Less than a year after launching its online learning system Communiversity, the Travel Institute has expanded and upgraded the site – adding more user-friendly navigation and more in-depth content.
As part of the Communiversity upgrade, the Travel Institute added new content components, created a comprehensive search function and revamped the user interface.
New content encompasses an expanded social media element that features Q&As with the institute’s professional educators, including Sophie Bujold, Nolan Burris and Mike Marchev, as well as white papers and forum posts.
Also new is a comprehensive and advanced topical search engine that allows users to search across all types of content – webinars, blog posts, whitepapers, exams, PDF courses, videos, forum Q&As, etc.
For example, if a user searches the keyword “YouTube,” they’ll find a YouTube GeekSchool course, a webinar by Adam Lapsevich, a whitepaper on best practices and a forum discussion among students, professional educators and institute staff.
Communiversity’s new navigation system is based on a wizard interface, which help users find the content they want, said Chelle Honiker-Yarbrough, CTC, director of marketing and technology for the Travel Institute.
“Our interface before was good but it was written by programmers. Now, it’s clean, simple and intuitive.”
The need for a new interface was clear from member input. The Travel Institute uses a help desk ticketing system and Honiker-Yarbrough said they were seeing the same how-to questions over and over again.
More than 500 travel agents have registered for Communiversity since it launched last June.
“The response has been fantastic,” said Honiker-Yarbrough.
The most popular courses cover practical how-to-run-a-business topics, including online marketing, QuickBooks and day-to-day business management. Even a course on setting up a 401k has been popular.
Communiversity also has raised industry awareness of the Travel Institute’s Geek School, said Honiker-Yarbrough, who created Geek School in 2009 (before she joined the Travel Institute).
Geek School was bundled into the institute’s educational offerings last year, shortly before Communiversity launched.
Geek School offers a technology-oriented curriculum with heavy emphasis on social media and Google tools. Classes on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube – all specifically created for travel professionals – are available.
A suite of classes on WordPress guides travel sellers in creating a WordPress blog site.
Additionally, courses on search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) cover Google and Facebook ads.
All Geek School courses are free as part of Communiversity and Travel Institute membership.