Online courses are a solution for people who want to learn something new, dig deeper into a subject they already know, continue their professional development, or earn new qualifications for their careers.
As course creators, we need to ensure an engaging and innovative learning experience that sparks curiosity and boosts motivation. Consequently, course buyers enjoy their learning journey and reach their desired outcomes, which leads to high course completion rates, satisfied customers, and ultimately better sales figures.
Since people do things when they are motivated, course creators should consider the two sides of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. When it comes to online courses, intrinsic motivation is the desire to learn and engage with the content and community for the sake of personal or professional development. In contrast, extrinsic motivation comes in the form of incentives learners receive to boost their desire to reach the learning goals.
Course creators can use short-term incentives such as points, badges, different bonuses like a social media shout-out or a gift, and long-term incentives such as certificates of completion.
8 Reasons to always offer certificates of completion for your online courses
Certificates of completion are verifiable documents that attest learners have completed a certain course. Since they benefit both learners and course creators, let's explore the reasons why you shouldn't skip adding certificates of completion to your courses.
Benefits for the learner
A certificate of completion provides learners with incentives that will boost their motivation to learn and complete a course. It also allows them to showcase their skills and prove their achievements. Here are the advantages of receiving a certificate of completion for learners:
People enroll in online courses to learn and develop personally and professionally. A certificate of completion validates the learning experience, making it real and verifiable for others, such as potential employers, business partners, or customers. That certificate provides credibility to the holder and projects an image of self-discipline and interest in growth and improvement.
Prove acquired skills
Each certificate states the qualifications acquired by the end of the course and acts as proof of the skills a learner has developed. This information can be used in resumes when applying for a job. Although the course may not be accredited, the certificate will demonstrate the learner's diligence towards continuous learning, which is an advantage.
Certificates of completion act as incentives for learners who look forward to receiving recognition for their work at the end of their learning journey. They will be more motivated to complete the course, follow the course requirements, and reach their goals. Learners will experience the certification as a boost of self-confidence, which will open the way to new hobbies or career opportunities.
Make learning official
People want to boast about their accomplishments, and having a certificate of completion will make their learning experience official. The purpose of learning is to enjoy the journey in itself and benefit from the knowledge provided by the course. However, having a document, on paper or online, to legitimize the entire process makes the results visible and tangible.
Benefits for the course creator
Certificates of completion legitimize your course in a pool of e-learning possibilities and promote it to potential customers through higher online visibility and increased learner engagement and performance. Here are four of the benefits course certificates bring to course creators like you:
Legitimize yourself as a course creator
In the world of continuous e-learning development, you need to set yourself apart from other course creators and make a name for yourself in the field. By including certificates of completion in your online course, you will promote it to other potential course buyers.
The purpose of course creation is to have learners finishing courses. To increase completion rates, you need to get them engaged throughout the course using activities, collaboration, and the community of learners, but also provide a long-term incentive such as a certificate of completion.
Increase learner performance
Certificates of completion can significantly impact the learning trajectory of your learners. You can use badges or other incentives throughout the course at the end of each module to motivate learners to be involved and improve their overall performance. More so, you can add a gamification layer to the whole experience, making the certificate of completion the ultimate reward after having collected enough badges.
By encouraging learners to share their certificates and celebrate their accomplishments, you can promote your course to more potential customers. When learners make their results public, they prove that your course is valuable and trustworthy, thus increasing your visibility and, consequently, your sales.
All in all
Certificates of completion are not to be taken lightly. Adding them to your courses proves your learners' skills and validates their results while you benefit from more visibility and, consequently, better sales figures.
Remember that people are motivation-driven and that you can cultivate both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to increase learner performance and make a name for yourself as a course creator.