Certificates in education are essential, whether it’s a certificate earned to mark a childhood milestone or the one you are handed when you graduated from university. They are rewards to students and stand as a piece of evidence that confirm an important accreditation.
The same goes for online courses: Certification can add value to any program, from company training to art studios. Course certificates add value to your course, allowing you to sell it for more but also add a sense of achievement to your students.
A professional certificate can also be used to get a job, earn a higher salary or a promotion! According to a PwC’s report, the skills shortage is costing private businesses up to €414 billion in lost revenues annually. Getting the required training and having proof of it can help a lot to progress professionally.
What online courses can do about it is offer that training. On top of that, they can help students show evidence of such skills acquisition through certificates, which appears to be an excellent solution for the case.
Certificates add value to your course and is a great incentive for your students to finish the course and receive a certificate of completion.
So, are you ready to add a certificate to your course?
Why is it useful?
Offering a certificate as part of a course is another way of showing that you care about your students and that you are willing to go the extra mile for them. Certificates though aren’t only beneficial for your students, but also your online school and business in the long run.
Improve Student Engagement & Motivation
Certificates have been shown to improve student engagement and course completion rates. Why? Students like receiving diplomas and documents as proof of acquiring further knowledge.
This is why setting the goal of downloading one more certificate for their portfolio gives your students an additional incentive for completing the course. Hence, this is a nice trick to reduce drop-outs significantly.
Note that students can share the course certificates they earn in your school in their LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter profiles directly from LearnWorlds (how sharing certificates works) with just one click! Your course will become viral and attract more and more eyeballs and sales.
Tracking Performance in Training Courses
Earning a certificate is a great way to understand how many of your students have finished a course. It allows the student to feel the completion as a sense of achievement and the instructor to separate successful completions from students that dropped off along the way.
If you are selling training to corporations, it’s also a great way to present the information. A certificate can be printed, shared with the HR department or the managers of the company.
Provide Verifiable Training Services
The credibility of your course increases when you provide certificates. Use certificates to document professional development credits or hours. Companies are more likely to choose you instead of other schools for corporate training.
If you hold a company, you can create your own school and require a certain number of people certified or have a 30-hour training. Or, perhaps you can set a certain amount of training courses before employees can advance. This way you will be reassured your employees hold the right qualification.
Generally, it’s a good idea to reach out to professional awarding-bodies to make sure that you provide a high-quality training service. For example, you can offer CPE training with LearnWorlds, (continuous professional education). Make sure that you research your local government’s requirements or professional associations before you are ready to offer the CPE certification and to whom.
Students may prefer your course over other courses if you provide a certification because it is an important career building block. Employers regularly use certifications as selection criteria for hiring and promotion and are willing to pay certified professionals more for them. The credentials define a clear career ladder from beginner to expert, validating qualifications at each career stage.
Improves an Academy’s Branding
Going the extra mile for your students and offering them a certificate, essentially reflects your own success as an online instructor.
Just, think about it: The more professional the service you offer appears to be, the more you are likely to take care of those small details that make the difference to your course.
And, every certificate proudly presented by your students increases the visibility of your brand name. Awareness is the first step to creating a global branding.
Type of certificates
Certificates range depending on the purpose of their creation. What is rather helpful to distinguish is that there are two main types of certificates:
Certificate of Completion: this is awarded to students when they complete the course learning units or are getting a passing grade in all the course examinations.
Certificate of Knowledge: this is awarded at the end of the course duration once the tuition is completed and requires passing a final exam that is designed especially for this purpose.
Read more on the difference between the two certificates here.
With LearnWorlds, you can offer the ability to your students to share their certificates on social media. Also, you have the option to link and share certificates on LinkedIn’s AddToProfile’s service and offer them to your students.
Course Certificate Templates / Training Certificate Templates
Below, there is a list of 10 examples of different types of certificates to add to your online courses or training to get inspired by.
Created with Word (Office.com)
As you can see, certificates may range in style, fonts, and colors. This has much to do with the brand you want to create for your courses and as a whole for your school. For example, do you need it to have a conservative look or a modern touch? Pay attention to this and try to retain an image that reflects the personality and the teaching style of your school.
However, make an effort to make it a grand occasion each time your students get awarded with one. An example would be, using different colours for the certifications of Level 1 to distinguish it from Level 2 certification or try any other variation that arises out of these.
Some certificates also present fewer information than others. It’s really up to you what you are going to include but we suggest that it includes at least the following basics ingredients:
The following example shows what the final template of a Certificate of Knowledge with all the essential information can look like:
Retaining an accuracy on these elements can help to present a certificate that includes all the information it needs, boosting the credibility of the course and its authority in the market while boosting the branding value of your school altogether.
Tools on Creating Certificates
Fortunately, there are tons of resources and tools to help you create certificates. Out of the most valued ones that are recognized in the area of design are the following:
PowerPoint: the most popular and easiest method to create certificates that suit your tastes – and your students.
Canva: with the drag and drop tool that Canva offers you can create visually attractive certificates using a range of ready-made templates and features.
Edraw: offers downloadable software that allows you to create any type of certificate choosing a traditional or a modern certificate template.
How to Create a Course Certificate in LearnWorlds
Creating a certificate using an attractive, high-quality template will help your completion program look professional. LearnWorlds uses PDF templates with fields corresponding to data (e.g., username, course title, etc.).
When a student completes the course, they are directly taken to their certificate of completion. Additionally, an email is sent to the student with a link to their certificate.
Another important thing you will love is that certificates of completion can be accessed not only at your online school and the mobile site but also through its mobile apps so students can access their certification from anywhere!
Certificates as Event Triggers
With Zapier, you can set an automated action to follow-up a certificate. You might want to send the student an email, a gift, a discount code or another action.
You can also automatically send an email to congratulate your students once they have mastered the certificate or document their data in an excel file.
Or, you can also automate access to specific material, another course or part two of the same course only after they have completed the first course (like a learning path sequence).
This is the best time to reach out and sell another course. Use the certificate of completion as an event trigger and send your students an email or sms with a discount code!
What’s awesome about certificates is that they are made so simple and can travel the world so fast and make your students accredited within just a day, like literally!
Offering a course certificate to your learners is an add-on and valuable service for your online school. Not only can it offer thorough and in-depth knowledge in the course subject you teach, but it also ensures that you offer a good quality of education.
So, how about you? Are you going to offer your students the option to become certified? Let us know your thoughts!
Further reading you might find interesting:
Anthea is a Course designer and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team. She holds years of experience in instructional design and teaching. With a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Modern Teaching Methods & ICT (Information & Communications Technology), she supplements her knowledge with practical experience in E-Learning and Educational Technology.
Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team with more than three years of experience in digital marketing. Graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a Guidance degree, she has equipped herself with hands-on experience in education management and career guidance.