At this point, you probably know what eLearning is, and you probably know what an LMS is, and you’re interested in them. And that’s why you’re here.
What you don’t know, and what you want to know, is what the top LMS offering online certificates courses are, and if you should get one of them – or why you should get one of them.
And you’ve come to the right place.
There are different types of certifications in eLearning, including the:
- Certificate of completion
- Certificate of achievement
- Certificate of award/title
- Certificate of credit transfer
- Social certificate
- Verified certificates
These different types of certificates will mean slightly different things for the ones who earn them.
Benefits of Online Training Courses With Certificates
So why should you worry about getting an LMS offering online courses with certificates?
Because of the benefits! Duh.
The benefits can be divided into general benefits of learning management systems and online training courses, like the cost-efficiency, customization, and scalability of LMS, and convenience and interactivity of online courses.
But the main benefit of completing online courses with certificates is having that tangible reward, which acts as proof of and motivation for completing a course. And that will bring slightly different benefits depending on the type of certificate.
Certificate of Completion
A certificate of completion is a certificate you get upon course completion. It’s considered the most common type and is typically downloadable and printable. The certificate acts as proof that you’ve completed the course. If you were completing the course as part of required training, you can show it to your boss to confirm you’ve done the course.
Other benefits include it being a tangible reward you can keep for completing the course, and acting as motivation to complete the course.
Certificate of Achievement
A certificate of achievement is a certificate you get for the achievement of some sort. It doesn’t necessarily have to pertain to finishing something, like a certificate of completion. In terms of an online course, a certificate of achievement will be attached to a certain goal – maybe achieving a learning objective or another goal outlined in the course.
Benefits attached to certificates of achievement rather than just the tangible reward is that rather than being proof you’ve completed a course, it’s proof you’ve achieved something within the course. A good certificate of achievement will outline what it is you’ve achieved.
Certificate of Award/Title
A certificate of award/title is more official than the previous two discussed. This type of certificate establishes competency and capacity in a certain skill or subject. To be able to attach this type of certificate to a course, your business has to be part of a professional body that defines standards for skill-based titles and awards.
An added benefit to this type of certificate is the recognition it will get due to its more official nature. This type of certificate isn’t just proof you’ve completed any old course. It's an official recognition of knowledge or skill, to some degree.
Certificate of Credit Transfer
This type of certificate is used for educational institutions, as it allows you to transfer credits between schools. Obviously, this is a very relevant, official, and important certificate for students transferring schools. However, it’s not one just anybody can attach to their courses. It needs to be recognized by educational institutions like universities.
Social certificates are shareable on platforms like social media. Other than the reward and proof benefits already established, a social certificate is good advertising, for the knowledgeability of your employee and business, and for the course itself.
Verified certificates are issued to those who pass an exam supervised by a recognized examination body. For this to be relevant for an online course, it would need to prepare learners for an official exam, or you’d need to develop an exam you got recognized and supervised by an examination body for when learners completed your course.
Benefits of this type of certificate, much like the certificate of award/title, include a certain level of prestige or official recognition of knowledge that other certificates on this list might not have.
Read more about types of certificates for eLearning in our blog post on the subject, where information on types of certificates was taken from.
6 Best LMS Courses Online With Certificates
We’ve gathered 6 of our choices for the best LMS courses online with certificates. These are all great LMS platforms for any business, listed in no particular order.
Now without further ado…
It’s no surprise that Tovuti tops our list of the best LMS courses online with certificates. The award-winning LMS platform offers a plethora of features, a strong interface, and excellent support.
With a 4.9 on Capterra and a 4.6 on g2, Tovuti has great reviews and testimonials as a testament to what a great LMS it really is. Bias or not, it deserves top billing on our list.
Coassemble is a corporate LMS that claims to focus on your content so you can train your employees and grow your business.
With a 4.5 on Capterra and a 4.6 on g2 and with customers including Volt, Hopper, and the Los Angeles Zoo, Coassemble definitely deserves its spot on our list.
This is a platform that prides itself on usability, claiming to have a simple set-up and courses made in a few clicks or ready-made ones purchasable.
TalentLMS has a 4.7 on Capterra and a 4.6 on g2. Some of the companies that have used it include Philips, eBay, Duolingo, and Rosetta Stone.
4. SAP Litmos
SAP Litmos is a popular corporate LMS platform with over 30 million users taught in 150 countries and with 50 industry awards.
With a 4.2 on Capterra and a 4.2 on g2 and big-name companies like YouTube, IBM, Fitbit, and Mercedes-Benz using its services, SAP Litmos isn’t a platform to be overlooked.
LearnUpon states it is focused on the customer experience – their customers’ experience. It has 24/7 support and a platform built around giving you what you need so you can easily train your employees.
This platform has a 4.8 on Capterra and a 4.6 on g2. Companies like Zendesk and Logitech have chosen LearnUpon as their LMS of choice.
6. Absorb LMS
This corporate LMS has aimed to create a platform that you can scale with your business as it grows and you can provide great customer service.
Absorb LMS has a 4.4 on Capterra and a 4.5 on g2. Some of its big company clients have been Sony, the Gap, Johnson & Johnson, and A&W.
9 Ways to Create Successful Online Certificate Courses
Creating an online certificate course is much like creating an eLearning course, but if you want to create one, we’ve got 9 tips for you to ensure they’re successful.
- Pick the perfect course topic
- Ensure your course idea has high market demand
- Create magnetic and compelling learning outcomes
- Select and gather your course content
- Structure your modules and course plan
- Determine the most effective delivery methods for each lesson
- Film, record, and edit your online course
- Customize your course using an LMS
- Design (and upload) a certificate and attach it to the course
But how exactly do you achieve all these tips?
Let us explain.
1. Pick the perfect course topic
No surprise, the first thing you have to do to create online certificate courses is pick the perfect course topics. How exactly you do this depends on the purpose of your course.
If it’s just for training your own employees and you plan on keeping the course in-company, your course topic will be whatever it is your employees need training on. Maybe you need to develop a course on new company policy and regulations. Maybe you need to design a management training course. Maybe you need to create a course on a new project. Whatever it is your employees need training on, if your only goal is to train them, then that’s the perfect course topic.
But, if you’re trying to create a course to sell or one to be available publicly, there’s a little more to it. And that brings us to tip 2.
2. Ensure Your Course Idea Has High Market Demand
If you intend to develop public online certificate courses; you'll want to make sure there’s high market demand for the course you’re going to teach.
To settle on a course topic, you should first pick a general subject matter – or niche. This should be a niche you have expertise in, anyway. It’s probably not a good idea to develop online courses with certificates on niches you aren’t qualified to speak, let alone teach on.
Then, you need to research that niche to find out what specific topics within it are in high demand. Look at courses that already exist in that area. Which ones are popular? Is there something not covered or missing from these courses?
You can also do SEO research to see what terms based on your general subject matter people are searching online, especially in conjunction with terms like “online course.”
3. Create Magnetic and Compelling Learning Outcomes
Now you have a niche and a course topic, but what’s the point of your course? You need to create magnetic and compelling learning outcomes, meaning you need to identify the point of your course. What are the learners going to get out of it? What should they know, and what should they be able to do by the end of the course?
Indiana University Bloomington states that learning outcomes are measurable and observable and should be created by using a specific language.
Much like the step above, you’ll want to make sure your learning outcomes are desirable. For your employees, if that’s who the course is for, and for the public if that’s who the course is for. A truly magnetic and compelling learning outcome should be both practical and interesting.
4. Select and Gather Your Course Content
Once you have your niche, course topic, and learning outcomes, you can begin to map out the content that needs to be in your course.
This step is pretty simple. Research your topic extensively and decide what information needs to be included in your course.
However, depending on what your course is about, you may need to consult an expert in your industry, a legal expert in the field, or even a lawyer to make sure your course complies with laws and regulations.
5. Structure Your Modules and Course Plan
Once you have the information you want to include, organize it into shorter sections or modules and structure your course plan. You need to make sure your course, and the way it’s organized, make sense – not just to you but to others as well.
Shorter modules are a great way to make your online certificate courses microlearning-friendly, just learning in bite-sized chunks. Someone should be able to complete the module of your course in just a few minutes. This will help keep your course firmly in the convenience benefit mentioned earlier for both employees and the public. E-student.org also predicts that microlearning will become the most popular form of eLearning.
Staying on top of trends surrounding eLearning and incorporating them into your online courses is a good way to keep your online courses with certificates relevant. Don’t only hop on new fads, though. Make sure your courses are designed around the trends with staying power. Although, it wouldn’t hurt to add a new fad or two as long as it won’t take away from your content so that your learners want to engage with your course.
6. Determine the Most Engaging and Effective Delivery Methods for Each Lesson
We previously discussed that the interactivity of online courses with certificates is one of the benefits of online courses. So you’ll want to take advantage of this when deciding what elements to include in your course.
Studies suggest that people learn best when they are forced to engage with the learning material in a number of ways, so you’ll want to make sure you’re including multiple different strategies for learning as well.
What you can include will be limited based on the LMS you have, so make sure you understand the course-building features offered by your system before you start making these decisions.
Otherwise, you’re free to begin determining the most engaging and effective delivery methods for your lessons. Maybe you’ll want to include videos, audio, diagrams, and other visuals, games, quizzes, tests, polls, or whatever you think will have your learners engaging, understanding, and retaining the information you want them to learn.
7. Filming, Recording, and Editing your Online Course
If you include video, audio, or even visual content in your online courses with certificates, now’s the time to film, photograph, or record it and edit it so it’s ready for the online course. You’ll want to make your content as easy to understand and professional as possible.
If this is not something you know how to do on your own and you don’t have the time or resources to learn, you may want to consider hiring a professional to help you.
8. Customize Your Course Using an LMS
Gather up all the planning, recording, creating, and editing you’ve been doing in the other steps and throw it onto your LMS’s content builder. But in a curated, designed, beautiful way.
Customize your online courses with certificates using your LMS. Add your (or your business’s) branding, create your modules and add any videos, visuals, readings, quizzes, tests, games, etc., that you’ve planned to put into it.
Once you’ve completed it, edit it before you publish it. Go through the whole course, make sure grammar and spelling are correct, your elements are all working as they should, and your overall course makes sense. If you can, you should get someone else (you could use a friend, peer, or family member, depending on any sort of confidentiality around the course) to go through it as well. An outside perspective may be able to better tell you how cohesive and sensical your course is.
9. Design (and Upload) a Certificate and Attach to Course
The last step is to design the certificate for your course. When designing the certificate, keep in mind that this will most probably be used in a corporate setting, so give it a clean and professional look.
If you’re using an LMS platform without a built-in certificate builder, upload your certificate, making sure you’ve completed it properly (including having it programmed, so the name of the finished trainee automatically appears on their certificate). And attach it to your course. Some applications you can use to create certificates are:
Are online course certificates recognized?
It depends on the type of certificate and in what way you need it to be recognized. If you specifically are referring to business settings, then maybe. If it was compulsory training within your job, any of the certificates will act as proof that you completed the course. If it’s for hiring objectives, any certificate will act as proof that you have some knowledge of the subject matter.
However, certificates of awards/titles or verified certificates are the certificates that hold the most credibility (and certificates of credit transfer). They bring an official recognition or accreditation. So if you are needing that type of recognition, then you will need to look into courses that offer those types of certificates.
Do online courses need to have certificates?
They do not need to have them, but they can act as motivation to complete a course and proof that the course was completed. Both of these benefits can be worth adding certificates to your courses.
Do I need to use an LMS that offers online courses with certificates?
Certificates are a common feature of LMSs, and a major benefit, but no. If certificates aren’t important to what you need an LMS for, then that’s not a feature you need to base any decisions of purchase on.
Using LMS courses with online certificates is a great way to train your employees and make sure they and you have tangible proof that the courses were completed.
And when it comes to LMSs that offer certificates, you can’t beat our picks for the top 6:
- SAP Litmos
- Absorb LMS
To learn more about how to use Tovuti to create online courses with certificates, watch our demo today.