St. Louis—The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has won a 2017 Association Trends “Learnies” award for the Biggest Success Story for establishing NWFA University, an online learning platform.
The Learnies recognize organizations that have pioneered a new way of learning to benefit their members. The award for Biggest Success Story recognizes an association that grew revenue, membership or brand awareness by implementing a new learning program.
The NWFA developed its online learning platform to provide its members with valuable wood flooring training, when and where they want it. Since its inception in July 2016, more than 20,000 courses have been completed by more than 4,800 users, with an average of 42 courses completed per day.
NWFA University user, Sean James, owner and operator of SJ Hardwoods in Santa Cruz, Calif., has noticed a huge increase in his business since becoming involved with hands-on and online training through the NWFA. “I get a lot of work through being part of the NWFA,” he said. “Most conversations start with, ‘I found your name through the NWFA website,’ or ‘I noticed all of the digital badges on your website and want to hire you.’ There is never a question of cost. Customers want someone they can trust who will take all the right steps to ensure a quality job.”
NWFA University currently has three learning paths for sales, installation, and sand and finish. Additional learning paths are currently being developed. “We look forward to expanding our library of educational experiences through NWFA University and providing our members with an invaluable resource that allows them to continue their education and grow in their careers,” said Stephanie Owen, NWFA education and member engagement director.
For more information, visit nwfa.org/nwfa-university.aspx.
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.”
St. Louis–Lägler has partnered with the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) to promote NWFA University by donating a limited-edition carbon fiber TRIO sander, to be given away to one lucky user of NWFAU.
Professionals who engage with NWFA University and earn badges upon completing online courses will have the opportunity to purchase the badges they’ve earned to display on their business profile and to customers. For every badge that is purchased, that individual’s name will be entered into the raffle for the carbon-fiber TRIO sander. Only 10 of these special-edition machines were made to commemorate Lägler’s 60th anniversary. One was awarded in April at NWFA’s Expo.
“We are grateful that Lägler sees the benefit in NWFA University and is donating this unique TRIO sander to help promote our education program,” said Michael Martin, president and CEO. “NWFAU is an incredible opportunity for individuals to further their education and skill set by completing courses online and earning badges. We are excited for those engaging with NWFAU to have the opportunity to win this unique piece of equipment to enhance their education.”
NWFA University encourages professionals to grow their knowledge and skill set by taking part in meaningful education that will help turn a job into a career. More than 1,000 NWFAU online courses have been taken since the program launched on July 1.
More information about the NWFA University and how to earn and purchase badges is available at http://www.nwfa.org/nwfa-university.aspx.