The Latest from CourseStorm

  1. CourseStorm Welcomes New Board Members

    Michelle Paul and Debbie Hodin Join the CourseStorm Board of Directors in Q4 2020

    CourseStorm, a Maine-based class registration software company, is pleased to announce that Michelle Paul and Debbie Hodin have joined its Board of Directors. They, along with Jerry Weissberg (Senior Program Officer, VentureWell), Brian Rahill, CEO and Matt James COO of CourseStorm and observers from Maine Venture Fund, the Maine Technology Institute, and Coastal Ventures provide experience, wisdom, and accountability to the CourseStorm management team.

    “We are excited to add two incredibly driven and engaging leaders to our Board during this time of challenge and opportunity at CourseStorm. The addition of their expertise in growing and scaling SaaS companies and deep experience with CourseStorm’s market will increase our ability to serve educational organizations across the spectrum of lifelong learning,” said CEO Brian Rahill.

    Michelle Paul is a smart, motivated leader with 16 years of experience as an early employee and eventual Managing Director of PatronManager —a ticketing and donor CRM platform for arts organizations. During her tenure, Michelle guided PatronManager to impressive profitability while becoming the leading non-profit fundraising and ticketing platform for the arts. (Michelle is also a two-time Jeopardy! Champion and co-author of Breaking the Fifth Wall: Rethinking Arts Marketing for the 21st Century.) Michelle’s background in scaling technology products will help inform CourseStorm’s growth plans.

    Debbie Hodin is an expert in marketing across the spectrum of EdTech organizations, from large international organizations to early-stage startups. Debbie is a founding member of the EdTech Advisory Group, a team of experienced and results-driven leaders who drive educational technology companies’ success. Her skills in strategic planning, branding, positioning, database analytics, and campaign effectiveness will help CourseStorm better communicate with existing markets and approach new ones while honing the messaging of the unique benefits of CourseStorm. 

    CourseStorm is the developer of an intuitive and user-friendly online registration and class marketing platform. CourseStorm’s robust software suite for education providers has helped streamline access and grow enrollments for thousands of local classes at community organizations, higher education programs, libraries, hospitals, and museums across the country.  

     

  2. How To Sell “Big Ticket” Courses with Payment Plans

    If you’ve been offering classes for any length of time, you may have considered whether it’s time to offer your students payment plans. We’ve considered this too, and our answer is a resounding, “Yes!” 

    Over the years, we’ve seen classes ranging from very inexpensive —$5 to $50— to substantial —hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. These “big ticket” courses are wide-ranging: professional credentials, certifications, camps, trips, and longer-term or specialized personal enrichment opportunities.  However, these “big ticket” classes can also be financially challenging to students, even if they may be more valuable.

    More expensive classes don’t have to decrease your enrollments! You can still fill your classes at the rate you’ve set by offering payment plans to your students. 

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  3. Getting Started with SMS: Marketing Your Educational Program via Text Messages

    Educational programs used to using paper catalogs are experiencing extra challenges this year. Concerns over changing classes, postponements, cancellations, and the loss of public reading spaces like libraries and waiting rooms have presented a new marketing challenge. How can programs get their catalogs designed, printed, shipped, and in front of the learning community in a time like this?

    Now imagine sending your whole class catalog to someone for just five cents, and then knowing almost instantly if they’d looked at it. Seems almost impossible! Yet there’s a simple, accessible, and affordable way to get your community to your digital catalog — and you’ve probably already used it several times today: text messaging.

    Using text messages, your program can connect to students easily right where they are. And research indicates that it’s a preferred communication method for most mobile phone owners, who typically check their mobile phones 47 times a day! If you want to motivate an audience to check out your new class catalog or register for a new class, sending a text is a great way to elicit a response. 

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  4. CourseStorm Case Study: East West Players

    CourseStorm helped a professional theatre improve its educational program registration process, allowing staff the time to create new programs and focus on growth.

    The Background

    East West Players is the longest-running theater of color in the nation, occupying its own space in Los Angeles since its inception in 1965. They raise the visibility of the Asian American experience by presenting world-class theatrical productions, developing artists of color, and providing impactful youth education programs. 

    It also serves as a pipeline of talent to the mainstream theatre and film industry, and its education program plays heavily into that. The classes offered by East West players include everything from playwriting to professional presentation skills and acting classes for people of all ages.

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  5. Nine Types of Workforce Classes Trending Right Now

    We’re halfway through a transformational year — people from all walks of life have experienced radical changes in their lives, including their work lives. We’ve been following the trends and reading about the workforce’s changing needs as we start the curve into 2021.

    It makes sense that many people are looking to add skills that make them more valuable in the workforce. The Strada Center for Consumer Insights reports that 65% of surveyed workers expressed interest in education to provide them with more skills in their current career field, support a new career path, or pursue a personal interest. Based on our research (and in no particular order) here are nine in-demand workforce training topics that will be needed well into the future.

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  6. Three Ways to Use Your Recorded Classes to Increase Enrollment

    If your program has been holding classes online, chances are that you’ve recorded at least some of your class content. Most likely, you’ve provided it to students who missed a class or created the recorded sessions so some students can learn asynchronously.

    But did you know that your class videos may be able to do even more for you, providing you with content that you can use to increase engagement with your program and boost enrollments?

    We’ll cover three things that you can do to make the most of your recorded classes, including create an eLearning video course, edit into microlearning modules, and improve your program’s marketing.

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  7. Using Custom Forms to Communicate with Your Students

    “Do not bring your dog to the first class. The first class is for humans only.”

    Life Enrichment at Laramie County Community College in Wyoming regularly holds a popular dog training class. The instructor noticed that even though she stated in the class information that the first part of the course is for humans, a few folks would inevitably bring their dog. This wasn’t a good experience for the student, instructor, other learners, or the dog during that session. 

    How did they ultimately make sure the humans were properly trained? LCCC used their registration form to inform. A simple checkbox on their registration form confirmed that students understood what part of the class was for dogs and what part of the class was for people. 

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  8. CourseStorm Board Opportunity

    CourseStorm is a focused, optimistic, mission-driven, and hard-working team. We believe all types of education should count and that varied educational experiences are necessary to meet students’ diverse needs across a lifetime. We do our best work at the intersection of education, technology, and human connection and are building our company to have an impact throughout the long-term.

    CourseStorm is expanding its Board of Directors and is seeking an energetic board member committed to furthering our mission of streamlining access to lifelong learning. We are continuing our high-growth trajectory to increase our impact on students while at the same time, we are focused on building a sustainable, profitable company with a solid base of delighted customers.

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  9. Alternatives to the Traditional Classroom

    Educational programs have done an incredible job of finding new ways to connect with their learning communities, including accelerating online education. But what to do in cases when hands-on lessons are critical to what’s being learned? And what do you do when that’s what your students want? 

    “Our most popular classes are still what we’re going to offer face to face,” says Liesl Dees, Community Learning Center Director at San Juan College, “and that’s what our customers are wanting more of.”  

    One of the ways that programs have accomplished this is by using alternative spaces that meet health guidelines more effectively than traditional classroom spaces. 

    We’re sharing some four of the most interesting —and achievable— types of venues your program could use for in-person classes: outdoor areas, event locations, unused commercial properties, and municipal spaces.

    Read more

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