January 2014 – Streamlined, simplified and shortened: aspiring real estate agents will be able to register for a new and improved educational program starting in 2014. The pre-licensing educational requirement for prospective registrants under The Real Estate Brokers Act in Manitoba has been updated and reformatted to improve the process.
“Education, like other things, constantly evolves. Our current program is 13 years old and while we’ve amended the information and kept it up to date, there was certainly an opportunity to take advantage of some of the new thought processes in adult education,” says Brian Collie, CEO of the Manitoba Real Estate Association.
The new program launches January 2, 2014 and will move from the current three “phases” (with assignments and exams followed by two articling requirements), to four new “modules” that now incorporate the articling courses, Real Property Law and Principles of Appraisal. Instead of handing in assignments, students will be given four months to work through a self-study guide and complete the exam for each module. A new fourth module will be an in-class session focusing on industry professionalism and the completion of statutory and additional forms, lasting about one and a half days.
“There are some topics that are difficult to teach in an effective manner just by reading a text. One of them is ethics and professionalism – that’s a program that’s better taught in a group format. And for completion of documents, a classroom format is a good way to deliver that information, in terms of making sure it’s legible, you have the proper documentation and legally binding,” says Collie.
Module 4 will be offered in Winnipeg and Brandon approximately once a month. Students will have a four-month window in which to attend a session, which will be presented by a mix of broker members, lawyers and MREA education staff members.
Once students finish Module 4, they no longer need to complete additional study and they can now apply for full licensing, explains Kristin DeLaronde, MREA Director of Education.
The new program will also feature a new exam format: a closed-book test of entirely multiple-choice questions (with the exception of a forms component in Module 3).
“It’s the trend in the education field right now. There have been a number of studies that indicate properly designed multiple choice questions can be as effective as long answer questions,” says Collie. “And you can provide much fairer marking with the multiple choice format than a subjective long answer format.”
Dropping the assignment requirement will allow some prospective agents to complete the program in less time. While each module, including its exam, will need to be completed within four months, students will now be able to complete them earlier using the self-study guide if they wish, says DeLaronde.
“The assignments had some merit but with adult learners, we’re always trying to have them work at their own pace. If we can convey the same kind of information and they can get the same kind of knowledge, we’re able to shorten the time for the student,” says Collie.
As new students move through the program, MREA will conduct extensive surveys to gauge response and gather any concerns early on. About 1,000 students are enrolled in all levels of the program at any given time throughout the year.
For more information, contact Kristin DeLaronde.