Top 10 Must-Have Features of a Continuing Education LMS (Pt. 1)

When DigitalChalk launched in 2006, we saw an opportunity in the marketplace to create a continuing education platform that could be distributed in a very easy way. It was a massive leap, but we jumped in with both feet and catered to companies for whom training is their lifeblood. These are companies with leaders who craved a platform that went beyond the standard learning management system, and we were the ones who were going to give it to them. 

The trick was ensuring that once we were in that space, we needed to deliver a fair and effective CE program versatile enough to meet our clients’ evolving demands. And that brings us to the point of this blog post.

We invited our CTO Troy Tolle and our VP of Continuing Education Solutions Brett Trainor on the Disruptors & Innovators podcast, where we’ve compiled our Top 10 must-have features of a true continuing education platform.

This post is a two-parter. Below is our first five out of ten features. We will cover the remainder in a future post.

1. eCommerce — The continuing education market is different in that you’re trying to get your course content into the hands of people who need accreditation. They need to prove they have taken these credits, and the people providing that service want to be paid for it. Therefore, an eCommerce engine is essential for a true learning experience. Our clients can create an entire marketplace on top of their CE courses and sell using the DigitalChalk payment gateway or stripe integration. They can put discounts on top of their individual courses or bundles, which gives them a chance to cross-sell and up-sell. Talk about getting your name out there in the marketplace!

2. Multi-Seat Registration — Imagine that you’re a manager, and you need to ensure everybody is trained and up to date with their credit hours for a particular course. Instead of having to go in and purchase one course at a time and then try to dole out the logins for those each time, that same manager can instead go to the landing page, purchase 150 licenses, grab those automatic registrations, and send one mass email. All of this is built into this multi-seat registration and voucher technology, leading to a seamless process from start to finish.

3. Video-based Learning — We developed the video streaming technology ourselves and allowed our clients to upload that video and have it transcribed for multiple devices. Obviously, this makes continuing education courses easy to take no matter where you are — mobile device, iPad, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc. Furthermore, our technology was developed to ensure that the student has to be present watching the video. And we track it down to the second of what they’ve done and even offer checkpoints they must complete before moving forward with the video. This is critical for CE organizations that have to prove that someone has sat through the training.

4. Supporting Multiple Content Standards — Any platform you use for delivering continuing education must support multiple standards like SCORM, AICC, and xAPI since you might be gathering content from different content providers. You need to guarantee that the content you place on your platform is viewable and trackable so that we know exactly who launched it, when they launched it, how they launched it, from what platform, and how long they’ve been using that content?

5. Tests and Proctoring — Continuing education companies need multiple test options (multiple-choice, true or false, graded tests, written answers, downloadable PDFs, etc.) where the limits of the test are defined by the CE provider, not by the platform. It has to have the ability to be mixed up so that it can’t just be copied or the answers posted on the internet somewhere for others to use. No two tests are the same. Furthermore, they need the ability to proctor remotely. This is an extremely important feature considering that more companies are moving into remote learning and testing modes.

Check back next time for the second half of our lists


Author: Brett Trainor

High energy, entrepreneurial executive with successful track record in multi-channel marketing, business development, digital strategy, data and customer management in both startup and fully mature business environments. Track record of driving growth through outstanding marketing, analytics, partnerships, strategic positioning and a keen focus on the prospect/customer journey. I am a firm believer in the power of open ideation, active listening, and collaboration - with employees, colleagues, customers and partners - to drive great results.