Case Study

    Empowering Teams for Product Mastery and Sales Excellence Through Digital Credentials

    Discover how Pearson utilized the 'Teaching with the Global Scale of English (GSE)' course to bridge knowledge gaps, incentivize upskilling with digital credentials, and achieve encouraging badge acceptance rates exceeding 90%.

    Executive Summary

    • Overview: Pearson used the existing course 'Teaching with the Global Scale of English (GSE)'  to fill knowledge gaps among employees in articulating the Global Scale of English concept, central to many of the organization’s products.
    • Intent: To incentivize participation, digital credentials were offered upon completion to motivate upskilling.
    • Impact: This initiative, supported by senior leadership, resulted in a badge acceptance rate exceeding 90% with a 60% share rate.

      Implementing digital credentials has helped to improve internal adoption, skill validation, and employee confidence, with program champions driving advocacy and social media engagement.


    Pearson utilized an existing course in its portfolio titled 'Teaching with the Global Scale of English (GSE)' as part of an internal initiative to address knowledge gaps among some employees. The initiative has motivated employees to bridge the knowledge gaps using digital credentials. Gillian Groenen, Senior Product Manager and initiative owner, highlighted the important role played by digital credentials in managing and validating the skills and knowledge acquired by the internal workforce, achieving a promising badge acceptance rate of over 90%.

    Elevating Product Confidence via Upskilling

    ‘Teaching with the GSE’ is a 45-minute to an hour-long online, asynchronous course. It is centered around the Global Scale of English, which underpins Pearson's English Language Learning (ELL) products and allows Pearson to set themselves apart from other products in the market. The ‘Teaching with the GSE’  course is also available for customers and teachers to help them build confidence in their use of the Global Scale of English to support teaching and learning. 

    Originally designed for external teacher development, it became apparent as the external launch of the ‘Teaching with the GSE’ course neared, that internal knowledge gaps also needed attention. It was identified that product, sales and marketing teams could benefit from extra support to understand and articulate the value of GSE, leading to a shift in focus towards internal adoption of the course.

    While the course is typically voluntary, managers can nominate employees for participation based on job requirements. To recognize individual achievements and maximize course uptake, the team explored the potential of awarding digital badges upon completion. With clear objectives aligned to business outcomes, customer commitment, and senior leadership buy-in, the initiative quickly achieved a high uptake, with over 185 credentials issued.

    ‘The Teaching with the GSE course provides a foundational and fundamental understanding of how the GSE can support teachers and learners in the classroom.  With the GSE being a building block for the Pearson Connected English Language Program, this understanding is pertinent to our solution-selling model.  By adding the credentials on Credly to the course, it highlights not only the importance of the course, but it also allows for sharing the idea of the course to bring interest and excitement to others who want to learn about the GSE.’
    Sue Shubert, VP Institutional Product

    Positive Shifts in Sales Enablement

    Not only can the team see that two-thirds of completions were voluntary from sales and marketing roles, some participants have also emerged as program champions, actively sharing their achievements on social media and encouraging others to enroll. This enthusiasm has generated an encouraging 60% share rate (compared to the average of 47% on Credly). Gillian has received positive feedback from the sales and marketing team, indicating that the badges have boosted their confidence and motivation.

    Screenshot 2024-04-19 144834

    Moreover, the team can continuously track and analyze credentialing data through the analytics dashboard on Credly, identifying surges in course completions and subsequent engagement with credentials, and implementing timely interventions. This data-driven approach enables the initiative owner to refine their marketing communication, remind badge earners to accept the badge they've earned and enhance their communication with learners regarding the value of badges. Continuous evaluation and improvement will lead to a snowball effect, ensuring the ongoing successful development and maintenance of the initiative.

    ‘The GSE underpins all products and services created by ELL and sits at the heart of the Pearson Connected English Learning Program. It is therefore vital that all members of ELL - old and new - have an understanding of why and how the GSE is used to fast-track learner progress. Digital credentials, integrated within the ‘Teaching with the GSE’ course, motivate employees to upskill in business-critical areas, which in turn leads to improved performance in their daily responsibilities.’

    Mike Mayor, Senior Director, Global Scale of English

    ‘Teaching with the GSE’ at Pearson serves as a positive example of how leveraging shareability, skills validation, and recognition embedded in digital credentialing can contribute to the success of internal upskilling and reskilling initiatives. The convergence of professional development, internal adoption, and external promotion highlights the substantial influence of well-designed initiatives on sales enablement and organizational alignment.

    Connect with our Sales team to explore how digital badges can motivate your employees and drive business growth for you.

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