How to Choose the Best eLearning Platform for Your Association's Certification Training Program
Do you want to boost engagement in your certification training program or increase the value of your membership? Consider the state of your current eLearning platform.
If you work at an association and you’ve noticed a lull in engagement from your members, it’s likely time to reconsider your current eLearning platform.
Investing in a learning management system (LMS) that leverages modern strategies will lead to higher member sign-up rates and better engagement within your certification training programs.
Members want to further their careers regardless of their field. In an economy where skills are more valuable than ever, credited certification programs will lead to a swift ROI as they create new revenue streams for your association.
Yet choosing an LMS with limited capabilities can hinder your success, pushing current members away and giving new members a reason to decline to renew their membership or sign up in the first place.
In this blog post, we dive into the top qualities and characteristics that membership-based associations should consider when seeking an eLearning platform for their certification training program.
Increase Learner Engagement for Improved Membership Retention
Members keep the wheels turning. Therefore, your association’s top goal should be attracting and retaining new members. In turn, new members increase your revenue from dues, leaving you with more money to invest back into the association. The most effective way to keep members around long-term is to offer valuable professional educational opportunities that keep them engaged and coming back to you for more.
Think about the last time you left an event early because you weren’t engaged. Did you feel bored, perhaps? Or maybe because you felt like your time wasn’t being used in the best way. Don’t forget that your current members are here to further their careers and believe being part of your association gives them the tools to accomplish that goal. In a skills-based economy, the best tool is an eLearning platform.
Proving Your Value
Whether your association focuses on human resources (HR), finance, risk management, real estate, or any other industry, you must prove why your membership is valuable. As a non-profit, your main revenue stream comes from membership dues. So, what does being part of your organization afford them that the competition doesn’t? Why should a busy professional bother joining an association in the first place?
For example, a membership association for HR professionals wants to attract as many target members as possible. They also want to affect change in the field by staying ahead of and influencing trends. This means continuously revisiting their eLearning capabilities to meet the evolving needs of modern learners—people who need to learn on the go and on their own time.
Neglecting your educational offerings puts your program at risk of running too thin. Members may lose interest and walk away. After all, you don’t want to pay for something you’re not getting value from or engaging with. There are also more competitors today than ever before. Professionals can now leverage networking opportunities through their workplaces and take continuing education courses online through outlets like LinkedIn.
However, your members will happily pay for something that provides a valuable ROI on their end, such as certification training. Certifications are a fantastic way to boost engagement among your members. In fact, your most engaged members will be the ones earning certifications through your association.
Ensure you offer plenty of prep and practice opportunities to help them pass their final exams—two core capabilities of any eLearning platform like BenchPrep.
Improve Member Experience With Advanced LMS Functionalities
High-quality learner experiences will attract new members to your association’s certification training program while providing value to existing ones. Let’s face it, modern professionals—and modern learners—are incredibly busy people. They’re looking for continued education experiences that meet their needs and work on their time. With the right LMS for your association, you can give them what they want.
The only way to set your association up for success is to fortify your efforts to engage, attract, and certify new generations of industry professionals. New generations have different expectations for their continuing education program, and this trend will evolve with each subsequent generation. To accommodate, your association must leverage the advanced functionalities of a digital eLearning platform.
For example, BenchPrep leans on advanced data analytics to provide learners with an adaptive learning experience. Such experiences help learners learn and retain more information faster. When the data suggests students who have trouble with questions A, B, and C can get the answers they need from materials X, Y, and Z, the intelligent system can generate a personalized study plan without skipping a beat.
Lean on Microlearning
In the fast-paced modern world, learners prefer small, digestible modules they can take on the go rather than long-form lectures that cement them in one place. This is why microlearning has become one of the preferred learning methods in certification training courses.
Bite-sized microlearning modules are not only quick and easy to take, but they’re also easy to reinforce. While professionals may be drawn to your association as they pursue that coveted stamp of approval, they also want lifelong knowledge that will aid them in the future.
Unfortunately, we tend to forget new information shortly after learning it—upwards of 79% after 30 days— according to Herman Ebbinhaus’ forgetting curve. However, regular reinforcement helps combat the curve, ensuring those microlearning modules stick.
To help members combat the forgetting curve, leverage an LMS that understands the value of retention and regular reinforcement. An eLearning platform that sends constant review notifications will lead to more engaged learners while helping them engrave their lessons as knowledge, not just memory.
Boost Peer-to-Peer Learning With Group Discussions
Among the main appeals of joining a membership association is the feeling of entering a community of like-minded people. This has never been truer as we move away from a socially distant pandemic era and back to a normal professional environment.
Modern professionals crave social learning experiences to discuss issues, ideas, and opinions. They also enjoy collaborating to address unique challenges. An eLearning platform that leverages the power of peer-to-peer learning will keep members engaged. Here are four features you should look for:
Has Live Webinar Functionalities: Watching a recording of a sporting event isn’t as exciting as watching it live, and the same is true for professional learning. An eLearning platform with live webinar functionalities lets members engage with something happening in real-time. They can also interact with other members, instructors, speakers, and moderators to boost peer-to-peer learning.
Promotes Conversation: When you encourage conversation among your learners, you facilitate an atmosphere that drives engagement, builds connections, and bolsters learning. Ensure your learners and instructors can openly communicate via live chat (when multiple learners are present during your live webinar) or post on discussion boards to talk on their own time.
Leverages Gamification: Everyone loves games, which is why they’ve become inseparable from the eLearning experience. Gamified learning mechanics help association members study more effectively while boosting engagement.
In fact, learners who played BenchPrep’s custom-built games spent 18 more minutes on average per study session than those who didn’t.
Provides Contact with SMEs: People and their unique expertise are the greatest assets in your association. Ensure your LMS offers learners access to subject matter experts (SMEs), whether hired instructors or other members.
Improve Program Evaluation Through Data and Actionable Insights
Membership association leaders have a lot on their plates. Between monitoring their effectiveness, profitability, and growth, how can they be expected to routinely evaluate their online certification training programs?
Thankfully, an LMS with built-in reporting and data analytics will allow leaders to dissect limitations and uncover new possibilities in their current programs while gaining in-depth knowledge about their learners’ performance. Here are three ways you can leverage data to improve your eLearning program:
Track Learner Confidence Metrics: There’s a massive difference between guessing and knowing the correct answer. Furthermore, test prep is hard, stressful work. Your members have limited time and resources to dedicate to certification training. If they feel like the goal is slipping through their grasp, they’ll drop out of the program. This may be a confidence and feedback issue, so invest in an LMS that provides learners with the data they need to boost confidence levels.
Identify and Fix Weak Points: Data analytics will reveal crucial insights about each course, down to the tiniest component. You’ll no longer have to lean on anecdotes and intuition to make improvements. Instead, you can make data-backed decisions based on how your learners engage with your content.
Boost Business Performance: The best LMSs available provide critical insights into your entire business model, not just the metrics related to teaching and learning. They’ll generate reports regarding purchase and engagement trends, compare marketing data with learner engagement outcomes, and recommend upselling opportunities.
BenchPrep understands the importance of data packages, allowing you to leverage those crucial analytics to their full potential. Even better, you don’t have to be a data expert to absorb actionable, real-time insights with BenchPrep’s capabilities.
Choose BenchPrep to Guide Your eLearning Initiatives
Choosing the right eLearning platform for your certification training program is crucial to promoting engagement among new and existing members.
Modern professionals understand how we’re moving toward a skill-based economy, where certifications and credentials are as—or even more—important than college degrees. They’re hungry for opportunities to earn such credentials from trusted providers.
A platform like BenchPrep gives current members a reason to stay—and new members a reason to join—which increases revenue from dues. Once they complete your certification training course, they’ll be well-armed to pass their final exams and advance in a highly competitive world.
Get in touch with BenchPrep today to strengthen your current eLearning initiatives and boost engagement in your membership-based association.