CE Tracking Trouble? These Improvements Empower Learners
Nowadays, software that helps continuing education (CE) learners monitor their status aren’t exactly novel. Learners expect to use that kind of software.
But many online CE tracking solutions offer limited options. For example, some products help learners view a list of completed CE activities but don’t do much beyond that. Other CE software might show learners which events they’re scheduled to attend but fail to integrate with registration tools or display payment history.
To build upon CE tracking, many education providers are offering learners a more comprehensive interface for managing CE. The result is an integrated experience that doesn’t depend on multiple applications or offline communication.
Printable transcripts and certificates: incredibly simple, yet remarkably valuable
Before transitioning to a CE-focused learning management system (LMS), AHC Media’s learners had a hard time getting certificates. For one thing, the process wasn’t automatic – they couldn’t just generate a certificate following completion of an online CE activity. There also wasn’t a way to easily generate certificates for different accreditation types, something AHC Media’s learners needed.
According to company CEO and Publisher, David Fournier, learners’ difficulties in getting those certificates had become a sore point. Something clearly had to change.
With the new LMS, learners can generate certificates themselves without intervention by the provider. They can also print their own certificates – paper copies of any certificate are just a few clicks away.
If your learners request paper copies of transcripts or certificates, transforming that process into a self-service exercise is a fantastic enhancement to CE tracking. Besides just seeing a list of what they’ve done, learners can grab an official transcript on their own without going through a lengthy request process.
Offering printable documents probably doesn’t sound very revolutionary. In some industries, it’s not. But many CE providers – even those with tracking applications for learners – still don’t have a simple system for learner self-management of certificates and transcripts. By transitioning to software that includes that functionality, you can make CE management significantly easier for learners, not to mention internal staff.
Lists of complete CE activities? How about content and test scores?
Imagine you’re a CE learner. A few weeks back, you completed a very enlightening, topically relevant online activity. You’d love to review some of the content from that activity to help you with a problem you’re having at work. Can you?
If you’re using a typical CE tracking application, probably not.
As a provider, how great would it be to offer learners an easy way to access content for completed activities? More than just a value-added feature, the ability to review CE activity content can help learners on a day-to-day basis. Any time they have a problem that relates to a completed activity, they can seek solutions right away by logging in and pulling up the content.
It’s a lot more useful than just listing the titles of completed activities and ending the conversation.
While you’re at it, why not let them see how well they performed on the post-test that follows a given online activity? Reviewing test scores helps learners understand shortcomings better prepare for future CE activities.
One login. Every online CE tool.
If your learners use other online CE tools in addition to CE tracking, they’re probably juggling multiple username/password combinations. Many providers rely on different software or websites for:
- Live event or meeting registration
- Learner profiles and CE recordkeeping
- Transcript and/or certificate processing
- Content delivery for enduring materials or journal CE
- News and updates related to CE
Even after integrating many of those features as part of a single LMS, learners might still have to log in to your website to handle certain tasks – things that might or might not actually relate to CE. That’s where single sign-on becomes really valuable. Instead of logging into, say, three different websites or applications in one go, learners can log into one application and do everything.
Consider a learner who wants to perform four tasks:
- Update her membership information on your website; maybe she wants to change her address or modify her title
- View a list of upcoming live meetings and browse online activities
- Register and pay for at least one event
- Complete all or part of a journal-based CE activity
How many places will she need to log in? Let’s count.
To update membership info, she’ll need to log in to your website. That’s one place. Then she might need to log into your CE tracking system to see upcoming events and online activities. Ok, two places. After that, she’s got to register for an event. If you use a third-party service for that, she’ll need to log in a third time. Then she’ll have to go back to your website to work on that journal-based activity. If she closed the browser tab, she might have to log in yet again.
That’s three or four different logins. Not exactly a seamless learner experience, is it?
Single sign-on helps learners get things done faster and with less confusion. When they log into your website, they’re also logged into your LMS for CE. Assuming your LMS integrates tools for registration, activity listings, and content delivery (it should), learners won’t need to switch browser tabs or dig out additional passwords just to complete simple tasks.
They’ll finish their CE quickly, which is what they wanted all along.
It’s still CE tracking, only upgraded. Big time.
CE software should offer learners a totally comprehensive experience and empower them to manage everything in one place. Instead of just having them “track” progress, why not make it easy to log in (just once), view content and test scores, and print certificates? That’s what CE tracking can become at your organization.
And when you offer those features as part of a comprehensive LMS, learners will also be able to register for events and complete new online activities within the same software. It’s a one-stop shop instead of a drawn out process that requires multiple software applications and lots of waiting around.
Transferring some responsibilities to learners – certificate generation, test score review – helps providers, too. When you’re not handling those things yourself, you can focus on more important tasks, like creating valuable new CE activities.
It’s a far cry from simple CE tracking, and that’s a good thing.