News & Updates

  1. Automatic Reminders for Abandoned Registrations

    We recently had the fortune of presenting nearby at the MAEA Conference in beautiful, Portland, ME. It was a great event and a wonderful time to connect with some of our customers here in Maine. It was also a chance to preview a brand new feature we’ll be launching soon that will help effortlessly increase enrollments.

    To get started, I’d like to share an interesting stat with you. If you had to guess how many online transactions across the entire web are abandoned part of the way through, what would you think? 20%? 30%? More?

    It turns out that the number is around 70%. That’s right. Out of all online transactions, almost 7 out of 10 are abandoned midway through. When we came across this number, we were stunned. And it got us thinking: how often does this happen in CourseStorm?

    So we did some digging and found that, interestingly enough, registrations through CourseStorm complete 2x more often than average! That’s definitely encouraging, but in our mind, there’s always a way to be more helpful. And, thankfully, there’s a simple solution to this problem that’s also rather helpful: just remind those students that they were interested in registering.

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  2. 4 Simple Ways Instructors Can Help You Attract More Students

    Running classes, managing enrollments and trying to market all at the same time can seem overwhelming. However, you can get help filling your classes from an often overlooked resource — your instructors! Don’t forget your instructors are usually just as interested in filling classes, especially if there’s a minimum needed for the course to run. When they become your partner in the effort to promote their classes, everyone wins in the end.

    Here are 4 simple – and free! – strategies that your instructors can use to promote classes and attract more students.

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  3. A $2,000 “Grant” In AWS Cloud Services Credits Available For Nonprofits

    Most of the nonprofits we work with are constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce costs and grow their programs. That’s why we had to share the news that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has recently partnered with another company called TechSoup Global (TSG) to connect nonprofits and public libraries with up to $2,000 worth of select AWS products and services.

    TechSoup is a nonprofit technology network that connects nonprofits with discounted or donated tech products and services. That list now includes the AWS Credits Program for Nonprofits.

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  4. Adding Your CourseStorm Online Class Calendar To Your Website

    Want an easy way to display a calendar of your upcoming classes on your website?

    For anyone who attends regular classes or anyone who wants to keep track of upcoming classes, viewing your courses in a calendar format is a convenient way to see upcoming classes at a glance.

    Here’s an easy step-by-step tutorial for adding a constantly updating Google calendar to your site, and the good news – it takes very little technical expertise!

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  5. Introducing CourseStorm Roulette!

    When I was in high school, I was obsessed with computers. Like most kids that age, my friends and I loved playing video games, but we also loved creating things. The first computer program I wrote with a friend was a short game of Madlibs. The game started by asking you for words: adjectives, nouns, places, things you wear, etc. We’d then take those words and insert them into a pre-built story invariably designed to make whatever you had typed into a crude joke. It was a blast!

    But one thing was clear when it came to school — there wasn’t a lot of instruction for computers. Sure, we could take a keyboarding class or learn the ins and outs of Microsoft Word, but there wasn’t a class we could take to just “build cool stuff” on the computer. Yet, that’s all we wanted to do! We wanted to build computers from scratch, program new games to play, design animated shorts, create cool video effects, and stay up late into the night making music on the computer. We wanted to learn how to create new things, but there were no classes we could take that would teach us. So, we taught ourselves.

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  6. Automating Class Enrollment – Comparing Google, Excel & CourseStorm

    Whether you work for an adult education center or plan summer courses at a library, you know one thing for certain: course planning and management is challenging enough without having to juggle dozens of paper registration forms and spend hours entering data into a spreadsheet.

    Automated enrollment streamlines the registration process, saving you time and reducing errors. Additionally, automated enrollment often increases enrollment by making the registration process easier for your students, who might pass on a class rather than mail in the registration form and payment. With the Millennial generation quickly becoming the average consumer, having the ability to register for classes, workshops or training seminars online is becoming increasingly more important.

    Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of some of the popular automated enrollment tools we find program managers are using.

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  7. Meet the Team: Rebecca

    Hello ladies and gents!

    I’m Rebecca (or Becca if you’d prefer) and I’ve also just started recently so I thought I’d carry on Brad’s tradition and introduce myself. As I’m more behind the scenes I won’t have the opportunity to interact with you as much as I might like but I will be working tirelessly to make sure your experience is as seamless as possible. I very much enjoy learning about all the wonderful work you’re all doing even if I don’t get to speak to you often.

    I’m CourseStorm’s summer intern this year through the Innovate for Maine program. I’m from Lincoln Maine but I was born in Mass and raised outside of Chicago. I’m a Business Management and Finance double major at the University of Maine with concentrations in Management Information Systems and Entrepreneurship. This will be my third year at UMO, however, I will be starting my honors thesis in the fall and graduating in the spring.

    I’m a proud graduate of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, a former state of Maine Intel Award for Excellence in Computer Science recipient, and the current President of the Umaine Miracle Network Dance Marathon (which was able to donate $50,000 to our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital last year). In my spare time I’m learning more about coding and representing CourseStorm and Innovate for Maine at events like the Maine Startup and Create Week, which I was honored to attend yesterday.

    I’ve been enjoying working for CourseStorm and helping to make your registrations impossibly simple. I’ve worked on a variety of projects for the company so far including: programming, accessibility evaluations, and future planning. As a lifelong student myself I’m so honored that I can help you spend less time on logistics and more time doing what’s really important, fulfilling your mission as the educators of tomorrow. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to serving your needs as a part of this awesome team. My favorite part of the company is that we grow with you.

    Best,

    Rebecca

  8. Meet the Team: Brad

    Hi everyone,

    I’m Brad Kilbride, the newest member of the Support Team here at CourseStorm. I started at little over a month ago and thought it would be a good idea to make a quick post to introduce myself.

    I was born and raised in Maine and as such I hold some comically stereotypical hobbies such as lobstering, bee keeping and growing blueberries. If I grew potatoes I think even other Mainers would think I’m trying too hard.

    Earlier in my life I was gearing up to be a professional chef but, I ended going a completely different direction and went to the University of Maine Orono to study business management and management information systems. While I never expected to end up in a tech startup, it has certainly been a great change of pace. The people here are talented, charismatic and have created a fantastic work environment. I’m certainly lucky to have landed in such an awesome position right out of college.

    You may have already had a chance to hear my lovely voice over the phone but, if you haven’t, I look forward to meeting all of you and helping you get the most out of CourseStorm.

  9. Feature Announcement: Family Tax Information For Parents And Organizations

    One desirable aspect of after-school child care and sports programs is that the fees are often tax deductible. However, gathering all of the necessary information come tax time can be a hassle for parents and organizations alike. Program directors are flooded with calls at the beginning of the year from parents that need tax ID numbers, receipts, and amounts paid for each child so that they can claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC) on their tax returns.

    To make tax time easier for everyone, we are excited to announce a new feature that allows parents to retrieve the program’s tax information right from the registration system!

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  10. How To Sell “Big Ticket” Courses – Offering Financing & Payment Plans

    While the average course price that crosses the CourseStorm platform is around $50, we also have many customers that specialize in “big ticket” courses. Often, these are  professional credentialing classes required to maintain certifications for employment. Missing out on this essential training could be detrimental to an individual’s career, but due to normal life events like major homes repairs, a perfect candidate for the class may not have the cash available right away. The result is that folks who want to take a course have to save up and wait for the next scheduled class; or, they miss out altogether if it’s not offered again. For you, this means your classes aren’t full and you’re losing revenue.

    The good news is, you have the ability to offer students options when it comes to paying for big ticket courses. CourseStorm customers can make convenient payment plans available right from the online registration system, while any education business has the ability to offer payment plans by partnering with a third party financing company.

    FitSmallBusiness.com has found that regardless of how you offer payment plans, the average order size of a small business that offers customer financing can increase as much as 120%!

    Let’s take a look at the two options.

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