For most Continuing Education students enrolled in online programs, convenience is critical. A well-organized content management and delivery platform that enables them to complete their CE compliance requirements from start to finish makes all the difference. And having streamlined access to particular tools within that platform makes their lives a heck of a lot easier.
But not all content management and delivery platforms are created equally. In fact, there are many systems out there that are not built with CE in mind at all. So ask yourself this question: are your Continuing Education eLearners able to quickly access what they need? To be able to answer this question with a resounding yes, ensure these five elements are included on the platform’s dashboard or navigation!
1. Upcoming and Recently Attended Programs and Events
Does your Continuing Education platform allow you to easily build your own custom course catalog or content library? This type of catalog view should showcase upcoming live events, as well as existing OnDemand events. But it’s also helpful if the system can be automated to display recently attended programs and any other events that would fall in the same category or educational track.
In fact, the ability to sort and filter by these categories or tags is very helpful to eLearning end users. In a CLE context, for example, the ability to quickly identify all upcoming programs that offer general credits, ethics credits, or specialty credits helps attorneys enrolled in CLE get to what they need at the drop of a hat. Having these capabilities enables them to readily access specific material in order to meet their compliance requirements without having to dig through the catalog manually and read every course description.
Your CE platform should not only support content delivery but also the management of administrative tasks. One particularly important aspect of this functionality is housing all of an individual user’s Continuing Education certificates in one expedient location. From there, learners who have completed their CE should be able to speedily email and/or print a carbon copy of each certificate. This may sound simple, but it’s absolutely essential.
Again, we’ll draw an example from the world of Continuing Legal Education—where every state and province has their own compliance requirements. And the accompanying expiry dates associated with different credit types vary as well. Yes, certificate delivery should automatically happen upon completing a CLE course, but not every end user is going to immediately use it or report it. When that time comes, you’d be surprised how many attorneys can’t find where they stored the actual printed certificate (it’s a more common scenario than you might think!). So having a reliable place to go to retrieve these official documents can truly be a life saver.
3. Quiz Grades
While this isn’t the case for every industry, a classic Continuing Education workflow is likely going to include some form of a post-course quiz. In most cases, these quizzes can be instantly and automatically graded, and there is a scoring range that any given eLearner needs to fall into in order to pass their certificates.
Now let’s look at an example from the CPE world—namely, in the accounting field. In order to receive an OnDemand credit for a particular course, you typically need to pass a quiz with a specific grade (around 75-80%). Once the program participant goes through their workflow and takes the quiz, they, of course, need to be able to access those grades. In many instances, these quizzes are pass/fail. So it’s very helpful for the end user to not only see if they succeeded or not but also the reasons why.
4. Professional Memberships
Many eLearners enrolled in Continuing Education programs are also active members in professional associations and societies. Therefore, it’s a huge plus if they’re able to securely store information about these professional memberships directly within the platform. Why, you ask? One convenience that is allotted to CE program participants is auto-filling membership information for events if or when this is required.
Let’s use another scenario to illustrate this point: a lawyer in a particular state might have to obtain 24 credits in a two-year cycle. Every state has their own MCLE (Mandatory Continuing Legal Education), and lawyers are required to obtain a certain amount of credits for their compliance, or they risk getting disbarred. They also have memberships that they obtain at the end of the compliance period. So when they finish an event and go through that submission process, having that professional membership data already inputted into the system allows for the correct corresponding certificate (for the right state) to be automatically populated and delivered on their behalf.
5. Credits Earned
Finally, it’s important that your CE delivery platform or LMS provides a view of which credits an end user has earned when completing their certificates. In many Continuing Education contexts (certainly for CLE), every state or province has their own respective credit requirements to meet. While participants should be aware of these requirements and be able to look them up on their professional association’s or organization’s website, having access to the number of credits and the type of credits they’ve earned from within their CE platform dashboard is a big help.
If you have any questions about other Continuing Education essentials or technology and trends related to the industry, feel free to reach out to us directly. We’re happy to help! We also have an entire resource on this topic… The Ultimate Guide to Delivering a Compelling Continuing Education Experience to Today’s eLearners.
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