most?

While hopefully there were memorable highlights from throughout the course, you can probably also recall how the it started and ended. This is because of primacy and recency effects.

What are primacy and recency effects?

  • Primacy is our tendency to remember the
    beginning
    of a sequence especially well.
  • Recency is the tendency to remember the
    end
    of a sequence especially well.

Several memory studies have prompted subjects to memorize a sequence of words and recall them later (sometimes minutes later, sometimes hours or days later). In study after study, subjects are most likely to remember the earliest and latest words in the sequence.

Why does this matter?

Although you’re probably not trying to memorize a sequence of words when you take that insurance continuing education course, this same principle applies to sequences of information in a course. It can also apply to the sequence of topics you review if you’re studying for a licensing exam.

Leverage primacy and recency in online learning.

When you start an online course, pay attention to the content at the beginning. Many courses warm you up by placing the easiest content (or even a review of what you should already know) at the beginning. Because it’s easy or familiar, it’s tempting to skim and click through it quickly.

There are at least two reasons you should avoid this temptation and focus on absorbing this early information.

  1. Information presented at the beginning of a course often serves as a foundation for presenting more complex concepts later. Neglecting to comprehend some of this foundational content may make it challenging to fully grasp  ideas that build upon it.
  2. According to the primacy effect, you’re likely to remember some of this early stuff reasonably well (assuming that you’re mentally “tuned in,” of course). If you can make clear connections between later, more complex information and early, more basic information, you might enhance your ability to recall that later content after you’ve completed the course.

Leverage primacy and recency while studying.

How do you study for a licensing exam? Do you flip through flashcards? Quiz yourself from notes? Skim through manuals?

Regardless of your preferred method, you’re probably taking a chunk of time to review a series of topics in hopes of remembering as much as possible.  Primacy and recency are handy here too. To get the most out of your study session, review the more challenging to remember information right away. Then end your study session by revisiting that same information. Although you might not get through as much information with this repetition at the beginning and end, you’ll be more likely to remember that stuff. And this just might free you up to focus on other information in your next study session.

The logic behind primacy and recency may seem pretty basic. And well…it is. So hopefully you find this just as easy apply to your next continuing education course or study session.

___

If you appreciate these ideas, it’d be swell for you would share them (button below) or subscribe via the feed.

Click here for 5 reasons why you should subscribe!

Interested in sales?  Perhaps Insurance, Real Estate, or Finance is your calling..  Click here to get licensed.

Need your Insurance Continuing Education?..Click here to take your continuing education classes online.

___

Shelley A. Gable is an instructional designer and freelance writer. She has developed training for functions such as financial services, call centers, and engineering education. Shelley has written articles on topics related to training and management for print and online publications. Visit Shelley’s website at http://shelleygable.webs.com.

Auditory and Tactile – Back to the Learning Modalities

By Shelley A. Gable

Is auditory learning your strength? Your maybe tactile learning? As you may have read in an article posted last week, many learning researchers suggest that we learn through three sensory modalities:

  1. Visual (learning through seeing)
  2. Auditory (learning through hearing and/or speaking)
  3. Tactile (learning through doing)

The article from last week introduced the concept of learning modalities and dug into the visual modality. This week, we’ll take a closer look at the auditory and tactile modalities and what you should know when completing that insurance continuing education course.

How do you know if you’re an auditory learner?

Auditory learners tend to learn best by listening to information or by saying information aloud to themselves. If the majority of the statements below are true about you, you’re probably an auditory learner.

  • You prefer to listen to a story or a good lecture rather than read about it.
  • You often read aloud or whisper to yourself as you write.
  • You remember names but forget faces.
  • You tend to talk through problems and complex situations.
  • You try to recall difficult-to-remember information by attempting to remember how it sounded when you first heard it.

How can you leverage auditory learning in an online course?

The most obvious way to leverage your auditory learning strength is to listen to audio narration, if it’s available. However, not all courses have audio narration. Regardless, the suggestions below can also help you get the most from your auditory strength when completing an online course.

Narrate the course yourself.

This can involve more than just reading text aloud. Verbally explain any diagrams and flowcharts to yourself. Talk through formulas, articulating what various numbers and symbols represent. State concluding remarks after each slide or cluster of slides.

Discuss your learnings with others.

Talking with others (colleagues, clients, friends, family – anyone!) helps reinforce what you’ve learned and may even deepen your understanding of the topic. A previous post on this blog explains why this works and how to make it work for you.

Play with mnemonics.

You probably learned some mnemonics in school when you were growing up. Mnemonics are memory techniques intended to help you recall information more easily – and many of these techniques tend to be most effective when verbalized.

Here are a few examples…

  • Create an acronym for steps in a procedure – for example, PASS represents the steps for using a fire extinguisher (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep)
  • Build an easy-to-remember sentence where each word is a cue to something you must remember – for example, Every Good Boy Deserves Fun represents the order of G-clef music notes (E, G, B, D, F)
  • Use key words in a rhyme or song – for example, I learned a song in elementary school to recall the order of the planets

How do you know if you’re a tactile learner?

Tactile learners tend to learn best through movement and hands-on experience. If the majority of the statements below are true about you, you’re probably a tactile learner.

  • You more easily recall information from activities you’ve done, than information you’ve heard or read.
  • You tend to get fidgety in lectures or while reading.
  • You enjoy games and role playing.
  • You were a big fan of science labs when you were in school.
  • You try to recall difficult-to-remember information by simulating a related movement (for example, you might remind yourself of a phone number by pretending to press the keys).

How can you leverage tactile learning in an online course?

If you’re taking an insurance continuing education course with in-depth scenarios and simulations, immerse yourself in these activities. You can also try the suggestions below.

Apply newly learned information immediately.

If you’re in your office, apply newly learned knowledge to your job. For instance, if you learn a formula for calculating something, take a moment to apply it to work you’re doing for a client.

Take frequent breaks.

If you find yourself fidgeting during an online course, roll with it if you can. Personally, I have a habit of tapping my fingers on my desk or playing with my bead-filled wrist rest (much to the dismay of my cube neighbors). You might find that it actually helps you stay focused.

If your fidgeting becomes distracting, then take a break. Studying in shorter blocks, with “fresh eyes,” can actually be a more productive use of your time.

There’s more than one way of learning.

Although most of us have a preferred mode of learning, we all generally have the ability to learn through all three modalities – visual, auditory, and tactile. In fact, leveraging two or even all three modalities as part of your learning experience is likely to strengthen your ability to recall what you’ve learned.

What’s your preferred learning modality? And do you have any learning tips to share (if so, please do!)?

___

If you appreciate these ideas, it’d be swell for you would share them (button below) or subscribe via the feed.

Click here for 5 reasons why you should subscribe!

Interested in sales?  Perhaps Insurance, Real Estate, or Finance is your calling..  Click here to get licensed.

Need your Insurance Continuing Education?..Click here to take your continuing education classes online.

___

Shelley A. Gable is an instructional designer and freelance writer. She has developed training for functions such as financial services, call centers, and engineering education. Shelley has written articles on topics related to training and management for print and online publications. Visit Shelley’s website at http://shelleygable.webs.com.

By Shelley A. Berg

As you may have read in an article posted last week, many learning researchers suggest that we learn through three sensory modalities:

  1. Visual (learning through seeing)
  2. Auditory (learning through hearing and/or speaking)
  3. Tactile (learning through doing)

The article from last week introduced the concept of learning modalities and dug into the visual modality. This week, we’ll take a closer look at the auditory and tactile modalities.

How do you know if you’re an auditory learner?

Auditory learners tend to learn best by listening to information or by saying information aloud to themselves. If the majority of the statements below are true about you, you’re probably an auditory learner.

  • You prefer to listen to a story or a good lecture rather than read about it.
  • You often read aloud or whisper to yourself as you write.
  • You remember names but forget faces.
  • You tend to talk through problems and complex situations.
  • You try to recall difficult-to-remember information by attempting to remember how it sounded when you first heard it.

How can you leverage auditory learning in an online course?

The most obvious way to leverage your auditory learning strength is to listen to audio narration, if it’s available. However, not all courses have audio narration. Regardless, the suggestions below can also help you get the most from your auditory strength.

Narrate the course yourself.

This can involve more than just reading text aloud. Verbally explain any diagrams and flowcharts to yourself. Talk through formulas, articulating what various numbers and symbols represent. State concluding remarks after each slide or cluster of slides.

Discuss your learnings with others.

Talking with others (colleagues, clients, friends, family – anyone!) helps reinforce what you’ve learned and may even deepen your understanding of the topic. A previous post on this blog explains why this works and how to make it work for you.

Play with mnemonics.

You probably learned some mnemonics in school when you were growing up. Mnemonics are memory techniques intended to help you recall information more easily – and many of these techniques tend to be most effective when verbalized.

Here are a few examples…

§ Create an acronym for steps in a procedure – for example, PASS represents the steps for using a fire extinguisher (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep)

§ Build an easy-to-remember sentence where each word is a cue to something you must remember – for example, Every Good Boy Deserves Fun represents the order of G-clef music notes (E, G, B, D, F)

§ Use key words in a rhyme or song – for example, I learned a song in elementary school to recall the order of the planets

How do you know if you’re a tactile learner?

Tactile learners tend to learn best through movement and hands-on experience. If the majority of the statements below are true about you, you’re probably a tactile learner.

  • You more easily recall information from activities you’ve done, than information you’ve heard or read.
  • You tend to get fidgety in lectures or while reading.
  • You enjoy games and role playing.
  • You were a big fan of science labs when you were in school.
  • You try to recall difficult-to-remember information by simulating a related movement (for example, you might remind yourself of a phone number by pretending to press the keys).

How can you leverage tactile learning in an online course?

If you’re taking an insurance continuing education course with in-depth scenarios and simulations, immerse yourself in these activities. You can also try the suggestions below.

Apply newly learned information immediately.

If you’re in your office, apply newly learned knowledge to your job. For instance, if you learn a formula for calculating something, take a moment to apply it to work you’re doing for a client.

Take frequent breaks.

If you find yourself fidgeting during an online course, roll with it if you can. Personally, I have a habit of tapping my fingers on my desk or playing with my bead-filled wrist rest (much to the dismay of my cube neighbors). You might find that it actually helps you stay focused.

If your fidgeting becomes distracting, then take a break. Studying in shorter blocks, with “fresh eyes,” can actually be a more productive use of your time.

There’s more than one way of learning.

Although most of us have a preferred mode of learning, we all generally have the ability to learn through all three modalities – visual, auditory, and tactile. In fact, leveraging two or even all three modalities as part of your learning experience is likely to strengthen your ability to recall what you’ve learned.

What’s your preferred learning modality? And do you have any learning tips to share (if so, please do!)?

Tap Dancing With Short-Term Medical Insurance

By Cathy Miller, Business Writer

With no magic bullet for the health care crisis, insurance agents still need solutions for their clients. Clients are losing jobs, premium rates keep going up and agents are tap dancing to keep clients happy. One possible solution is short-term medical insurance.

Through short-term medical insurance, insureds receive coverage for a short period of time for catastrophic illnesses or accidents. Depending on the state, policies range from 30 days to 12 months. This type of insurance is a temporary answer for life events where clients are without health insurance. It can also provide an additional prospect resource for agents.

Tapping Into Another Market

So, who are good candidates for short-term medical insurance? Here are a few examples:

  • Students coming off their parents’ health insurance
  • Recent college graduates looking for employment
  • Individuals between jobs
  • Unemployed workers who cannot afford COBRA premiums
  • Employees in a waiting period for their new employer’s plan
  • Part-time or seasonal employees without benefits

Premiums for short-term medical insurance can be 30 to 40 percent less expensive than individual insurance premiums. Savings may be even greater when comparing premiums to COBRA rates. Typically, there is also much less paperwork and review time for short-term medical insurance.

As noted in a previous post, young adults (age 25 to 34), are the most likely to be uninsured. Recent graduates coming off their parents’ health insurance may be a good market for the short-term medical insurance policy. So, too, are COBRA participants exploring a less expensive alternative.

Advantages and Disadvantages

This insurance product fills an immediate need. It is not a permanent solution to health care. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of short-term medical insurance.

Advantages
  • Lower cost than more comprehensive health insurance
  • Usually effective within 24 hours of submission of application
  • Provides safety net for catastrophic illnesses/accidents
  • Depending on policy, may be able to renew, usually up to 36 months
Disadvantages
  • Pre-existing conditions are not covered
    *Note: renewing the policy is viewed as a new policy so conditions incurred during the first policy will be considered pre-existing conditions.
  • Short-term medical policies are exempt from HIPAA. This means insurance carriers do not have to guarantee renewability, guarantee issue or waive the pre-existing condition limitation federally eligible individuals.
    Note: Short-term medical insurance coverage does qualify as creditable coverage
  • Typically does not cover maternity, preventive care, physicals or immunizations

Short-term medical insurance is not a permanent solution, but it may be a viable alternative for clients and an untapped market for insurance agents.

Cathy Miller, Business Writer/Consultant has over 30 years of professional writing with a specialty in health care, employee benefits and wellness. Cathy also has an active Life/Accident/Health insurance license. Visit Cathy at her business writing blog, Simply stated business to Keep it simple, clear & uniquely yours.

If you appreciate these ideas, it’d be swell if you would share them (buttons below) or subscribe via the feed.

Click here for 5 reasons why you should subscribe!

Interested in sales?  Perhaps Insurance, Real Estate, or Finance is your calling..  Click here to get licensed.

Need your Insurance Continuing Education?..Click here to take your continuing education classes online