They say teamwork makes the dream work and that’s certainly the case when it comes to keeping learners successfully engaged online.

Just ask Onlea, an online learning experiences developer working with the University of Lethbridge’s Dhillon School of Business to create the Insight Series.

The series – a six micro-course seminar program designed to enhance the soft skills of those in business, particularly chartered professional accountants – focusses on critical thinking, curiosity, creativity, communication and emotional intelligence in a professional context.

“Accounting is often regarded as secondary to the main mission and vision of an organization. It’s a necessary task, required for business operations and stakeholder communications. But the direct connection to core principles like client satisfaction, environmental impact and social responsibility is easily overlooked when following standard practices,” says Onlea’s President and CEO, Adriana Lopez Forero.

“We’re truly excited for the opportunity to be part of learning experiences that allow business students to see new pathways connecting finance and accounting to these significant organizational goals. Not as a chore, but as a fundamental way to communicate the holistic value of an initiative.”

A Powerful Partnership

Like any good team player, Onlea is collaborating with two heavy hitters in the accounting world that know a thing or two about key competencies needed by accountants: MNP and the CPA Education Foundation, who have come together to support the establishment of the Insight Series through a combined gift of $200,000.

“We’re truly honoured to be part of the Insight Series, and excited by the opportunity to create learning experiences that transform how a new generation of business students will look at finance and accounting practices through a people-focused and critical thinking lens,” says Lopez Forero.

“The series has the potential to give professional accountants tools to craft and create financial models that are more human.”

The Secret Sauce

Onlea, founded by a group of university educators, is well versed in the art and science of online education. The developers employ unique approaches to learning, combining everything from games and quizzes to strategies around online behaviour patterns.

“The Insight Series will have a team of professional learning and user experience designers, artists, storytellers, managers and software developers from Onlea who are life-long learners that believe in the power of education to transform lives,” Lopez Forero says.

But creating compelling content is just part of the magic that takes place in the crafting of online learning. Understanding not only who is learning but how they learn is key to getting it right.

“Everything we do at Onlea starts with continuous research in the space of learner experience design. This approach allows us to push the boundaries of what can be done with online learning in a way that creates accessible knowledge pathways,” she says.

“By prioritizing accessibility and relatability, we can create the conditions for learners to develop the self-motivation to engage and complete a course. We view this model as learner-centric, where the student is the hero in their own learning journey; they are empowered to engage with the knowledge and seek the guidance of trainers and peers during the challenging parts of the process.”

The Insight Series will be available to Dhillon School of Business students and community members in September 2022. Until then, Onlea is working hard creating thoughtful, engaging learning experiences.

“The starting point for all our projects is an amazing time where we get to know the learners, the subject matter experts and the vision for the series. We’ll be working together to fill our blank canvas with a unique and engaging learning experience, ready for the first cohort of learners this fall.”

To learn more about how to future-proof your career, visit the Insight Series page.

The University of Lethbridge’s Dhillon School of Business offers flexible, experiential and supportive business education in Lethbridge, Calgary and online.