In the world of online learning, when you start an online course the main focus is making the content more appropriate and engaging for people with it. You want to make your course more favorable and approachable to the people so that it generates sales. While knowledge is one of the most important factors in an online course, accreditation of the course is equally important.
We know that online learning is taking over the world. In the pandemic, it is a necessity but it has been there before that. It has been a way for professionals to take their careers to new heights, make people learn about things which may not be possible in the universities, and help people take up different areas of interest at any age. It removes all barriers and opens new doors to learning. But sometimes, with professionals just learning is not enough. Certificates are important to state that they understand and have learned about the topic and contents of the course.
Online courses provide a way for people to learn about the topic easily with less hassle of the proper setting, makes the learning accessible to a large number of people and is also a way of getting certificates that would help the people to enhance their resumes. But, these certificates would not offer much value if the online course isn’t accredited. Accreditation is a way to enhance the value of those certificates that could help the people in their future. The certificate without accreditation would just be a piece of paper stating the completion of the course which can be easily downloaded by anyone and wouldn’t offer much.
Accreditation simply means that the essential components or contents of the subject or the topic are covered in the online course, that would help the person taking the course to have a career path in the particular industry. Getting the course accredited increases the value and quality of the course and is generally more preferred by the people as it seems more trustable to the people while setting from an array of choices. This would be an investment for you and might be a lengthy process but would help you in the long term.
In the US, the process for getting accreditation for professional programs is available through the ICE and ANSI. Whereas, getting the online course accredited from an educational institution, the process could be different.
Process for ANSI accreditation
- Submitting the application- this is a four step process
- Review of the documentation by the board
- Scheduled audits and routine checks conducted by ANAB (this is to suggest changes to some of the things about the course to ensure it is holistically developed according to the requirements and after the changes are done, again checks are conducted)
- Once satisfied with the changes, the accreditation package is prepared by the staff.
- The activity action council conducts voting on the package and depending on the result notification is sent to you.
Process of ICE accreditation
- NCCA accreditation or ACAP accreditation has some standards and rules which are to be met by the program or the course that has been curated.
- The program or the course meet the criteria, you can move forward with the submission of the application. (Proper documentation and proofs are needed to attest the the quality and rigorous nature of the force which can include different things such as assessment methods scoring security and many more)
- The form is then checked by the board member and they might question you about the online course, which has to be answered truthfully and correctly, after which they notify you about the outcome.
In case of getting accredited by the department of education or CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation), the process is lengthy and rigorous which may take up to a year to finish.
The process for getting accreditation might seem lengthy and comprehensive, it may take up time but if it was easy, it wouldn’t be of such high value. It is a rigorous process and may also prove to be costly. But it is an investment worth making. The long term benefits ultimately outweighs the cost.
You might think if getting the course accreditation is necessary, the answer is not always but it has its advantages. Even though it might cost a little to get the accreditation done, it enhances the quality of the course which will justify the increase in the price of the course if you choose to do it. It will also help in the marketability of the course as it is a strong advantage in the market which distinguishes the course. It is no secret that there is an abundance of courses available online, but accreditation can help you set yours apart. It will give you an advantage in marketing of the course which boosts up the sales of the course.
It would also help in increasing the trust among the people while selecting the course and make it more approachable to them. Credibility of the course is often one doubt in the minds of the students while selecting a course. Accreditation enhances the quality of the content of the course offered (as stated above) and it also builds up the credibility of the course. People would automatically prefer the course which is accredited among the plethora of the courses available. It provides an edge to you to compete in the market which is close to being saturated with the new and upcoming streams of courses.
The bottom line is that there might be a plethora of courses available online, but to compete in the market and make yours the most preferable one, getting accredited is one way to go about it.