Eliminating Barriers to Certification Completion: How the Right LMS Can Help
Certification completion can be an uphill battle for many candidates due to various barriers, such as insufficient resources, lack of preparedness, and elevated stress levels. A 2020 research study on student perceptions of barriers to professional exam success shows that those who passed their exam attribute their accomplishment to beneficial tools such as purchased review manuals and online exam simulators. These tools included practice questions, quizzes, and other interactive components and proved more effective than their own notes and materials. Unsuccessful respondents, in turn, cited feeling unprepared and distressed as reasons for their lack of achievement.
Fortunately, a well-designed Learning Management System (LMS) tailored to the certification training process can help eliminate these barriers and make it easier for credentialing bodies to offer effective certification training programs. In this blog, we'll explore how the right LMS can provide targeted support to candidates through exam simulation and interactive learning experiences, significantly improving their chances of completing certification.
Common Barriers to Certification Completion
Before delving into the advantages of a use-case-specific LMS, let's explore the critical question: what are the most prevalent obstacles that candidates encounter when striving for certification completion?
Insufficient Online Resources
One obstacle candidates often face is the lack of comprehensive online offerings in certification training programs. This limitation can create difficulties for candidates who cannot attend in-person training sessions due to logistical constraints, time constraints, or geographical barriers. Without access to digital resources, these candidates may struggle to find the necessary support and guidance to effectively prepare for and complete their credentials.
Limited Mobile Accessibility
Even when online learning options are available, they might not be fully optimized for mobile devices. This can be particularly problematic for candidates who only have access to a phone or tablet to pursue their certification coursework. Inadequate mobile support restricts candidates from effectively engaging with the content and leveraging the time spent on their devices, making certification completion more challenging than necessary.
Lack of Learning Personalization
A lack of personalized learning experiences can also contribute to lower certification completion rates. Candidates have unique strengths and preferences, and they need learning solutions that are flexible enough to accommodate individual needs. The 2021 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report shows Gen Z learners' strong inclination toward skills-based online education specific to their career goals (83%) and personal interests (73%), highlighting the need for tailored learning experiences to cater to diverse objectives.
Overreliance on Memorization
A candidate's journey to certification often requires periods of rote memorization, but overreliance on this study technique can lead to short-term memory and reduce their ability to apply concepts in the real world. Instead, a mastery-based learning approach that prioritizes critical thinking and practical application should be adopted. Candidates who rely too much on memorization struggle to comprehend the complexity of the subject matter, impeding their career growth.
Lack of Confidence Tracking
Exam anxiety is a significant barrier to certification completion, as it can lead to lower scores and even dropouts. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), exam anxiety is linked to fear of failure and poor preparation. Without personalized confidence tracking in learning solutions, candidates may not accurately identify their knowledge gaps or areas of uncertainty, exacerbating their anxiety and potentially leading to poorer performance in high-stakes certification exams.
Insufficient Practice Opportunities
However, the most critical barrier to certification completion lies in the scarcity of practice opportunities that accurately reflect the actual exam experience. Comprehensive practice questions and quizzes, covering various formats beyond multiple-choice, are crucial for building confidence and reducing candidate stress and anxiety. Candidates who lack access to realistic practice exams struggle to prepare effectively, ultimately hindering their chances of successful certification completion.
6 Strategies for Supporting Certification Success With a Practice-Oriented LMS
With a use-case-specific LMS designed for personalized certification training and exam practice, you can give your candidates the support they need to break through barriers and obtain their credentials. When candidates feel more confident and engaged while practicing, they are more likely to complete their exams. Providing tailored learning experiences and targeted support, your LMS can empower candidates to better prepare for high-stakes certifications, increasing the likelihood of successful completion.
Here are six ways to achieve this – ideally, your learning management system will be capable of all of them:
1. Deliver an Effective Omnichannel Experience
In today's fast-paced world, modern candidates expect access to course materials around the clock and across various devices. Providing a seamless omnichannel experience that enables your candidates to access content anytime, anywhere, is crucial to helping them achieve their learning goals. You can ensure candidates remain engaged and motivated throughout the certification journey by offering a cohesive learning environment that integrates smoothly with different platforms. This flexibility contributes to a better overall learning experience and increases the likelihood of certification success.
2. Utilize Blended Learning Strategies
Blended learning combines digital and in-person instruction, offering candidates the best of two worlds – traditional and digital learning environments. This approach encompasses webinars, pre-recorded lessons, and online discussion boards catering to diverse learning preferences. By fostering engagement, knowledge retention, and confidence, blended learning allows candidates to study at their own pace and revisit materials as needed. Moreover, the social aspects, such as online discussion boards, maintain peer-to-peer learning benefits. LMSs that deliver blended learning solutions can help candidates to retain information better, a critical aspect of any successful learning strategy.
3. Incorporate Gamification Techniques
Gamification introduces engaging elements like badges and incentive programs, making learning enjoyable and motivating for certification candidates. Gamification increases engagement and productivity by tapping into users' natural competitiveness and desires to win. In fact, 89% of learners report being more productive when their work is gamified. Gamified learning models lead to longer learning sessions and faster performance improvement. By choosing an LMS that supports gamification, you can help maintain high levels of engagement among candidates, ultimately contributing to their learning success.
4. Leverage the Power of Microlearning
Microlearning breaks down complex lessons into smaller, manageable portions, making it easier for busy professionals to balance certification training with other responsibilities. By offering focused, bite-sized content, candidates can absorb and retain information more effectively. Microlearning not only keeps candidates engaged but also improves subject matter retention and allows for quick recall. Integrating microlearning into your LMS can lead to more confident and well-prepared candidates, positively impacting their learning journey.
5. Offer Personalized Learner Paths
Personalized learning paths improve engagement by tailoring the educational experience to individual needs. By utilizing an adaptive learning plan, candidates can follow a customized path that aligns with their strengths and weaknesses. Real-time structured learning plans and progress trackers help candidates manage their time effectively and prioritize tasks. Incorporating remediation tools ensures candidates stay on track and address their areas of improvement.
6. Include Practice Questions and Exams
Incorporating practice exams and questions into your LMS enables candidates to gain confidence and reduce stress while preparing for their certification exams. Providing a mix of question types and simulating real exam conditions, including timers, ensures candidates know what to expect on exam day. Offering both timed practice exams and high-quality practice experiences allows candidates to build mental stamina and focus on areas needing improvement. By prioritizing practice opportunities, your LMS helps candidates feel better prepared, decreasing stress and anxiety on the day of the exam.
Are you ready to tackle dropout rates and boost the success of your certification candidates? Download our comprehensive guide, and uncover proven strategies to keep candidates engaged, motivated, and on the path to credentialing success.