Need a reason to convert your credentialing and certification programs from instructor-led to eLearning? How about 10?
As technology continues to innovate and become easier to implement, the business case for associations to move their classroom-based courses online is strengthening. 10 years ago, the idea of offering online certification and credentialing programs at your association would have been crazy. But today, it’s almost crazy not to. Members are increasingly tech savvy, cost conscious, and eager to eliminate unnecessary time wasters. Associations are also realizing the potential of online member education and investigating ways to automate the process of delivering content, administering assessments, and issuing certificates.
Here are the top 10 reasons associations should convert their credentialing and certification programs to eLearning:
1. More convenient for members. Traditionally, credentialing and certification programs have been instructor-led and delivered in a classroom setting. Typically, these on-site training events are only held on select dates and require some amount of travel. Registration is generally completed well in advance and members must plan their schedules around these multi-day events.
Thankfully, the advancement of online learning technologies has created a more attractive and convenient alternative. Rather than waiting around for the next available class, or having to travel to some far away destination, members can register and begin accessing their online certification or credentialing program immediately. Most learning management systems (LMSs) also enable members to complete the training from any desktop or mobile device.
2. Less costly for the association. The moment you convert your on-site program to online, you’ve eliminated the need for:
• a classroom
• print materials
• equipment (projectors, monitors, microphones, etc.)
• on-site staff
• computers or other means for completing assignments and exams
Depending on your program and the size of a typical certification class, this could save your association thousands of dollars. Even high-stakes testing can now be conducted completely online through the use of webcams and identity verification software – eliminating the traditional expenses of proctored exams.
3. Increased profitability for the association. Less money spent on classrooms, instructors, association staff, equipment, security, food, etc. means higher profit margins for your association. Sure, there are still costs associated with the online delivery of certification and credentialing programs, but these are generally one-time costs and substantially less than what you spend on an in-person course.
4. Easier to update materials. Instead of using textbooks and handouts, your members will access digital versions of your training materials. When changes are necessary, you can simply update the master PowerPoint for your eLearning course, save out a new PDF document, or link to a new cut of your video-based course. Skip the printer and make changes in minutes instead of months. That’s the beauty of digital media!
5. More consistent delivery of information. Even if you use the same instructor every time, the experience will be different each time you offer your on-site training. For some associations and in some industries this can be a real issue. eLearning remains consistent day after day, for learners across the street, or across the country.
6. Quicker to complete for members. Members are busier than ever and their time has never been more valuable. Completing certification training online enables members to move at their own pace and without unnecessary interruptions. Instant access to online content also means that learners who are ready to begin immediately don’t have to wait.
7. More marketable to the members. Increased convenience and flexibility means increased “course appeal” for your members!
8. Easier to manage for the association. With eLearning, your association staffers can spend less time tracking down instructors, reserving classrooms, coordinating with caterers, and processing registrations. Association staffers are already stretched too thin; by making the switch to online course delivery, everyone’s job becomes a little bit more manageable.
9.Increased ability to track and report on attendance. Attendance sheets and sign-in tables are a thing of the past. Now, your association’s LMS will automatically track learner registrations, attendance records, course completions, and exam scores.
10. Increased automation for the association. Just about everything in the credentialing and certification process can now be automated. Registrations, purchases, transcripts, and certificates are all handled by the LMS and completely hands-free. What could be easier?
Now that it’s plain to see why your association should move its existing education and training programs online, the next step likely includes convincing your board.
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