When it comes to changing lives, we know that none do it better than our creators. Today, we’re looking at Dr. Julia Moore and The Center for Implementation. In this interview, we’re showcasing how creators of every background and experience level can help their students succeed and change lives through the power of knowledge.
A closer look: The Center for Implementation
The Center for Implementation is a social enterprise designed to help outfit students with practical tools to effectively enhance change. Founded in 2018, the organization helps students define their change and “develop the tools, methods, and approaches to achieve better outcomes.” Simply put, they help course students ensure their change efforts are done so effectively and have a positive impact on the health system.
Although they are “topic agnostic,” they’ve worked with multiple types of organizations, academics, government agencies, and more. And, they’ve covered a range of topics including public health, healthcare, mental health, prevention science, education, and juvenile justice.
Read on for more of our interview with The Center for Implementation to see how they first entered the world of online courses, understand how they grew their brand to a six-figure business, and explore how they are still changing lives everyday using Teachable.
Working toward online
Founded in 2018, the organization was frequently invited to do in-person workshops. This eventually led to requests for virtual workshops. Once they started doing virtual (100+ people) workshops, they thought bigger and broader: “What if we built a free online mini course?”
So that’s precisely what they did. And with that, The Center for Implementation launched online with a free mini course in early 2019.
According to Julia, their initial video wasn’t professional or high quality. But it didn’t have to be. It just had to present their information and showcase their knowledge. Ultimately, Julia said they have no regrets about launch with their humble video. “I’m really glad we did it even when it wasn’t perfect”—noting her advice to future creators: just get started as you can always re-film.
With an initial goal of 500 mini course students, TCI utilized listservs to attract potential students to their course. Julia explained their original goal, stating, “If an organization hosts us and gets 200 [people] to show up, we think we can get 500 [people] to sign up for our mini course.”
And they were right. Their first launch got 1,500 signups. And today more than 5,000 students have taken that initial mini course.
Solving problems and creating solutions
Originally, Julia explained their goal by going online with Teachable was rather simple: to host videos and have interactive components. TCI simply wanted something really user-friendly. Teachable allowed them to give their students that exact experience.
In 2020, they moved to paid courses, thus expanding their student footprint and diversifying their business. Today, TCI continues to offer several free workshops but focuses primarily on more in-depth, time-intensive courses that are only open for enrollment once a year.
“We base things in science, and the science says if there’s a close date, people will sign up,” said Julia of their decision to follow a cohort model for courses.
In addition, because their courses are so intense (think the equivalent of a graduate course), they offer certificates at the end of completion thus propelling the exclusivity and limited nature of the courses.
Here’s how it works: Once a course begins, the students have a deadline of three months to submit assignments. Students are not only expected to submit assignments, but they must meet a standard in order to consider the course “completed” and earn their certificate. Certificates have proven to be particularly valuable in low and middle income countries. This makes TCI’s course even that much more valuable to their vast global student base.
But TCI doesn’t restrict their offerings to these limited access courses. They expanded into events and a community membership.
“Not everyone wants to commit to an eight-module course, but people are willing to attend an event,” explained Julia. This allows those who don’t have the time or the resources for a full course to still get a taste of the knowledge and expertise the team is offering.
Teachable still makes this a seamless process for TCI. “We do them live on Zoom and record them and upload them on Teachable with workbooks, etc.,” she added.
But event workshops aren’t the only way the organization has diversified their offerings. They’ve expanded to a membership-style community as well.
“The community was not planned—it was not originally our intention,” Julia said. “What we do is very complicated, so just taking a course doesn’t take people all the way there.” Julia added that students often felt isolated. So, based on student feedback, they gave them an outlet to connect with other students in the program via a membership community.
The team utilizes Teachable’s membership and Circle integration to filter students through their Teachable school and drive to their Circle community. Community members not only receive the benefit of connecting with others, but if they’re a part of the community, they can attend events and access replays, thus just increasing the reach and value of TCI’s products.
The Teachable advantage
“We are not techies, even remotely at all,” admitted Julia. “We’re academics who want to make a difference—and inside the ivory tower is not going to make that happen. But Teachable has made it easy for us to make that happen.”
TCI’s initial (and continual) goal is to make implementation science available to more people and organizations. Since going online, Teachable has allowed this once in-person business to expand their reach exponentially.
Julia explained, “Not only is [Teachable] able to help us scale how many people have access, but we have people from 93 countries [in our courses]. We have every continent except Antarctica enrolled in our paid course!”
In fact, the global access Teachable provided the team was a huge deciding factor as they set out expanding to low and middle income countries.
Today, about 20-25% of TCI’s for Implementation’s business comes from their online course business. “The growth potential for our Teachable offerings seems very large,” Julia explained, noting the business isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Keep up to date with Julia and the team at The Center of Implementation on their school’s homepage, here.