E-Learning Industry Watch: Rise of Online Certifications

Online courses are being taken more seriously as higher education and professional training groups offer accredited distance learning programs.

Online learning has been steadily growing over the past decade. In fact, I can remember a time when people use to scoff at the idea of earning a degree online, but now it is common place.

The increased expectation that educational opportunities are available in an online format means that more industries are getting “into the game”. No longer do we just see higher education offering degree programs, but now we see professional disciplines offering certifications remotely.

I fully expect to see this trend continue to grow in the future. Specifically, accredited training programs with a large (mostly) online component.

With this rise will come innovation in the space. For example, there will likely be an increased need for online proctoring for exams – though I am speculative at the long-term “staying power” of such services (surely there will be technical advances that make this obsolete).

Opportunity for Assessments

One area that is poised to benefit from the online certification space is quizzing.

At some point an online learner has to take an exam for a certification. Many of today’s systems only use multiple choice questions. I suppose this gets the job done but it’s pretty one-dimensional and one reason why quizzing is getting more robust.

But there are other possibilities beyond the question types.

For example, I can see a need for online assessments to begin to measure behavior. Simulated activities related to your field that are preformed online. I think this is a perfect area for Tin Can API to show its strength.

There is a lot of attention given to flashy online course features like gamification and social learning. Online certifications tend to lack the same appeal, but it too is growing industry as more professional niches recognize the importance of offering online accreditation.

Author

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

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