Continuing education (CE) has become increasingly more relevant in today’s professional world as jobs become more competitive and government licensure requirements remain stringent. Continuing education provides the necessary tools and training for workers to learn how to become more effective, in addition to imparting domain-specific knowledge across a variety of fields, such as law (CLE), medicine (CME) and accountancy (CPE), among others.
In order to stay competitive and grow your business’s bottom line, as a continuing education provider you must embrace new and improved technology as well as incorporate it into your continuing education courses. Although traditionally continuing education has taken place in brick-and-mortar locations, over the years eLearning has proven itself as both an attractive supplement and alternative to in-person training by offering an improved and convenient student user experience via online distance learning that has consistently delivered positive results for busy working professionals.
Student user experience is an important eLearning benefit, a key component of that being students easily accessing course materials online on their own schedule. The creation of engaging digital content coupled with interactive assessments of student performance, whether via quizzes, assignments or discussions (or all of the above), together give students a productive learning experience. Naturally, choosing the best eLearning platform to deliver your courses is critical to ensuring your students have the best student user experience.
When it comes to finding a platform that supports continuing education licensure compliance as well as promotes a top-notch experience for your users, we recommend looking for the following components in a platform:
1 Intuitive UX
To support a wide variety of students and allow your business to continue to grow, it is important that your platform’s UX be attractive, user-friendly and intuitive in its navigation.
2 Customizable & Automated Certificate Generation
As course, licensing or accreditation numbers (and other criteria) may be required, certificates must be customizable per federal, state and regional CE accrediting body requirements. Upon completion of a course, the added benefit of certificates automatically generated and sent to students provides convenience access to important documentation.
3 Sell Courses to Organizations and Companies
Leverage additional revenue streams with a platform feature to sell CE courses to organizations for employees and members. Define pricing, course access and number of class seats, as well as designate an organization-level group course manager to oversee enrollment and view student progress.
4 Automatic Electronic Transmission of CE credits to Licensing Bodies
Providing both peace of mind and convenience to CE students, your platform should offer the option to electronically transmit earned CE credits to associations or governing bodies overseeing CE licensure programs.
5 Platform Customizations
Your platform’s functionality should adapt to your needs: using a platform vendor who offers software customization as a service provides the flexibility needed over the long term as your needs and industry standards change.
6 Custom Platform Integrations
Saving you both time and money, working with a platform vendor who offers custom-built platform integrations for the different software applications you rely on simplifies your business’s processes while optimizing operational efficiencies.
7 Course Locking
To ensure every student is actively engaged while taking their course, course locking freezes a course if inactivity is detected or students stop interacting with course material.
8 eCommerce Integration (and Flexibility)
Your platform should process a variety of payment options, including promotional coupon codes, payments with credit cards, PayPal and custom-built eCommerce solutions.
9 Course Restriction Controls
To ensure students are not skipping content and course material is absorbed, it is important that components of a course can have restrictions applied via instructor controls.
10 Dynamic Course Management and Content Creation
Seamlessly build and manage courses while creating engaging, eye-catching course content. Import a variety of mediums (PDF, PowerPoint, video and more) and easily arrange content in a visually appealing, intuitive UX to promote student retention.
11 Rich Media
A picture is worth a thousand words: in order to engage and hold student attention be sure your LMS platform supports video, animation, gamification and other interactive content.
12 Live Webinar
In eLearning the closest experience to a traditional classroom setting is a live webinar attended by students and instructors. As a viable alternative to in-person classroom instructions, your platform should offer a robust live webinar solution native to the LMS. Click here to read a case study of a continuing education provider utilizing webinar instruction in their own custom built eLearning platform.
13 Social Learning
Whether via a social media integration or students in the platform interacting on message boards and live webinars, interaction between learners and teachers is a fundamental element to the educational process which promotes student engagement and reinforces course content.
14 Course Timer
A course timer tracks time spent by students in segments and courses as a whole: establish baselines by tracking average times spent in a course, show on an individual student level how long is spent studying course material and also how students are progressing in specific course areas.
15 Identity Verification
Is the student taking the course the same student who signed up for the course? An identity verification feature fulfills CE accrediting body requirements and lends credibility to the courses and platform.
If you are interested in creating an online learning platform for your continuing education business, then Academy Of Mine may be the right solution for you. You can view our platform features and pricing here, and read about our popular Managed Service Plans here, which are designed to provide prioritized customer support, platform management as well as customized platform feature development for your specific needs.
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