We live in a time where it has never been easier for education and training leaders across organizations and industries to create courses, issue credentials, and award learners for their success. But, it's also never been harder to grow a successful program as learners are faced with so many different learning pathways that vary in cost, requirements, quality, and portability. 

So, how can organizations create programs that drive learner engagement and course completions? By creating and nurturing a credential flywheel. 

We sat down with credentialing leaders from Workato and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management who have cracked the code of offering courses and digital credentials that their learners want to earn and share. They’ve learned how to increase their credential engagement and social share rates, which has resulted in a flywheel of program growth and returning learners!

Meeting Learners Where They’re At

Julien Clement, Director of Certification and Education at Workato, emphasized meeting (and exceeding!) learner expectations by providing real, tangible value to your courses. 

“There's equity being brought to education that is amplified through digital credentials. The more you can add value to the offerings that you have and get your learners to perceive that value, the stronger your credentials will be in the market,” said Julien.

As an enterprise automation leader, Workato recognized the need to provide credentials that align with the digital nature of their industry, as it's what their learners expect.

Enhancing Accessibility and Flexibility

Carly Weeks, Associate Director of Online Program Delivery at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, shared her organization's digital credentialing journey. With a focus on delivering high-quality online programs for professionals and executives, Carly recognized the need to enhance accessibility and flexibility for learners considering an alternative education pathway.

"Our programs are built for professionals and executives looking to enhance their skills, but for whom traditional in-person programs may not be feasible due to schedule or geographical constraints," explains Carly. "Digital credentials offer a convenient way for learners to showcase their achievements without the need for physical certificates."

Leveraging Digital Credentials for Program Growth

Julien and Carly emphasized digital credentials’ role in driving learner involvement at their organizations. By using analytics and insights provided by digital credentialing management platforms like Accredible, organizations can better understand learner behavior and tailor their credentialing programs to meet their needs.

"We've seen a significant increase in learner engagement and recognition since implementing digital credentials through Accredible," says Julien. "Learners are excited to share their achievements on platforms like LinkedIn, enhancing their professional profiles and opening up new opportunities."

Carly shared that by implementing strategies such as optimizing email subject lines and including clear calls to action, Northwestern has significantly improved their open rates to 80% and credential share rates from 19% to an impressive 92%.

Building on this success, Northwestern is now looking to increase learners sharing their credentials on LinkedIn to reach a wider audience. She emphasized the importance of understanding learner behavior and needs, continuously improving the credentialing process, and using analytics to track learner engagement.

Integrating Credentials for Enhanced Program Value

Julien also shared his insights on implementing a credential flywheel and how he leans on Accredible's analytics to help track learner engagement and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, he uses Accredible’s ability to automatically trigger follow-up emails to recipients who haven't yet opened or engaged with their credentials. By analyzing the learner engagement data to optimize the credential and email experience, Workato has increased its credential share rate by 9% and program learners by a whopping 80%. 

“It’s so important to understand your learners and their behaviors. Don’t underestimate what the data can tell you,” says Julien. “We've built out a pretty great program, and a lot of it is on the back of Accredible with our credentials.”

Both Carly and Julien encourage organizations to take the first step in digital credentialing, even if it's small, and to leverage the support and resources available from Accredible. 

“Just get started and jump in! Accredible has been there to support us through the entire journey. So, it's not nearly as intimidating as it might seem as you’re getting started,” says Carly.

Carly also stated Northwestern plans to use Accredible's skills-tagging feature and explore Pathways to promote skills and programs.

Looking Towards the Future

As the conversation came to a close, Julien and Carly discussed plans for the future of their credentialing programs. From integrating credentials more closely with product proficiency to leveraging advanced Accredible features like Pathways, both organizations are committed to further enhancing the value and impact of their digital credentials.

"In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, digital credentials are set to play an increasingly important role in education and professional development," concludes Carly. "By staying agile and responsive to learner needs, organizations can unlock new opportunities for success and growth."

The conversation between Julien and Carly highlights just how transformative digital credentials can be for your training and education programs if used correctly and intentionally. By embracing digital credentialing, you can enhance accessibility, drive engagement, and create a flywheel of growth that drives revenue and provides learners with valuable recognition for their achievements. 

You can check out the full conversation between Carly, Julien, and Accredible’s Chief Growth Officer Duncan Mitchinson below.