4 LMS Superpowers 
Every Association Needs

Learn how cutting-edge learning technology can boost performance and save the day!

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Nothing smashes paradigms quite like inescapable, sink-or-swim change. Among the shards of the way things used to be are old-fashioned learning program designs that ignore the pull of digital transformation and resist efforts to scale.

Amidst the obstacles that associations have encountered in recent years, your learning program needs to be online. To do eLearning well, you need an LMS. But you can’t take just any LMS.

Association learning programs have special needs. Helping members prepare for the professional credentials and certifications that can change their lives and shape their careers requires more than just regular learning tech. What you need is an LMS with superpowers.

We’ll walk you through four key LMS superpowers every association offering certifications or credentials need. Once you become aware of the options and possibilities, we’re certain you’ll be well prepared to choose an LMS that can help your association meet your mission, goals, and the needs of your members.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is one of the biggest buzzwords in technology circles right now, but when you see and hear the term so frequently in so many different places, it can start to lose its meaning. At BenchPrep, we think of digital transformation at its most basic level as a modernization effort—an upgrade of technology and of procedures. Most digital transformations can be broken down into three distinct stages:

3 stages: 1 converting assets, 2: updating processes, 3 revealing opportunities
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Creating New Revenue Streams

You know you have a mature digital transformation when you discover new ways of bringing in revenue. An advanced LMS can help drive revenue from your certification training and practice content in four key ways.

Did you know? 49.7% of all professional associations are missing out on the opportunity to better serve their members and learners because they're not providing mobile versions of their educational offerings.

1. Think in Terms of Certification Training Bundles (and “Unbundles”!)

With a super-powered LMS, your association can create appealing product bundles at varied price points. For instance, instead of merely offering an examination seat, you could bundle it with a self-paced study guide. You could even add retake insurance or a practice exam to the bundle, among other possibilities. Conversely, this strategy can be reversed. Instead of offering an extensive certification training product, you could disassemble (or unbundle) its component parts. This involves breaking down the content into bite-sized units that can be sold à la carte.

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2. Bring Old Exam Questions Out of Retirement

What does your association do with question banks from previous exams? Simply store them away? That’s a major missed opportunity. Don't let this valuable content go unused. With an LMS integrated with the right eCommerce features, you can package those retired questions into a high-margin practice product for candidates hoping to earn your association’s certifications, credentials, or certificates.

illustration of a laptop with the BenchPrep platform

3. Develop and Sell Continuing Education Courses

Don’t overlook the learning opportunities for members beyond the exam. Your members, having invested in your credential, certification, or certificate, are evidently interested in career development. They will appreciate opportunities to acquire new knowledge and develop new skills. By creating and selling continuing education courses through your association’s LMS, you can assist them in advancing their professions while also growing your association’s revenue.

Fun fact! Some LMS options are so feeble that they limit you to multiple choice and true/false question types. BenchPrep offers more than a dozen different question types to enforce learning mastery and accommodate the assessment style most likely to appear in your exams.

4. Deliver Just-In-Time Learning

Want to broaden the appeal of your association’s brand and expand your revenue stream along the way? Invest in LMS technology that helps learners find the products they want to buy at the moment they want to buy them. When learners struggle with a skill, topic, or concept, you can help support them with content that strengthens knowledge and builds confidence right at the moment of need.

Look! Want to see how just-in-time learning can drive growth for your association? Check out the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) case study!
illustration of a green gem that represents the fictional mineral Kryptonite

Digital Transformation Kryptonite

Digital transformation is just that: a transformation. It’s like when a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. The process is so total and complete that you cannot recognize the previous creature. The digital transformation of a professional association changes the organization at the molecular level. It’s more than just offering a class online or offering video content. It’s a change of business from the inside out.

The kryptonite of the digital transformation process is taking half measures. It’s the superficial implementation of digital technology. It’s the irrational devotion to “the way we’ve always done things.” Don’t let half-measures be the kryptonite that withers the digital transformation of your association. Embrace all the features of your LMS, and clear the way to complete transformation.


Nurturing a New Generation of Lifelong Learners

If you want to set your association up for success, you’ll have to increase your efforts to attract, engage, and certify the newest generation of professionals in your industry. Because this generation of learners has different expectations for continuing education (CE) than what may be available from “traditional” membership approaches, you should go big on digital. Here are four ways your LMS can help.

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1. Offer a Variety of Continuing Education Products

One of the biggest reasons people join professional associations is to take advantage of CE opportunities, so look for an LMS that can help you deliver a variety of offerings in different formats. Don’t limit yourself to courses that require a big investment of time—members are just as eager for microlearning (and microlearning credential products) as they are for the the more substantial fare.

picture of a person on their phone with the BenchPrep platform on it, and a popout with a course on top

2. Provide Personalized Study Plans/ Adaptive Learning

As an association, you want an LMS that can help young members get the most out of their certification training efforts. They may be after the same goal—your association’s credential, certification, or certificate—but they won’t be getting there the same way. Personalized study plans identify a learner’s strengths and weaknesses to serve content that best meets their individual needs. The technology increases confidence, boosts results, and drives learner satisfaction at scale.

Look! Want to see what a variety of continuing education products works for a major association? Check out the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) case study!

3. Continuously Develop New Programs and Content

A surefire way to keep members interested and coming back for more is to serve them a steady stream of new content and programs. Not sure where you should begin? Use your LMS to dive into course data so you can identify your most popular offerings and track the most engaging content and course elements. You can also pinpoint where learners need the most help so you can create new content bundles based on their needs.

illustration of a laptop with the BenchPrep course selection module and data popup next to it

4. Provide a Pathway to Your Credentials

For some potential members, nothing about your professional association is more attractive (or compelling) than your official stamp of approval. Professional credentials can open doors and broaden possibilities for those who work hard enough to achieve them. When members see your credential as a path to improved employment prospects, faster growth, better pay, and higher job satisfaction levels, you can count on them remaining engaged with your brand.

Did you know? BenchPrep users whose confidence is in the top 75th percentile answer 36% more questions than those in the 25th percentile.
illustration of a green gem that represents the fictional mineral Kryptonite

Continuous Learning Kryptonite

One thing that attracts people to professional associations like yours is the opportunity to pursue professional development and lifelong learning. Unfortunately, without reinforcement, up to 79% of newly acquired knowledge withers away in about 30 days. The phenomenon, first identified by German scientist Herman Ebbinghaus, is known in psychology circles as “the forgetting curve.” It’s nothing less than pure continuous learning kryptonite.

To help members combat the forgetting curve, look for an LMS that helps them retain and recall new knowledge so they can feel good about their progress and meet their goals.


Building Communities of Practice

Part of the appeal of belonging to an association is the chance to feel like part of a community. The right LMS will help your association create a community of practice to keep learners engaged. Here are some useful, community-building features to seek out.

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1. Leverage Conversation Features

What does your LMS do to get people talking? Encouraging conversation establishes connections, drives engagement, and facilitates learning, so make sure your learners and instructors can interact with one another. Seek out live chat features for when people are present at the same time (such as in webinars) and robust discussion board capabilities for when communication isn’t bound by time.

Look! Want to see how CompTIA boosted their revenue with a reimagined continuing education program? Check out the case study!

2. Offer Live Webinar Content

Live webinars give association members the opportunity to engage in something that is actively happening—they can interact with instructors, moderators, and presenters, or with the other attendees. Your association can take these connection-building opportunities one step furtherby hosting an event to increase revenue and further your members’ professional development—that is, if your LMS can support the effort.

Did you know? Learners who participate in discussions are 15% more active in BenchPrep's learning platform than those who don't.

3. Take Advantage of Gamified Learning Mechanics

Some LMS features, like personalized study plans or device flexibility help association learners get the most out of their limited time. Other features, like gamified learning mechanics, help them study more effectively. These elements leverage behavioral tendencies to make learners stay on the platform longer.

popout image of a game offered in the BenchPrep platform

4. Establish an “Ask an Expert” Feature

One of your greatest assets as an association of professionals is your people. Whether you have experts on your team or among your distinguished members, you should find ways to showcase their expertise with your LMS. Members can gain access to, and learn from experts through the LMS, with topics that have been created and curated for relevancy to the industry itself.

Fun fact! Using game-based motivation boosts engagement by 48%
illustration of a green gem that represents the fictional mineral Kryptonite

Community-Building Kryptonite

Rigid, inflexible classrooms are community-building kryptonite. Professional association learners are adult learners. They come with adult-size responsibilities, including families and jobs, that may encroach upon their time to get online and interact with classmates and instructors. When these busy professionals can scrape together some time to work on their goals, it may not be during banker’s hours or on a full-size device.

Adult learners need flexibility, and your LMS should let them take advantage of all its communication and learning features on whatever device happens to be handy in the moment. Your association’s LMS should function the same way on web, mobile, and tablet devices, and whatever learners accomplish on a given device should seamlessly sync to the platform so they can pick up their activity or discussion somewhere else later on.


Transforming Learning Program Data into Actionable Insights

The last and most powerful LMS superpower is the ability to make use of your learning program data. Here are three essential ways you can use data to improve your learning program and your business.

Did you know? BenchPrep is the only LMS that collects data on confidence to provide deep insights into learn sentiment.

1. Keep an Eye on Confidence

One essential engagement metric you can track is your learners’ confidence. Certification training is stressful work. Learners have limited time and resources to accomplish their goals, and if the ultimate target—your association’s credential—seems unattainable, they may just give up and abandon membership altogether. When your LMS can track and respond to confidence, you can help learners feel good about the topics they’ve mastered so they perform well on exam day.

smiling man on laptop with a popup saying 'Rate Your Confidence' from Low, Medium, to High

2. Find Your Problem Spots and Fix Them

You don’t have to rely on intuition or anecdotes to improve an aspect of a course—you can drill down to that content to see how learners engage with it and then make a data-backed decision on what to do next. Deep-data analytics can reveal valuable insights about every course component down to the smallest detail.

Data in Action. AAMC relied on BenchPrep's data capabilities to create better training products and resources for its members. It watched its content to identify potential barriers to completion. Having instant access to data allows the AAMC to make quick tweaks for immediate impact.

3. Don’t Forget About Business Performance

A fully-featured, super-powered LMS can provide insight into your entire learning program, not just the portions of it related to teaching and learning. If your LMS can’t generate purchase & engagement reports, provide upsell recommendations, compare marketing data with learner engagement outcomes, or help you evaluate price performance, you need to find one that can.

two popups shows the data tracking carnalities of BenchPrep
illustration of a green gem that represents the fictional mineral Kryptonite

Community-Building Kryptonite

When it comes to big data, you can count on most vendors to talk a big game. Everybody seems to have an opinion on data—how to collect it, where to store it, even what to look for when diving down into it. But here’s a data point for you: according to research from Forrester, up to 73 percent of all data within an enterprise goes unused for analytics.

The data is there but dormant. And you know what? Dormant data is big-data kryptonite. To awaken the power of your learning program’s data (remember, it’s always there—you just have to dig it up and use it), look for an LMS data partner that will actually help you find it and use it.


Now that you’ve had a chance to learn about the things a superpowered LMS can do, do you feel the same way about the tech you’re using now? Is your LMS something that’s helping your organization through the process of digital transformation, or is it something you’re just dragging along?

If your LMS doesn’t help you find new ways to bring in revenue, attract and nurture the next generation of members, create an engaging sense of community, or deliver game-changing data analytics, it may be time for you to consider an upgrade.

If it doesn’t look like it’s going to duck into any LMS-shaped telephone booths for a superpowers costume change any time soon, then it’s even more reason to explore upgrading your LMS.

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About BenchPrep

BenchPrep is an award-winning learning platform purpose-built to help candidates feel more confident and prepared for their credentialing and certification tests by delivering an intuitive, efficient, and engaging study experience.

BenchPrep helps associations drive revenue by making it easy for learners to search, discover, purchase, and enroll in online study courses rich with interactive learning experiences. BenchPrep’s data capabilities also help associations unlock valuable insights so they can make better, more data-driven decisions on factors that affect course content, candidate sentiment,and learner behavior.

Many of the world’s leading associations and credentialing bodies trust BenchPrep to power their online study programs, including ACT, AAMC, ASCM, CFA Institute, CompTIA, GMAC, ISACA, and many others. More than 10 million learners have used BenchPrep to attain academic and professional success.

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