When DigitalChalk officially started in 2006, we saw a market opportunity to establish a continuing education platform that could be easily distributed. It was an undertaking, but we jumped in with both feet and catered to companies who’s passion is continued education. These are companies with leaders who wanted something more than a basic learning management system, and we were the ones who were going to give it to them.
The trick was ensuring that once we were in that space, we could administer a fair and effective CE program that can respond to our clients’ evolving demands. And that brings us to the point of this article.
We have invited our CTO, Troy Tolle, and the VP of Continuing Education Solutions, Brett Trainor, on our Disruptors & Innovators podcast. In this podcast, we have compiled the Top 10 must-have features of a continuing education platform. Below is our first top 5 features, tune in for our second post about the next 5.
1. eCommerce — The continuing education market is different in that you’re trying to get your course content into the hands of people who need accreditation. They must demonstrate that they have taken these credits, and those people that provide the service want to be paid for it. Therefore, an eCommerce engine is essential for a true learning experience. On top of their CE courses, our clients can build a marketplace and sell it using the DigitalChalk payment gateway or a Stripe integration. They can apply discounts on top of their individual courses or bundles, allowing them to cross-sell and up-sell. This is a great way to get your company name out there!
2. Multi-Seat Registration — Imagine that you are a training manager, and you are to ensure everybody is trained and has up-to-date credit hours for a certain course. Instead of purchasing one course at a time and then attempting to distribute logins for those each time, that same manager can instead go to the landing page, purchase 150 licenses, collect those automatic registrations, and send one mass email. All of this is built into this multi-seat registration and voucher technology, resulting in a smooth experience from start to finish.
3. Video-based Learning — We developed the video streaming system ourselves and allowed our clients to upload that video and have it transcribed for multiple devices. Obviously, this makes continuing education courses accessible from any device — mobile device, iPad, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc. Furthermore, our system was developed with the intention of requiring the learner to be present while watching the video. And we track everything they’ve done and even offer checkpoints to complete before continuing with the video. This is crucial for CE providers who must demonstrate that someone has completed the training.
4. Supporting Multiple Content Standards — Any platform you use to deliver continuing education must support multiple standards such as SCORM, AICC, and xAPI since you might be gathering content from different content providers. You must guarantee that the content you publish on your platform is accessible and trackable so that we can determine who published it, when they published it, how they launched it, from what platform, and how long they’ve been using that content?
5. Tests and Proctoring — Continuing education companies require a variety of testing alternatives (multiple-choice, true or false, graded tests, written answers, downloadable PDFs, etc.) with the test boundaries set by the CE provider rather than the platform. It must be able to be mixed up so that the answers cannot simply be duplicated and uploaded on the internet for others to utilize. There are no two tests alike. Furthermore, they also require the capacity to proctor remotely. This is an extremely important feature, especially as more companies are moving into remote learning and testing modes.
Check back next time for the second half of our list