In an effort to modernize our service offerings, Common Goal Systems has transitioned to selling “service credits” instead of “onsite training days.” Customers purchase service credits, which can be redeemed for onsite training days or virtual training sessions. For new customers, we recommend the number of service credits required for their startup implementation. Existing customers can purchase credits to train newly hired employees.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we delivered mostly onsite training. Customers would purchase a few “onsite training days,” and we’d visit in late spring to train everyone. In the fall, we’d schedule online meetings to answer questions as customers started using the software every day. We streamlined the process, and cohorts of new customers started successfully annually.
When COVID-19 hit we couldn’t go onsite anymore, so we adapted to virtual training. While we lost the ability to command attention in person, we discovered that shorter training sessions spread over longer timespans were very effective. Attendees didn’t get tired (at the end of long onsite days) and knowledge retention improved. Since we didn’t travel, we could adjust to customers’ schedules, and more staff attended training. We added follow up sessions, if users needed more help. Unexpectedly, virtual training improved learning, and customers were more capable with our products.
As we move forward, we’re combining the best of both worlds. We’ll recommend virtual training, but offer onsite training too. We’ll also schedule follow up Q&A sessions.
How Do Service Credits Work?
To support this new structure, we’ll offer “service credits” instead of “onsite training days.” Customers buy a block of service credits, which are consumed by virtual or onsite training.
Virtual training sessions longer than 30 min will use multiple service credits (1 hour = 2 credits, 1.5 hour = 3 credits, etc). Onsite training is scheduled in daily (8 hour) increments, for 20 credits each (plus travel expenses).
For new customers, we’ll recommend service credits based upon the services we expect to deliver during startup implementation. This will vary based upon modules purchased, school/district complexity, and training sessions expected. We’ll provide each customer with a worksheet of recommended services and credits.
For 2022-23, we charge $50 per service credit. For convenience, service credits don’t expire and can be carried over from year to year.
To check your service credit balance, we provided a page:
(School District) Admin Main > Manage Subscription > Service Credits
Without adequate training, some new employees can struggle with our products. The software is comprehensive, and could be overwhelming for someone without familiarity. New employees may feel frustrated learning their new jobs.
With service credits, customers can purchase training for new hires. Each employee could get training for our software used. This should increase their effectiveness and job satisfaction. If you have a list of new hires, we’re happy to recommend specific training courses for them.
Unused service credits roll over across academic years. We think customers may have an ongoing need for service credits to support staff transitions.
From virtual training, we learned the importance of courseware and flipped instruction. We’ve long sent out pre-recorded training presentations prior to virtual training, and encouraged attendees to watch them. If they viewed the videos, we’d skip presentations and go deeper during hands-on exercises. If not, we’re happy to deliver presentations in real time.
Flipped training has a few benefits. First, it’s less expensive. Virtual training sessions are shorter (and could consume fewer service credits) when attendees have already viewed the presentation. Attendees learn the products better too. Follow-up conversations are richer and can focus on more advanced topics.
While this is a relatively new effort, we plan to “lean into” flipped classroom. We’re investing in flipped classroom video content, and should eventually cover all of our training courses.
Of course, flipped classroom is not for everyone. Many individuals learn better from live instruction, and benefit from “raising their hand” during presentations when they have questions. Regardless of innovations we adopt, we will continue offering traditional onsite and virtual training courses.
We hope that service credits better meet your needs. Feel free to reach out if you have questions or thoughts you’d like to share.
The Common Goal Team