5 Common Errors To Avoid When You Create Online Training For Skill-Based Certifications

Create Online Training For Skill-Based Certifications
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Summary: Certificates and skill-based testing are both key parts of online training. Are there any potentially detrimental mistakes you can avoid right from the design stage?

What To Avoid When Creating Online Training For Skill-Based Certifications

As kids, we were excited about certificates for races, first aid demos, or practical classes. It felt good to do something physical and have tangible proof of success and competence. There’s a little kid lurking inside all of us. And while we perform adult tasks all day, we rarely get acknowledged for it. So, when you’re training a team online, focus on the task and give them something to celebrate. Carefully design your evaluation modules, assessing each task separately. This gives them a chance to win more certificates. What mistakes should you avoid when you create online training for skill-based certifications?

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1. Inadequate Tracking

A certificate course might be awarded in-house or it could be an industry standard. Depending on its scope, it could be a cursory completion certificate. Or a universally acknowledged diploma, validated by a recognized, regulatory body. The third—and easiest—option is a basic certification badge that employee training participants can share on social media. It’s purely for bragging rights and won’t necessarily be recognized outside your organization. Still, whatever certificate is in use, you need to track when it’s awarded.

Why does this matter? By tracing how often certificates are issued, you can gauge the pace of the course. Online courses are flexible and self-paced, but if your whole class is trudging along, the online course may be too complex. If a single employee finished in record time, you may need to design something tougher for them that harvests their full potential. At the other extreme, employee training participants may be taking too long to finish or dropping out altogether. They might need additional resources or personal attention to improve their performance.

2. Direct Translation

This phrase usually refers to language. It’s when you do a word-for-word conversion from one language to another. In a literal sense, the translation is correct, but context and grammar can make it unintelligible. In the space of online courses, direct translations happen when you take a textbook and digitize it by scanning every page. True digitization involves restructuring, summarizing, and adding interactive elements. It also involves making it convenient for mobile, for which PDF is not. You must not only cover the basics but give learners a chance to apply their knowledge. For example, it’s not enough to simply reiterate a task manual. You need to encourage them to use the skills and information they just learned to complete the task via a simulation or branching scenario.

3. Taking Design For Granted

In compliance context, certification is a legal requirement. Your "certificate" could actually be a—renewed—license that allows you to work in your field. In other situations, your certificate could make you eligible for a new job or a promotion. Whether they're regulatory, social, or cosmetic, certificates are a motivational factor. They encourage employees to push through the online course. So, after all their effort, they want a piece of paper—or digital file—they’re proud to show off. If the certificate is hastily cobbled together, they can see no effort went into it. Then they’re less invested in the online course itself.

Certificates don’t have to be award-winning or time-consuming. But be sure to design something employees would be proud to have on their walls or portfolios. Even with eLearning templates, make it beautiful and stylish. Even if it’s just an in-house document, have the boss sign it personally. Maybe even add a wax seal. This makes certification aspirational, and your employees will put much more effort into attaining it. Also, it’s worth printing the certificate out and having a little graduation ceremony offline. It’s good for morale.

4. Not Targeting The Right Skills

One of the costlier online training errors is not doing your homework. You need to know what the skill gaps are, why they exist, and how to remedy them through skill-based certifications. Before you create online training courses, conduct a Training Needs Analysis to figure out which talents you should focus on. This might involve on-the-job observations, LMS report evaluations, or employee surveys. For instance, a high percentage of employees are unable to handle a customer complaint during an online training simulation. Their performance gives you all the data you need to identify undisclosed gaps. Then you can use your findings to create online training courses that center on relevant skills. This improves on-the-job productivity and employee self-confidence.

5. Overlooking The Importance Of Social Interactions

Developing skills requires self-initiative. Employees have to know their weak points and be motivated enough to address them. However, it’s not a solo activity. In fact, you should incorporate some social interactivity when you create online training for skill-based certifications, such as live events, group collabs, social media groups, and peer-based eLearning feedback sessions. Give employees the opportunity to help others build skills based on their strengths, as well as bridge personal gaps by benefiting from the experiences of their coworkers.

The advantage of skill-based certifications in corporate eLearning is that you can see how quickly or effectively your online course is performing. This can be an added benefit for skill-based appraisal because employees have to excel in multiple aspects before certificates are awarded. eLearning course design can be a huge factor for the completion, both in relation to content and the certificate itself. What common errors should you dodge throughout your eLearning design process? Automate the issuing of certificates, then closely watch how quickly your employee training participants earn them. Don’t just xerox offline courses into online ones without customizing them first. Put your heart into certificate design, but use beautiful, branded eLearning templates to save time and money.

Do you know which eLearning authoring tool is right for your next online training course? What should you look for in your new LMS? Get our eBook Cost-Effective And Custom-Tailored: A Comprehensive Guide To Create Online Courses With Limited Resources to learn everything you need to know about custom eLearning course creation, including tips on how to develop online training on a tight timeline and design principles to bear in mind.