Camtasia, Cammpus Help Companies Build Branded Universities

In 2006, Brian Hayden noticed a need for training in the construction industry, specifically around the increasingly popular market for geothermal heating and cooling systems. Few contractors knew about such systems, and even fewer could be labeled “experts” able to teach others how to properly install geothermal systems in buildings. So, Brian decided to make a change.

Cammpus LogoOver the next five years, Brian helped 6,000 contractors get the training they needed from top experts in renewable energy.  Teaching online using Camtasia Studio took some trial and error, but it became such a critical part of the company’s success that in 2011 they launched Cammpus, a professional education service for any industry.

Through Cammpus and Camtasia, any company can create their own branded university in minutes — without any IT — while giving them the tools they need to build their own curriculum for educating sales leads, new customers, employees or vendors.

Freeing up the flow of knowledge

Brian Hayden

Brian Hayden

In 2006 Brian created HeatSpring Learning Institute, a training service that aimed to connect renewable energy experts with building professionals. The experts he found would host seminars for contractors and share their knowledge with smaller groups. But Brian soon found that these training sessions presented their own set of barriers to the learning process.

“By having groups meet in person, there was always a chance that weather might halt travel or people had last-minute scheduling conflicts,” said Brian. “So we started to think about providing training sessions online and the best ways to present information on-demand.  Webinars didn’t cut it from our perspective — we wanted something better.”

Brian and his HeatSpring colleagues realized that they could remove the physical barriers (e.g., weather, location) that in-person seminars presented by sharing videos of seminar content online and pairing it with real instructor support.

When HeatSpring began transitioning away from in-person seminars in 2008, the team spent thousands of dollars on cameras, lighting, editing and more to make high-quality recordings of a live seminar to share online. Unhappy with learning management systems at the time, they also developed their own LMS (a proprietary system that was later used as the basis for Cammpus).

The work they put into creating their first entry-level online course cost them $35,000.

While they had video content that could be used over and over again, spending thousands to capture each unique seminar HeatSpring hosted was not scalable. So the team looked for ways to empower their experts to create their own videos to share online. That’s when they decided to give Camtasia a try.

Arriving on Cammpus

Chris Williams

Chris Williams

When Brian and his colleague, Chris Williams, saw the potential of Camtasia combined with their LMS, they realized they could expand far beyond the construction industry. Starting Cammpus, they decided, would allow them to knock down the educational barriers across all industries.

“Every business needs training,” said Chris. “Those training needs tend to fall into three buckets — customer training, including customer on-boarding and converting sales leads, employee training, and expert training or professional development.”

Chris notes that after realizing the combined potential of Camtasia and their LMS, Cammpus was able to reduce the $35,000 spent to produce a single online course down to $10,000 with the help of Camtasia — without compromising content quality.

“The process of making videos with Camtasia and sharing them online was easy for any of our experts to learn,” said Brian. “It’s simple and it makes sense in any industry.”

The team looks for what they call “true experts” in an industry — that is, individuals that know the industry inside and out and are known for being an expert. Once a true expert in a field is found, Cammpus points them to Camtasia to get started with the video creation process.

“Our true experts are in the top one percent of their field,” said Chris. “There are all kinds of people who know lots of things within organizations, but we start with the go-to thought leaders in the subjects we’re covering.”

Moving forward

“True experts might have the content and following needed to be successful with online training and education,” said Chris, “but they also need a proven way to get the information out.  We provide an infrastructure so they can be as successful and efficient as possible, while maintaining control and ownership.  Camtasia and Cammpus are a powerful combination.”

Though it’s easy to get their experts set up with a copy of Camtasia and access to the Cammpus LMS, the team is carefully expanding the courses and subjects offered. And, by using Camtasia, they’ve significantly decreased their production costs and delivery time for content. Through Cammpus and Camtasia, Brian, Chris and their colleagues are opening doors for true experts looking to share their knowledge with the world.

If you’re interested in teaching, download Cammpus’s Instructor Manifesto that they provide to all new instructors. In addition, read more about Business Training Best Practices on Cammpus Blog.

  • Mel Aclaro

    Great interview, Will. I was drawn to it b/c it totally jibes with my thinking about there being a HUGE untapped knowledgebase in the expertise of baby boomers who are retiring everyday at a rate of about 10,000 per day over the next 19 years. Sadly, a lot of that knowledge will simply disappear into the ether if not somehow “digitized” and disseminated.

    As I’ve found, however, while many ‘Boomers’ recognize an untapped market for digitizing — and potentially monetizing their expertise — just as many also need help in learning how to “digitize” that expertise and get it online. (In fact, I attribute that need as being one of the reasons I’ve seen increased demand in one of my online courses about Camtasia and screencasting best practices.)

    In any case, I think software products like Camtasia, as well as enabling solutions like CAMMPUS, Udemy, Coursera, and others will definitely be key players in helping these Boomers tap in to that market.

    Thanks again. Nice article.

    • Will Verchereau

      Hi Mel–thanks for the kind words! It’s easy to write a story when those involved are incredibly passionate about what they do. Cris and Brian are working on some amazing things, so expect to see follow up on their work in the future.

      Make sure you follow them on Twitter for updates in the meantime. Thanks for sharing the retirement stats too. I’m off to read (i.e., get lost in) more Pew studies…