St. Louis, Mo.—Since the National Wood Flooring Association launched its NWFA University a year ago, more than 15,000 online courses have been completed. NWFA University offers a combination of online and hands-on training for wood flooring professionals.
“The engagement with our online learning platform has been overwhelming,” said Stephanie Owen, NWFA education and member engagement director. “Having 15,000 courses completed in just one year certainly has exceeded our expectations, but what’s even more impressive is when you realize what that number equates to on a daily basis: more than 40 courses completed every single day. That’s just an amazing level of participation.”
One thing that differentiates NWFAU from typical online learning platforms is the incorporation of digital badges. A digital badge is graphic representation of a learned skill, but NWFA takes them a step further by embedding its digital badges with metadata that verifies the recipient’s proficiency with a specific skill or area of expertise. This metadata includes information about the NWFA as the third-party issuer of the badge, the date the badge was earned, and the specific skill or knowledge that was exhibited—and confirmed through testing—for the individual to earn the badge. In addition, these badges become part of a life-long digital resume, which makes them especially convenient for attracting customers.
“NWFA uses its digital badges to influence consumers who are looking for qualified flooring professionals,” said Michael Martin, NWFA president and CEO. “For those members who engage with NWFA University, they move up in NWFA’s consumer search feature as they participate in more training. Take a series of courses to earn a badge, and bump up; take more courses to earn more badges, and bump up again; earn certification and jump to the top of the list. This is the first time we’ve been able to offer our members a tangible return on training by verifying their skills with consumers looking for qualified contractors.”