Think about the time you took the written test for your driver’s license: You were probably nervous, with the sweaty palms and weak knees to prove it. You might have felt unprepared because no matter how much you studied, you were left completely at the mercy of a pass or fail grade at the end for whether or not you got your certification.
No one likes taking tests, so why do so many organizations look at certification in the exact same way? They drag learners through the content before being they are tested and assessed. There’s no feedback; no support. You pass or fail and it’s an inherently negative experience. In today’s competitive talent landscape, certification is more important than ever to help learners differentiate themselves. Does that mean everyone is doomed to a driver’s exam experience every time they want to stand out?
We don’t think so. With a shift in the mindset of what getting certified means and how it’s achieved, it’s possible to reinvent the course and stop the cycle of sweaty palms and boring content. Google is doing it–why can’t you?
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Google offers a way to getting certified for those looking to establish their AdSense savvy with their Academy for Ads. Those who are willing to take short, five-minute courses can follow a path that leads to a certificate and proclaims them an expert in Google Ads, giving a professional edge to those in online marketing and content creation.
There are some key differences in the way Google approaches certification to make it less cringe-inducing:
- First, the modules are kept short and sweet, so learners don’t feel like they’re drinking from the hose of information.
- Google also aggregates its modules so they’re applicable to more than just one type of role. From complete newbies to seasoned marketing vets, the certification process looks different for everyone.
- Finally, the designation received at the end of the training actually means something–it’s not just a participation ribbon that anyone can get.
Now, compare that approach to your own certification courses. Are they short and digestible? Do they take into account different levels of knowledge, departments, and roles? Does the resulting designation really set employees apart from their colleagues? If you’re shaking your head no, you may have pinpointed some of the reasons your certification courses aren’t resonating with learners.
Let’s face it: Certification training is traditionally the worst, whether it’s voluntary or required but it is possible to shift gears to attain a higher learning experience. We often help organizations revamp their certification training process so that it’s something learners connect with and, most importantly, see as a valuable part of their L&D journey.
Skip the sweaty palms and all the drama of traditional certification. A fresh look on what certification means and how to deliver the necessary training can save you and your learners from a nail-biting experience. With the right approach, certification can become more marketable, more palatable, and decidedly less sweaty.