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Training Counselors to Protect the Public

Bixal provided HUD with a talented e-learning team made up of digital project managers, subject matter experts (SMEs), instructional systems designers, e-learning developers, user experience specialists, and visual designers to create the training curriculum. Our content developers engaged with the SMEs to extract critical knowledge, asking the right questions in the right way to capture the knowledge that housing counselors would need to be considered competent in such areas as financial management, fair housing, and home affordability. The team collaborated to define learning objectives and develop a course syllabus to guide the development of the 15 interactive e-learning modules.

  • Client: Office of Housing Counseling, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Project: Dodd-Frank Compliance - Housing Counselor Training and Testing for Certification Program
  • Technology: Drupal, Articulate Storyline
Client Action Plan Screenshot

Development of Online Training

Bixal began by gathering information on learning objectives, the target audience, system requirements, and other key factors to determine the best approach to course development.

We used an agile methodology to develop the training, from content development and storyboarding to design and production of the interactive modules. This involved developing a prototype in coordination with the HUD team, then conducting multiple rounds of testing and revisions. This iterative process provided numerous opportunities to receive and act upon client feedback, and we were able to conduct comprehensive user testing to ensure an intuitive and engaging user experience.

Certification Exam Development

Bixal project managers and adult learning experts worked closely with a psychometrician—an expert in certification exam development—following a rigorous process to build a reliable, valid, relevant, and legally defensible certification exam. A team of item writers, housing SMEs, and translators designed the certification exam and a practice test in both English and Spanish.

"Becoming a HUD Housing Counselor" webpage wireframe

Website Development and Systems Integration

To provide a seamless experience for housing counselor candidates, Bixal used Drupal and APIs to connect several platforms that provide access to the practice exam and proctoring services for the certification exam. To update HUD’s Housing Counselor Registry, the platform also transfers information to HUD’s Housing Counselor database. The platform is fully Section 508 compliant and was designed to meet all federal security requirements.

"Become a HUD Housing Counselor" Webpage on a large computer monitor