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SAFE Education’s Best Kept Secret

Paul Donohue
May 01, 2010

Imagine a class that offers the convenience of online access, yet gives you the powerful experience of a live event. Think about a class without the cost of travel or disconnect from the office, yet puts you right into the class live with the instructor in real-time. The revolution in mortgage education that is taking the industry by surprise is Online, Live Equivalent With Live Instructor. Often an overlooked option, this Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS)-approved “classroom equivalent” format delivers the convenience of online and the powerful impact of a live classroom event. Online, Live Equivalent Because of the obtuse descriptive name “Live Equivalent,” many people are missing the distinct advantages of this best kept secret in education. This versatile format is an “online” delivery of an actual live class event. Online, Live Equivalent education can be streamed anywhere across the nation to your computer or to a group in the conference room at your office. This interactive format may include full audio and video streaming of the instructor teaching the material in real-time. When considering an Online, Live Equivalent course, be sure your provider offers all the course text, the live PowerPoint presentation, exercises, quizzes and the ability to interact directly with the instructor. One advantage to “live equivalent” is that your questions are answered and you hear the responses to other students live while you are absorbing the material. Your retention is enhanced by participating in a live class over a concentrated two- or three-day period and because you are not reading or working alone. Know Your Options When choosing your pre-licensing (PE) course, keep in mind not every education format is appropriate for you. Each person’s learning style is different. Only you know how you learn and retain information. If you prefer online education to live classroom, keep in mind self-paced online is approved for continuing education, but not for PE. The only other approved online format for PE is instructor-led online. Instructor-led online education is similar to a correspondence course with a defined start and end period; normally spread out over 10 days or two weeks. The instructor leads the students through the course by assigning reading material, exercises and quizzes that the student must complete on their own. The advantage of this format is that the student can fit the coursework in on their own free time. The disadvantages are the student must do all the reading on their own and the additional time it takes to complete all the exercises and assignments. Do you remember homework? SAFE-Smart Tip Your education choice will be critical to your success on the test, so choose wisely. If you prefer online education, the advantages of Online, Live Equivalent are significant. It delivers the powerful impact of a live class, the accessibility of online, you get the class done in 20 concentrated hours and there is no homework. My SAFE-Smart Tip is to check out this best kept secret of SAFE education. Paul Donohue, CRMS is a 23-year industry professional and founder of Abacus Mortgage Training and Education. Paul served on two NMLS working groups, establishing the new national education protocols. Go to to find out more about your obligations for testing, education and licensure, or call (888) 341-7767.  
May 01, 2010