With the phenomenal growth of eBay, individuals were offering classes around the world to teach others how to sell on eBay. In 2004, eBay identified the need for a more formal oversight of this program.
Before eBay made this business decision, each instructor designed his or her own class materials – yielding a wide variety of content and quality, along with frequent misuse of the eBay brand.
InScope was selected by eBay to create the “Education Specialist Trained by eBay” program (ESP). The program provides a more centralized management of classes and instructor qualifications without losing the grass roots movement of the initial training offered by individuals.
Working closely with eBay, InScope created a full program complete with a standardized professional curriculum, extensive tracking of instructor and student data, international deployment capabilities, and premium back office support services. This program is managed through InScope’s PowerU ™ umbrella of services.
The eBay audience is truly a community spirit and InScope recognized the importance of maintaining the fun and excitement of this group. As a result, the user interface design includes the appropriate level of illustrations, colors, and navigational ease.
Learner Interaction and Engagement
Learner interaction and engagement is another area of attention for the online course. Students have the ability to watch a demonstration of step-actions (Show Me) immediately followed by an opportunity to practice the same procedure (Let Me Try).
Education Specialist Portal
Once an individual successfully completes the online course, they may access the Education Specialist Portal. From this location, they can perform a variety of tasks in support of their individual programs.
Course Event Management
From this location, the instructor can provide event information.
Order Course Materials
Materials may be downloaded directly from the site for local printing or the instructor may purchase books directly through the portal for shipment to the class location. The system includes full e-commerce capabilities including the ability to make payments directly through PayPal©.
The instructor is able to submit a report detailing the specifics of the event to ensure that all demographic data is collected and tracked for future events. Students may submit classroom evaluations online too.
Since the inception, the program is becoming widely recognized and applauded for the innovation and design/support structure that is in place. Education Specialists delivered almost 4,000 classes to over 80,000 students in the first three years of the program’s existence and the program continues to expand with new curriculum and the addition of Education Specialists.
In 2006, InScope received a Merit Award from the Society for Technical Communication (STC) for the “Basics of Selling on eBay” course. This award is given in recognition of the quality of on-line communication.
The Education Specialist Program was such a success that it resulted in the eBay sponsor of the program receiving the prestigious Jeff Skoll Community award “recognizing the contributions of an individual or a team who uphold the eBay values and work toward building a stronger Community.” The citation read, in part:
“In September 2004, Sharon Guldner successfully launched the eBay Education Specialists initiative, eBay’s first official ‘train the trainer’ program. This program provides official classroom materials to experienced members to use when teaching new members in their communities, and it trains members how to teach using these materials. In addition to addressing a long-standing request from the Community, the Education Specialists program has become an extremely cost-effective way to widely distribute our eBay University curriculum to new and existing members…
To date, 1,400 users have enrolled in the program, of which 500 have completed the course. They are now actively sharing their enthusiasm for eBay and training other members. Congratulations, Sharon!”