How to Offer Certificates of Completion in Your Online Course4 minute read
Many new online course creators wonder if they need to provide a certificate of completion to their students once they finish the course.
You might have seen creators providing a certificate to their students upon completion, whether they are accredited or not.
In today's article, we will explain what certificates of completion are, how they can benefit both you and your students and how to easily generate a certificate of completion for your online course.
Related article: Do you Need a Certification to Start Selling Online Courses?
What Are Online Course Completion Certificates?
An online course certificate, as the name suggests, is a reward you give your students on completion of your course or a specific section in your program.
For online courses, certificates usually come in a digital form (either digital or physical) and in addition to showing proof of completion, they can involve other elements such as a token, gift, or some other form of reward.
The main goal of a completion certificate is to provide proof that a student has gone through the course, and completed all the lessons and assignments.
This kind of proof is important and represents concrete evidence that a student has reached their desired outcome or result provided by the online course.
So even though an online course completion certificate may not seem vital — especially when it is not accredited — what it represents for you and your students is important.
What are Accredited Certificates?
A certificate becomes "accredited" when the validity of the online course is verified by a third-party entity that has the power to do so. Universities, professional institutions and other associations can accredit certificates.
Gaining accreditation for your completion certificate might not be easy, as many times you need to partner with universities or apply for accreditation through a professional body (which might also be expensive).
Does Your Online Course Certificate Need to be Accredited?
There are certain situations where accreditation is necessary or even required.
However, most of the time it doesn't matter. If you are creating and selling your own online course, based on your own personal knowledge (and you are not associated with a university), you don't need to accredit your certificates!
As we will explain later, an online course completion certificate offers multiple benefits to both you and your students even without being an official document.
That said, there are certain cases when accreditation is important.
An example of a situation where you might need to be accredited is if you are helping people get a very specific job in an industry where applicants are required to take online courses like yours and show proof of their knowledge with a certificate. Or if you are training industry professionals, or creating courses around traditional education subjects to help school students... and so on.
In most cases, if you are starting your own business and want to monetize your expertise, teach a hobby or simply share your knowledge, you do not need to be accredited.
In today's world, if your program becomes popular enough, the certificate of completion you offer might start to be recognized by those in the industry as a verification of a certain skill.
Benefits of Providing Online Course Certificates
Now that you learned whether or not you need to get your certificated accredited, let's see what are the benefits of offering a certificate of completion, for both you and your students.
The benefits below apply to accredited and not accredited certificates!
- Help foster engagement: one of the biggest issues course creators face is a lack of engagement in their courses. Even if many people buy your online course, it is not guaranteed that they'll complete it, or even start it! Offering a completion certificate can provide an extra incentive for students to go through your course content and engage with it!
- Make your online course "real": to the eye of the students, a certificate can symbolize their hard work in a concrete way. Once they complete your course, students can show off their knowledge with their brand-new completion certificate.
- Reward your students' efforts: a certificate can be a great way to gamify your online course and offer an incentive to complete the content.
- Incentivizes students to purchase your course: can a completion certificate be a marketing strategy? Why not! Especially with accredited certificates, students might purchase your online course mainly to gain the certification they need in order to reach their desired outcome.
- Boost social proof: offering a certificate and rewarding your students can help you delight your customers and incentivize them to leave a good review on your site (maybe where they show off their certificate!)
- Helps your gain loyal customers: a completion certificate can be a way for past students to remember your online course and keep your relationship alive.
- Legitimizes your teaching method: last but not least, a certificate can act as proof of your teaching method, making you appear as an expert in your niche (whether the certificate is accredited or not!).
How to Create an Online Course Completion Certificate with Heights Platform
Ok, so we learned that completion certificates can offer great benefits to both you and your students. But how do you create one?
And most importantly - how do you grant it to your students?
Do you have to manually check which student completed the course and send them an email every time?
This depends on what online course platform you are using!
With Heights Platform, you can design your online course certificate according to your branding, decide when to grant it to your students and that's it! The Heights Platform will automatically provide the certificates to students once they complete one of your online courses (you decide!).
So let's see how easy it is to design and grant completion certificates using Heights Platform.
First, choose a ready-made template that you like. Then, change the color and fonts of the certificate to match your unique branding and customize it as you like:
Once you are happy with your design, it's time to configure a few settings. Choose when the certificate should be granted to students and for which online course within your program.
That's it! You are done. So simple right?
Once students will complete your online course, they will automatically receive the completion certificate, so you don't have to manually check their status or manually send them the certificate!Create Your Online Course Today