Continuing education represents $47 billion of formal training spending in the U.S. After the pandemic, adapting and growing in an online setting is essential, especially for the education industry. Selecting a robust LMS to host your continuing education courses online is the first step to success.
Our LMS experts can make the process of setting up your CEU program online a breeze. To get started tell us about your project or keep on reading to discover what selling Continuing Education Units online entails.
The Value of CEUs
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) recognize and validate the time spent on accredited professional training. Many professionals like accountants, doctors, nurses, teachers and lawyers must meet certain CEU requirements to maintain their credentials.
The main difference between using your e-learning site to sell a random course and providing Continuing Education Units is its accreditation. By becoming accredited by a supervising body, such as the IACET, students can use your course as a way to earn CEUs and maintain their licenses or credentials. Regular LMS certificates don’t carry any official weight, however completing an accredited online course does.
Get Online Continuing Education Courses Accredited
To offer CEUs you must first get accreditation for your online course or courses. You can get your course program accredited by one of the organizations supervising CEUs. Accrediting bodies are responsible for supervising that your courses meet the standards to provide quality continuing education for professionals. These organizations include IACET and ANSI in the US, but can vary according to your country.
Essential Features For Online CEU Programs
In order to host an accredited CEU program online, educators require features that extend standard beyond default LMS capabilities. Besides creating courses, online Continuing Education courses rely on extensive evaluations, robust reporting, credit/unit management and awarding certificates.
Our team of LMS experts can help you hand-pick the best set of features and build a website from scratch to help you best support your CEU program. Here are some of the features you’ll need to host a CEU program online:
Assigning Credit Value to Courses
One of the most important features that support online CEU programs is the ability to assign a specific number of credits to a course. Each CEU is equivalent to a number of training hours. Therefore, if each CEU is 10 hours and your course takes 20 hours to complete, the student should earn 2 credits after successfully finishing the course.
Access to Completion Certificates
Certificates are an essential token of completion for any course and are especially important for CEUS. Customizing the content of each certificate allows you to display state-required CEU information and credit hours.
Content Creation Tools
Your online course should be able to include different types of content to best deliver your continuing education program online. This includes the ability to create multiple courses and lessons with video, text, images or link to audio and pdf files. Evaluations, such as quizzes, and graded assignments are also essential for result assessment.
Monitoring and Management
Online there is always a risk of students cheating or taking advantage of the system. This is very important in continuing education that requires ongoing training for professional licensing. Being able to track your students activity, attendance during live classes, lesson completion and grades is essential.
Additionally, it is important to allow your learners to monitor their own progress and credits. Some information your students might want to keep track of includes the number of earned credits, their quiz and assignment grades and course schedule.
Live Event and Webinar Support
Many continuing education programs include live events or training that take place in real time and allow for student-instructor interaction. In this case you will need to select an LMS that can integrate with your video conferencing tool of choice.
Management for Continuing Education Units
Most CEU programs will require a straight-forward solution to track and report earned credits/units. Each course provides a certain number of credits or units, which the student should be able to submit for accreditation. When tracking and reporting credits, it is important to provide verification and relevant data such as earned and expiry dates.
You can obtain these features using third-party add-ons for some LMS platforms. You can also work with a development team directly to create a tailored CEU reporting and management system.
It’s not all about creating a continuing education program, but about marketing and selling the courses. Your LMS platform should include robust e-commerce capabilities in order to help you effectively sell your courses. Features to look for include support for multiple payment gateways, discount codes or group sales.
User Friendly Interface
There are many programs available for professionals seeking accredited continuing education. It is important to offer a high-quality platform to set your business apart from industry competitors.
An Online CEU Program Case Study
Our team has worked with the UNC Lineberger Cancer Network Learning Portal to help them deliver online continuing education courses that support CE credits online. This organization offers courses for Nursing, Pharmacy and Medical continuing education, which allow learners to earn UNC credits, as well as non-credit courses.
When completing a course, students are able to earn a certificate and UNC credits. Since some of the offerings in their course catalogue are eligible for multiple types of credit, custom development was employed to associate multiple certificates and credit types with a single course. This allows students to select the appropriate certificate for their accreditation according to their study field.
Additionally, learners can access Live Events from the online portal. When completing live training courses, students receive a password to complete an attendance verification quiz, followed by a lecture evaluation. Completion allows students to access a certificate used for accreditation.
What solutions exist out there to help with these features?
Currently, there are a wide variety of Learning Management Systems that can help you host a continuing education program online. Both WordPress hosted platforms, like LearnDash and LifterLMS, and non-WordPress systems, like Moodle, provide you with content creation tools.
Yet there are many factors to consider when choosing the best LMS for your needs and business goals. The LMS platform of your choice will determine the certificate, evaluation, management and live session options available to you. For example, some platforms, such as LearnDash, have ready-made CEU tracking and zoom integration add-ons available on the market. Gamification and social learning features also vary between different platforms.
Selecting the right tools to work with is essential to your project’s success. That’s why our team focuses on finding the best LMS, plugin stack and ready-made or custom solutions for your specific program during the planning and scoping phase.
Need help setting up a CEU program and selling online continuing education courses? Our LMS experts can help you build a website from scratch and select the perfect LMS and plugin stack for your needs. With over 10 years of industry experience, you couldn’t be in better hands!