Wouldn’t it be nice to learn marketing and HubSpot on your schedule and at your own pace? And wouldn’t it be great to learn in a way that is innovative, accommodating to more learning styles, and developing promising results in the educational field?
Over the past few years, we’ve been collecting feedback from our customers, chatting with experts in the education space, and completing lots of research so that we can provide HubSpot customers with an improved way to learn marketing. Hence why we’ve moved away from the 60- to 90-minute long, lecture-style webinars, and introduced a more effective, more streamlined way of learning. This new format uses shorter on-demand videos, recommended action items, and live learning labs.
Why the Change?
To provide context, the HubSpot Academy team was founded in May 2012, and one of our first challenges was to develop introductory training content that would help get our customers started off on the right foot with inbound marketing and the HubSpot software.
We didn’t want to just educate. We wanted to inspire, too. So after a lot of research and thinking things through, we decided that every class we taught would follow the “why, how, what” framework popularized by Simon Sinek in his TED talk.
For the past two years, thousands of inbound marketers have used these classes to sharpen their skills. As of last August 2013, we crossed the 100,000 registrants record and kept right on going.
All the while, we gathered feedback from everyone. In fact, we collected feedback from every customer that would give it to us! It were those valuable insights that shaped the next round of training, making it the best that it can be.
The New Learning Model and its Benefits to HubSpot Customers
The previous style was based on the traditional teaching method we’re all familiar with from school: The teacher teaches, and the student receives. But evidence is mounting that the traditional style of learning is flawed, and that students learn better using the flipped classroom method.
The flipped classroom is based on inverting the traditional method of teaching. Rather than lecturing students in class and having them complete homework at home, students learn the information at home by watching videos at their own pace and then discussing the topic further in class to improve comprehension.
This approach is gaining adoption at institutions across the globe for many reasons, but here are just a few:
Students have more control. They’re able to watch the content on their own schedule and at their own pace, making it easy to rewind, fast forward, or simply stop the content letting them control the processing of information.
It’s closer to how people are learning today. With TED talks, Khan Academy, and tons of online open courses readily available for digestion, this format is closer to how people are already choosing to learn.
Promotes collaboration.In live discussions, the teacher is considered the “guide on the side” and encourages students to learn through interacting and collaborating with each other.
In-person time is more effective. After watching online videos and applying their newfound knowledge to each section's “recommended tasks," students are much more knowledgeable by the time they attend the live session. This helps them gain more value from each live session too.
3 Types of Content to Support the Training
The new HubSpot introductory training features three types of content to support this new style of learning:
Recommended action items
Optional live labs
1. On-demand videos
Instead of requiring marketers to attend a live class to learn the new material, we offer all of the information you need in a series of shorter on-demand videos. The content is the same. These videos put the power back in your hands, allowing you to stop, rewind, and process the information at your own pace and on your own schedule.
Using the Sources tool training videos as an example, it will cover the same content as the former long-form webinars, but will be more succinct. Expect to find three videos on the following topic:
Why a marketer can benefit from reviewing website sources
Best practices when reviewing website sources
Walk-through of the Sources tool
After you watch the videos, you can move on to the next step of putting the principles into practice.
2. Recommended action items
After watching the videos, you can apply what you’ve learned in the “recommended next steps” section. These will help you learn more quickly and take real steps toward implementing inbound for your company.
Again, using the Sources training as an example, there are three recommended action items that will get you on the right path for using Sources. These are also the recommended action items before attending the optional live lab.
3. Optional live labs
Finally, for those looking for a way to really fortify their learning, we offer optional live labs. This is where the processing of the knowledge -- the more complex cognitive task -- takes place. To make sure students truly understand the information, the labs facilitate evaluation, analysis, and collaborative work.
While each class is different, the Sources live lab first covers a very brief recap of the videos to re-jog the attendees' memories. It then walks through two examples from the Examples database, and then offers attendees live feedback on their own Sources graphs.
The analysis and evaluation portions of the lab help marketers observe many different use cases, learn from other students in the lab, and reinforce the previous material.
Keep in mind that the purpose of this introductory training is to help marketers who are new to inbound or the HubSpot software. Attend the training to gain the knowledge and action items necessary to jump-start your path to success, or to focus on a particular area of marketing you'd like to improve.
The Academy team’s primary purpose is to set the standard for online education.
We’ll be working in the next upcoming months toward transitioning our existing learning content into this new format, all while continuously learning. After all, one of our most important team principles is to “always be learning.”
So here is our call to action to you: Help us continue to learn and improve our training by providing us your thoughts in these ways: