With the price of traditional methods of education skyrocketing, more and more learners are in search of other viable alternatives. This is why online learning is more popular than ever and is projected to grow even more in the coming years. 

As a subject-matter expert or an entrepreneur, now is definitely the time to teach an online course. However, it’s easier said than done, with decisions like deciding on a platform for hosting and delivering your online courses being so confusing. 

Here’s how to find the right online learning platform for your course.

Make Similar Product Comparisons 

There are a lot of options to choose from, so making comparisons is inevitable and even advisable. However, be careful not to compare apples with oranges. The best way to reach the proper decision is to compare similar product options. Compare apples with apples. 

All these platforms may have the same idea, but different platforms have different implementations. Such as:

  • Some platforms are online marketplaces that restrict pricing while others are not online marketplaces which means you will have absolute control over pricing and policies
  • Some platforms are all-in-one online platforms that allow users to do other things like market their courses online, while others are standalone course platforms that only allow users to create and sell an online course
  • Some platforms have a simple beginner-friendly setup, while others have more complex layouts that include multiple features and helpful tools
  • Some platforms allow you to conduct quizzes based on your lesson plan, while others do not  

When you compare online course platforms that fall in the same category, it not only saves your time but eliminates the risks of making the wrong decisions that’ll cost you money to fix in the long run.

Know Your Objectives 

Your objectives will determine how you find the right platform for you and if you make the right decision. It will guide not only your considerations but also your pre-planning and execution. 

For example, if making as much money as possible in a short period is your top priority, you’ll need an established tribe or audience that is already anticipating your course, ready and willing to buy your product. Focusing on lead generation is important because, without that, your initial sales numbers are going to be disappointing. Additionally, you’ll need a platform that allows you to dictate pricing plus marketing. 

Other objectives and their corresponding considerations include:

  • If leads are the top target, make sure the platform you choose allows you to get your students’ email addresses
  • If you want control, choose a platform that includes different integration and enhancement options. 
  • If you’re less tech-inclined and not interested in controlling interfaces and plugins, there are sites that are more hands-off and take care of everything

When you don’t have clear objectives for your online course platform, you can easily get overwhelmed and distracted by bells and whistles. Getting bogged down with paralysis by analysis is also a real danger.  A lack of objectives means you roll the dice and go with something that looks good or that a semi-famous person is using. It might even work out okay for you at first, but down the road, you discover glaring gaps that set your business back and have you spending valuable money to correct them. 

Clear objectives help you avoid all of this and more. Even if they don’t lead to you finding the perfect platform, they at least ensure you move forward with your eyes wide open, aware of issues that are likely to come up in the future, thus lowering the chances of a real setback. 

Consider The Available Teaching Formats

It’s vital that when you’re evaluating the Learning Management System (LMS) you make sure that it allows for different content mediums. For instance, find out if all the formats they sell are essentially a glorified blog post, or if you have other ways to get your point across.

To be successful at online teaching and for more students to sign up for your course or courses, you’ll want to offer students an interactive, multimedia experience. Variety creates a nice break in the learning material content by giving your students a moment to pause and absorb what they’ve learned. The fact is that people have shorter and shorter attention spans, so to hold people’s attention you’ll need more than a single-medium presentation. 

Paying attention to these questions and considerations when you’re making your choice will provide clarity on which e-learning platform is best suited to your content. They may even help you to strengthen your course before you launch. Most importantly, they’ll certainly move you closer to your goals of more leads and more income.

Consider The Availability Of Analytics 

Analytics is a useful, necessary metric for several things. You can’t successfully manage what you don’t measure. This is why a key consideration to finding the right platform should be if there’s an analytics system in place. 

Useful analytics metrics include:

  • Whether students benefit from your course, perhaps a calculated employability rate after successful completion of the course
  • How students perceive your teaching methods. This is the only way you can improve by becoming more engaging or making the course more interactive 
  • How quickly students are moving from unit to unit
  • How difficult the questions and quizzes are to complete. You want it to be challenging and yet not impossible to answer
  • Both quantitative and qualitative data on students’ content consumption
  • Whether students are watching and completing all the course videos 
  • Whether there is specific content that seems to cause students to stop engaging or rather content that generates multiple re-watches

Factor In The Platform’s Compatibility With Different Types Of Devices

The major advantage of online learning is that it can be done from anywhere on different devices and with different internet connections. Finding the right platform means a platform that doesn’t start to malfunction when it’s accessed via a mobile device. Quality video experiences that work without glitches or lags are absolutely necessary to keep students engaged with learning your online course. 

Plus, you never want to force your students to invest in new technology just so they can achieve compatibility with your school’s online learning platform because that’s a good way to lose students. 

A great option, especially for live classes, is browser-based platforms that do not require students to install anything to participate and have the lowest barrier to entry. There are even fewer security concerns. 

Choosing the right online platform to teach your course can make or break the success of your course. To find the right one, considerations like compatibility with different devices, analytics, control, pricing limits, availability of marketing tools, and simplicity are all essential.

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