7 Tips To Develop Learner Profiles For Your Next Certification Online Training Course

7 Tips To Develop Learner Profiles For Your Next Certification Online Training Course
Summary: Learner profiles serve the same purpose as customer personas, they help you tailor your approach. Can you really categorize prospective learners in a way that makes your course more personalized?

How To Develop Learner Profiles For Your Upcoming Certification Online Training Course

Some people approach business with a ‘build it and they will come’ mindset. While this sometimes works, you’re more likely to succeed if you develop your product or service with customers in mind. Building a learner profile helps you define that target client, adding value for everyone involved. The online learner will be happy because their course is customized for their needs. And the course developer is happy because they’ve vastly improved their sales slots. Here are 7 tips to develop learner profiles for your next certification online training course.

7 Tips To Create Learner Profiles For Certification Programs

1. Base It On The Certification

There are 3 kinds of certificates: completion, social, and verified. Every course can get a completion or social certificate. Verified certificates have to be stamped and validated by regulatory bodies and legally recognized authorities. Social certificates should be eye-catching since they’re likely to be shared on social media. It could be a colorful icon or a gif. Verified documents should look more conservative and professional. It’s crucial to base your learner profiles on the end goal. What is the type of certification that the learner expects to receive thanks to all their hard work and dedication?

2. Start With Generic Details

The most basic items include age, gender, job title, corporate role, and educational background. Gather this by looking at existing courses, they’re likely to offer data as part of their sign-up. For new prospects, put these fields in a simple registration form. You could also find out which sector they work in, and why they chose it, or how it chose them. Another great way to collect this information is a social media survey or poll. That said, you shouldn’t break any data privacy laws in the process. Make sure that learners know why they’re providing the information and how it will be used.

3. Poll Your Audience

To successfully develop learner profiles, you need to identify their expectations. If you’re asking prospects to fill a form, ask them what they’d like to learn. They can list specific topics, like how to update a CV. Or it could be broader, like how to maintain your car. To get online learners to fill out the form, you’ll probably have to give them an incentive. It could be a discount on their next course or a free eBook. It might even be a ticket to a talk by an industry expert or an invitation to a product seminar.

4. Set Learning Goals

Many adult learners want to know why they should study. Yes, they’ll get a certificate when they finish, but what else will happen? Define goals like: ‘By the end of this course, learners will know how to do XYZ’. Based on their goals, you can categorize learners. Then you can craft lessons that appeal to those segments. You can also use these goals and sub-divisions as part of your SEO strategy. It will help the right prospects find you.

5. Log Learning Preferences

So far, the assumption is we’re using employee surveys to develop learner groupings. As part of the questionnaire, ask them how they prefer to learn. Do they read how-to articles, watch videos, listen to lectures, or dive right in? If they want a mixed-medium experience, what do they want more of and why? For their certification exam, would they like multiple choice questions, simulations, or a long-form thesis? In the latter case, how do they want to defend it? To develop learner profiles, you can’t stop with their goals and objectives. You need to dig deeper to find out what kind of certification online training course experience they’re after and how you can accommodate their unique needs.

6. Gauge Their Tech Levels

eLearning often makes another assumption, that all online learners have the same level of savvy. While we can all probably text and make calls, online learning has a few other elements. Find out how comfortable your online learners are with gadgets. Ask about their internet access, and what devices they prefer to use. This informs the structure of the course, and whether you need navigation tutorials or hardware guides. Develop learner profiles based on their level of tech familiarity so that you can customize your approach. For example, less experienced learners might gravitate to certification online training courses that offer free tutorials or demos on how to use the platform.

7. Find Out Their Strengths And Foibles

Mature learners are probably more self-aware than kids. Ask them what they think their personal pros and cons are in relation to training. This will gauge both their preconceptions and their learning philosophy. Are they worried they’ll procrastinate? Do they see themselves as self-driven? Will they need a suggested timetable or a study buddy? Once you’ve figured out their areas for improvement, use the data to remove distractions in your design and focus their efforts. For example, they have an issue following through after they’ve started something, especially self-guided courses. So, hold them accountable with weekly live event check-ins or peer-based coaching programs.


Creating a learning profile is essential for online training. Digital online training is already an avenue for personalized education, but profiling can bring it even closer to your target. It’s a good marketing strategy, too. For both in-house promotion and eCommerce routes. Design profiles that suit your certification model and begin with standard information. Ask online learners what they’d like to learn, and how they want to learn it. Find out how tech-savvy they are, or aren't, and have them self-identify their strong points and flaws. You should also find out what they think about online training in general. Then you can surpass their expectations and work around their concerns.

Certifications empower employees to track their own achievements and maintain compliance. 10 Online Training Certifications To Add To Your Online Training Program features the top certs to consider for your strategy.