Here at Heuristics, we always look forward to the annual I.C.E. Exchange conference, both as a chance to explore best practices in credentialing and as an opportunity to connect with our larger certification community. This year a contingent of the LearningBuilder team traveled to Colorado Springs for four glorious days of presentations, exhibitions, and networking events. As we immersed ourselves in the action, we noticed that a few emerging industry trends were on everyone’s mind.
Based on some of our major takeaways from the 2023 I.C.E. Exchange, here are a few things to consider for your program in the new year:
A Return to In-person
Back in the early days of COVID-19, we recognized the need to shift quickly, sometimes in significant ways. And as the vibrant in-person energy of the I.C.E. Exchange confirmed, things are beginning to shift once more.
Many programs relaxed or changed their program rules, especially for recertification, to acknowledge a challenging work environment for their certificants. It may be time to revisit those changes, either to roll them back or adjust them to today’s environment.
From a testing perspective, we are also hearing of programs leaning fully into remote proctoring, and other programs fully returning to in-person testing. Ironically, some of the technical issues that test-takers experience in remote proctoring become customer support issues. Thinking about how we can help our customers manage re-takes within LearningBuilder is key to the overall candidate experience.
Assessment-based Certificate Programs
It has been over 10 years since ICE launched its ANSI-approved accreditation program for assessment-based certificate programs, and we are now seeing more and more of these programs in the wild. Combining aspects of instructional design, test development, and psychometrics, assessment-based certificate programs can offer a narrower focus on specific knowledge, skills, and abilities. The conference was abuzz with talk of assessment-based certificates, which represent a new means by which organizations might relate to their credential holders.
We recently explored how assessment-based certificate programs bridge gaps and build pathways within certification and licensure, by addressing disparities in existing exam blueprints, supporting continuing competency, and conferring specialization within your existing credentials. They also have the potential to open alternate routes to professional practice within your industry by offering lower-investment professional development opportunities.
For many organizations, the traditional JTA conducted for an existing certification hints at the need for (or interest in) an assessment-based certificate program. This often leads to a subsequent JTA with more focused KSAs. Then, the real fun (the instructional and assessment design) begins.
Ideally, you have software that can host both eLearning and assessments as part of a larger candidate management platform
Longitudinal Learning for Recertification
If you’ve been rethinking continuous competence, you’re not alone. Many organizations are moving beyond CE as a means for a practitioner to maintain their credential. And if not CE, then what?
Longitudinal Assessments offer practitioners the means to engage in demonstrating what they know and staying current in smaller, less formidable iterations. By delivering a series of targeted assessments regularly over a multi-year renewal cycle, longitudinal assessments make renewing certification or licensure via assessment less daunting and more convenient. It also ensures that practitioners stay up-to-date on an ongoing basis, with instant feedback on the current KSAs needed to succeed in their field. Longitudinal assessments can be a way to ensure that your practitioners remain aware of both their strengths and their learning opportunities as they move forward in their service to the public.
Of course, when it comes to actually implementing longitudinal assessments, there can be complexity in the both the system requirements and psychometric requirements. Luckily, LearningBuilder’s assessment tools and built-in capabilities for reflective practice take a lot of the guesswork (and actual work) out of the equation.
Assessments aren’t the only aspect of a broader longitudinal learning initiative. Consider aligning assessment domains with learning domains. With that foundation in place, organizations can also go one step further by connecting practitioners to high-quality, high-value CE recommendations based on assessment results. This helps deepen the ongoing relationship with practitioners and creates new revenue opportunities from approved provider networks.
Supporting Program Changes and Growth with LearningBuilder
When the only certainty is change, the ability adapt your program processes, especially without a huge investment of time, effort, or administrative support, is priceless. LearningBuilder has the power, the flexibility, and the leading-edge capabilities to take your program into the future. We are always improving our flagship credentialing software to keep pace at the forefront of an evolving industry.
Are you feeling inspired and invigorated by the connections you’ve made over this year’s event season? Are you excited by the thought of strategic upgrades, creative solutions, and new growth? So are we! We’d love to learn more about your plans for 2024, and if we can help you realize any New Year’s resolutions for your programs. Schedule a call with us today.