5 Key Tips for Crafting Exceptional Learning and Practice Products for Certification Success Blog Feature

5 Key Tips for Crafting Exceptional Learning and Practice Products for Certification Success

In the rapidly changing professional education landscape, supporting your learners on their journey to obtaining career-changing certifications is paramount. Without this support, you risk high dropout rates, unsatisfied learners, and revenue left on the table. 

To mitigate those risks and drive success for both your learners and your business, you need to create and deliver stand-out learning and practice experiences. In this blog, we’ll share tips to do exactly that!

Understanding the Landscape: Professional Learning Market & Modern Learner Evolution

Taking a holistic view, the professional learning market is undergoing a transformative shift, presenting a rare opportunity for growth.

Let's examine the data:5 Key Tips for Crafting Exceptional Learning and Practice Products for Certification Success_inline - 01

According to WorkCred's survey, 56% of organizations report increased demand for certifications, with two-thirds planning to introduce new certifications. Additionally, the continuing education market is projected to surge by 50% over the next five years, expanding from $61 billion to $93 billion by 2028. Certificates and micro-credentials are anticipated to experience double-digit growth.

This data underscores the importance of aligning learning and practice products with the evolving needs of modern learners:

To achieve success for both organizations and learners, it's essential to tailor learning and practice products to meet these evolving needs effectively.

Why Learning and Practice Products are Important

As we all well know, learning is not a singular event. It’s a process or a journey. At BenchPrep, we like to think of the lifelong learning journey in four phases: Learn → Practice → Certify → Continuing Education.

In this analogy, learning is planting the seed, practicing is nurturing it with water, sun, and fertilizer, certification is when it blossoms, and continuing education ensures it thrives. Just like a flower, you want your candidates to grow, bloom, and thrive!  

A great way to do that is by supporting them on their way to obtaining those non-degree credentials by offering what we’re referring to as “stand-out” learning and practice products. 

So… What Makes a Stand-Out Learning or Practice Product?

It's important to keep in mind that a stand-out product may look different to different people or businesses depending on their goals.

From a business perspective, learning and practice products serve as tools to achieve various goals, such as revenue growth or program expansion. For instance, the Project Management Institute (PMI) implemented their Study Hall program, "The Ultimate Study Buddy," offering users enhanced practice and engagement resources. Within the first year, nearly 25,000 users enrolled.

On the learner side, learning and practice products MUST help them achieve their goals. The biggest goal is typically passing some sort of certification exam, but these products also help with knowledge retention and job performance.

Tip #1: Cultivate Accessibility 

Considering the modern learner's preferences is paramount when designing learning or practice products. Here are key aspects to ponder:5 Key Tips for Crafting Exceptional Learning and Practice Products for Certification Success_inline - bullet textEnsuring accessibility is vital for standout products. Reflecting on the needs of your learners, consider how they'll interact with the product for success:

  • Ensure accessibility for a diverse audience, adhering to standards like WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).
  • Provide both digital and print options to accommodate various preferences.
  • Address cultural and linguistic diversity by offering content in multiple languages and culturally sensitive examples.

Tip #2: Enable Learner Success Through LMS Capabilities

To fully engage the modern learner and maximize program effectiveness, content delivery alone isn't enough. Leveraging technology and a robust learning management system (LMS) can enhance the learning experience and amplify content effectiveness.

There are distinct capabilities that enhance both learning and practice products.

For Learning Products:

  • Elevate Engagement: Implement gamification to boost learner engagement by up to 48%.
  • Enhance Knowledge Retention: Incorporate engagement tactics like highlighting and note-taking to fortify retention.
  • Master Terminology: Utilize flashcards to aid learners in recalling crucial points.
  • Cultivate Learner Confidence: Leverage self-reported confidence to guide learners in focusing their efforts effectively.

For Practice Products:

  • Optimize Practice: Offer a wide array of practice questions to improve learner scores.
  • Mimic Exam Experience: Incorporate mock exams that mirror real conditions to boost learner preparedness.
  • Provide Insightful Feedback: Offer Answer Rationales to deepen understanding and bridge knowledge gaps.
  • Tailor Difficulty: Align practice question difficulty with exam levels for optimal engagement.
  • Empower Learners: Integrate self-reported confidence with performance data to guide focused improvement efforts.

Tip #3: Offer Personalized Learning Pathways

The term personalized learning, or personalization, refers to a diverse variety of educational programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic-support strategies that are intended to address the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds of individual students.

5 Key Tips for Crafting Exceptional Learning and Practice Products for Certification Success_inline - personalization

Why is personalized important?

BenchPrep research shows that following a personalized learning pathway improves user engagement by almost 100%. And, data from our customers shows that higher engagement leads to better outcomes.  

For example, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is seeing that certification pass rates are higher for learners who have leveraged learn/practice products than those who didn’t.  And ACT is seeing that students who used ACT Online Prep scored 32% higher on practice exams than those who did not. 

You may be wondering: how do I personalize the experience? 

Here are some things to consider before implementing personalized learning into your products:

  • Goal-Based Personalization - can you personalize a learning or practice product based on a learner’s goal?
  • Breadth vs Depth - are you offering enough breadth and depth of content for your learners?  
  • Modality Personalization - are you offering different ways for your learners to consume the content? Do you know if your learners prefer video or text? 
  • Feature Personalization - do learners achieve mastery faster if their experience is gamified? 

There are several attributes that drive success for a specific learner. Being able to personalize the experience based on goals and preferences can drive a ton of value.

Tip #4: Foster a Sense of Community

Social learning is all the buzz and for good reason. As social learning theory indicates, learners learn best when observing others. Components such as discussion boards, live video, polling, chat, and games not only give the learner a chance to engage with peers but also allow them to observe other learners and their behaviors.5 Key Tips for Crafting Exceptional Learning and Practice Products for Certification Success_inline - discussion board graphicWe’ve all heard about how important social learning is, but we have data to support it! At BenchPrep, we’ve found that learners who participate in discussions are 15 times more active within our learning platform. Learners can really take the time to compose their answers and see how their thought process impacts the learning environment. They can also take the time to respond more thoughtfully to their peers. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

It's important to note that every learner is different, and different instructional methods (such as self-paced, blended, and instructor-led) provide different avenues to incorporate elements of social learning into your curriculum.

Tip #5: Leverage Data to Refine Learning and Practice Products

Leveraging insights from data is vital for:

  • The success of your learner
  • The success of your learning programs
  • And meeting the goals of the broader organization. 

We’ve talked a lot about learners and how their preferences and outcomes will drive what’s needed in standout learning and practice products. The truth is that most organizations may not know exactly what their learners need in a learning or practice product out of the gate. That’s where data comes in.  

Data will enable you to go from subjective decision-making to objective decision-making, ultimately helping you create truly stand-out products for your learners. Looking at things like usage data, progress data, performance data, and also user feedback will make sure your products are meeting learner needs.

5 Key Tips for Crafting Exceptional Learning and Practice Products for Certification Success_inline - fun fact

Data is also the key to business success. Data helps inform smarter strategy decisions and drive improvements in content or even program design. This all might influence marketing campaigns, customer retention, HR costs, and so much more.

Spring Into Learning with BenchPrep’s Virtual Events

We invite you to join us for our “Spring into Learning” virtual events, where we dive into the world of artificial intelligence (AI), explore strategies to mastering continuing education, get valuable insights from BenchPrep’s co-founders and leaders, and so much more!

Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn new tips for learning and leveraging AI, and check out our other virtual events. 

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