The education industry is changing. Traditional education is slowly fading out and traditional credentials are stagnating in value. Motivate your students to pursue continuous learning through digital credentials.
Before we get into continuous learning, we need to understand why it’s become necessary. In the not-so-recent past, traditional education used to be enough to kickstart your career and keep it going. People got an undergraduate degree in a competitive and high-demand sector, a few got a graduate degree to become an expert in their field, and one or two go on to finish a Ph.D. and contribute back to their industry.
But with recent developments in the education industry, job employers are expecting more from potential candidates. They want them to have multiple credentials to back their skills and abilities, and yet, that could take years of time in someone’s life, and most people don’t have that kind of time.
This changing workforce has increased the demand for continuous learning in order to remain relevant in the global job market. Most organizations believe that their employees need to reskill or upskill once or twice every year in order to maintain their competitive edge. This is where digital credentials come into play. Organizations can use this demand to promote a culture of continuous learning and increase motivation for lifelong learning among their employees and students by using digital credentials
What exactly is continuous learning and why is it so important?
Continuous learning, continuous education, or lifelong learning is the process of developing new skills, learning new concepts, and gaining new experiences throughout your life, for either personal or professional reasons. It can be self-taught, instructed through a course and a teacher, within an organization, etc.
It’s incredibly beneficial to individuals who are in their professional life by allowing them to gain new skills and knowledge that can improve their profile and in turn, career. They might decide to pursue continuous learning so that they can become more competent at their job, be eligible for a promotion, or even switch career paths.
It helps professionals stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, or simply just satisfy their desire to learn.
Benefits of Continuous Learning for Organizations
Developing a learning culture in your organization is an effective way to improve your company’s overall performance and promote employee engagement. The more competent the workforce is, the more that they can help in improving the growth of the organization. Organizations that invest in learning, training, and development see better retention and satisfaction among their employees. They see this as the company willing to invest in their career development, and in turn, motivate employees to work better for their company.
How do digital credentials promote this?
Learner preferences are changing and issuers need to respond to the increasing demand for high-quality learning environments and experiences. Candidates are less engaged by long-form lectures, they want gamified, short-form learning opportunities that enable them to upskill or reskill faster – 67% of learners prefer gamified classes and learning experiences over traditional education methods while 83% of workers who received gamified training reported increased motivation. We live in an always-on, ‘one-click’ world and candidates no longer want to wait days or weeks for their certificates. They want to celebrate their achievements at the moment with their peers, friends, and family and showcase their new skills on social media.
An Enhanced Learning Experience
Digital credentials enhance the learning experience by providing instantly deliverable rewards that are received by email moments after the candidate has met the target goal criteria, whether it’s achieving a passing mark on an exam, completing a module, or successfully submitting an assessment. Their digital credentials are verifiable in one click, without the need to await a response from credentialing departments or request additional, sometimes costly, transcripts. Gamification can be done using digital credentials. The delivery of digital badges for individual module completion leads to a final digital certificate for completing the program.
The Need for Easy-to-Pursue Learning
Degrees have been expensive to obtain and take between 2 – 4 years to complete. And yet, they still don’t fully prepare candidates for the increasing job segmentation and are often very out of reach for learners and professionals who already have work or family commitments. Universities and colleges following traditional education conventions have seen that their enrollments are down by a significant margin since the start of the pandemic. Learners are seeking affordable, targeted courses that reward them equally for the amount of effort that they put in. They want to fill in the holes and gaps in their skillset and improve their abilities as well as gain opportunities to enter specialized roles.
Accessible and Targeted Education
Digital credentials help to make education more accessible to a wider audience. With Hyperstack’s per-unique recipient pricing, it becomes more cost-effective for issuers to break their programs into manageable micro-learning opportunities – No matter how many credentials a recipient earns within a billing cycle, the issuer only spends 1 credit. The issuer can also offer versatile courses with stackable micro-credentials that enable candidates to pursue the level of skill they need. This enables candidates to build a portfolio that accommodates a specific level of complexity in a topic or across multiple topics.
For example, an individual looking to progress their competence in Microsoft Office products may need to understand the basics of Excel but need to reach an expert level of knowledge in Powerpoint. Organizations benefit from targeted training that allows their employees to put their skills into practice faster without creating wasted training spend and time as a result of broad training programs. Candidates gain access to a more affordable education that enables them to learn about their life-work commitments.
How can education institutions use digital credentials to motivate continuous learning?
The first step is ensuring you own all the credentials tied to you as the issuer, so recipients know your brand conveys value. Typically, physical credentials are out of the issuer’s control once they have been received by candidates. If the issuer needs to revoke a credential, they have to trust the candidate to return or destroy their certificate.
If the issued physical credential expires, they have to trust the recipient will return and update their knowledge rather than spoof or edit the expiration date, which can be easily done through photo editing programs. Physical and PDF credentials both have a low barrier to fraud which can lead to harm to the issuing organization’s reputation.
Protecting the Value of Career-Advancing Credentials
Digital credentials have a high barrier to fraud, especially blockchain certificates and badges which are effectively impossible to hack and require more computing power than is currently available in the world to make unauthorized edits. Digital credentials provide increased control. Issuers can set expiration dates on their credentials which prompts an automated email to the recipient when the credential is nearing expiration and again once the expiration date has passed. The credential is updated with a clearly visible ‘expired’ banner and can no longer be verified once it is past the expiration date. This motivates candidates to return to keep their career-advancing credentials up-to-date. Issuers can also easily revoke credentials where necessary.
Digital credentials help issuers re-engage alumni and motivate continued education by meeting the changing demands of candidates for gamified learning experiences that can be undertaken around work-life commitments. The savings gained in time and spending from switching to digital credentials and per-unique recipient pricing makes it more cost-effective for issuers to break programs into manageable microlearning modules that facilitate targeted learning.
The ability to automate credential issuance through integration with learning management systems (LMS) provides more time for engaging students elsewhere in their learning journey. The increased control over credential expiration and validity increases the visibility of out-of-date credentials, encouraging learners to return and refresh their skills, and helping to drive revenue and program growth.
Digital credentials support issuers to enhance the learning journey and motivate students to pursue continuous learning for the benefit of their professional development. They gain a passion for learning whether those learning programs are delivered through in-person environments, online learning, or hybrid environments