4 Ways to Bring Value to Professional Learning with Awards and Certificates

Emily McLaughlin
Aug 7, 2017, 3:55:19 PM
Learners are more motivated to participate in online education—whether required or self-directed—when there is a reward associated with course completion. These rewards could be credits, CEUs, certificates, or some kind of prize or incentive for being near the top of a leaderboard.
 

By using "awarding" and gamification features within an online learning environment, organizations can significantly improve engagement, knowledge retention, and overall satisfaction. These features also enable the organization to grow, scale, and ensure that the targeted learners and industry are knowledgeable and well-educated. For professional learning organizations such as training institutes or management consulting businesses, awarding certificates and CEUs to learners helps those individuals reach a certain professional status or obtain important skills. But, professional learning organizations aren't the only ones that benefit from these award and gamification features. Extended enterprise or consumer learning organizations can also use certificates, badges, and points to incentivize learners to complete courses.

Let's take a look at some of the ways awarding learners can improve your professional learning experience.
 

Certificates

After spending countless hours learning new material, it's nice to come out on the other side with a certificate to prove your hard work. In professional learning, these certificates can hold a lot of value. Learners are willing to pay accredited professional organizations large sums of money in exchange for certificates if that certificate will help them improve their skills and productivity, help them make more money, or help them become more respected in their field. 
 

CEUs

Many professionals need CEUs (continuing education units) from accredited programs in order to maintain licenses, professional certificates, or to practice their professions. If your organization is in the business of awarding CEUs, online learning can help you expand your reach and award CEUs quickly and seamlessly. Look for an online learning technology that helps you—and learners—keep track of these CEUs via downloadable transcripts.
 
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Badges

Just because education materials are geared towards professional learning doesn't mean gamification is off the table. Creating badges for online courses might encourage your learners to engage and interact with the content—and each other—more. When it comes to awarding badges, there are a number of ways to go about setting this up:
  • Award learners points for course completion
  • Award points for section completion
  • Award after a number of pages are viewed
  • Award learners after an amount of time spent in content 
Once learners reach a certain amount of points or credits, they can earn a different badges. 
 
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Leaderboards

Leaderboards are another fun way to award learners for participating in online learning content. Set up a leaderboard within a client's online learning environment so that learners can compete with one another to earn points and foster healthy competition. 
 
Get creative with different awarding features to encourage learners to interact, engage, provide feedback, and work harder to absorb the content. When individuals are recognized and rewarded for their hard work, they are more likely to walk away feeling satisfied, to provide positive feedback, and to come back wanting more. Use this to your advantage to build a strong professional learning business.
 
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