Today we know that providing online training has many advantages, not only for the instructor but also for the students. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. The creators of online courses (entrepreneurs, experts, etc.) are looking for a way to generate extra income and students are looking for continuous training in their studies in the great ocean of the Internet.
- Advantages of creating an online course
There are many advantages of creating online training. Here we will mention a few:
- The costs are minimal: forget about rental expenses, travel expenses, etc.
- It is scalable: It allows you to have many students at the same time since it is not limited to the physical space you may have or to the geographical location.
- It will save you time: A good online course is worked hard only the first time, in the beginning, then we only have to update it.
- It opens up a world of opportunities: It helps you create a brand, strengthen your profile as an expert in your area, etc.
- For students, the advantages are multiple: It allows continuous training, they can choose when and where to study, flexibility and balance between study and their other activities.
Now that we know the advantages of providing online training, we are going to talk about the different ways to deliver this training to your students. For this, we are going to use a virtual platform, which allows us to create, teach and manage both the courses that we are creating, as well as the students. There are different online platforms to choose from and depending on what we need or the stage we are in, one or the other will fit us.
If you have multiple courses, perhaps what interests you are creating your own Online Academy, allowing you to offer a wide range of all your training. Whether you have a single course, you are just starting out, or if you already have several formations, extensive experience, and want to create your catalog in your own Online School, we are going to tell you about the different options you have to carry it out.
- Necessary features for an online course platform
You must bear in mind that before choosing an online course platform you must not only look at where you are going to host your content, but also the type of training you are going to give, the interaction you are going to have with the students. By this I mean that you consider the following elements that are part of delivering online training before choosing a platform:
- video conference system
- Forums to keep your students up to date and you can interact with them
- Emails or messaging systems integrated into the platform
- Exams, tests, evaluations
- registration forms
- payment platforms
- Landing pages or sales pages where you are going to put the registration form
- If the course is a one-time payment or a monthly subscription
- Discount coupons
- student progress
Once you have defined the type of course you are going to teach and the interaction you are going to have with your students, it is time to choose the platform.
You should not forget that some trainers give, in addition to the course, individual or group tutorials with their students, generating more interaction. Other trainers do not carry out this type of interaction, so it is necessary to be clear about how you want to carry out this interaction.
- Types of Platforms for Online courses
The platforms that allow you to carry out your online training are known in many ways, the most common names used being LMS platforms (Learning Management System) or e-learning platforms, regardless of whether you develop it yourself or if you hire an external provider to develop it for you.
3.1. Own online training platforms
The pros of choosing your own platform are that you have more control since you design it how you want. However, what goes up also goes down and therefore there are some disadvantages. The least attractive part of this type of platform is the additional expenses that you do not initially consider and the work involved in managing everything yourself, without forgetting the vulnerability that may exist when you forget to update. Within this type of own platforms that you can create, we are going to mention the two most important and well-known:
3.1.1. Online platform in WordPress
Many of us already know wordpress and so I don’t want to go into detail about what this wonderful tool consists of. What is true is that many of us associate it or are under the mistaken perception that wordpress is only useful for creating a blog or e-commerce, but wordpress also gives you the opportunity to create an Online Campus through multiple plugins such as Learndash, Sensei, WP Courseware, etc.
If you are just starting out, many times you want to save costs, but it is essential that you know that, if a large part of your income is going to come from your course sales, you should not skimp on having the best plugins, and in this case, many of them are from pay.
3.1.2. Open Source online training platform
In this type of platform, we refer to a type of educational software that is designed to be freely developed and distributed and is in the public domain. The best known today is Moodle, which has been on the market for many years, this being one of its main advantages, but at the same time its biggest disadvantage.
The years that Moodle has been on the market makes it a robust platform that fits perfectly to universities and many educational entities take it as a reference. But being in the market for years also comes with a downside, especially when it comes to technology. By this I mean that there are many recently created alternatives that have been inspired by Moodle, improving the weakest points of this tool.
They have improved the user experience for students, more modern interfaces, etc., which makes Moodle not suitable for entrepreneurs and professionals who work in the online world. You must not forget that you must host it on your own server, which means that its maintenance, updating, and hosting costs increase your costs over time as you increase your students and training.
3.2. External online course platforms
External platforms are those that have been developed by third parties and you simply contact them on a monthly basis, that is, you pay for their use. In this type of platform, you do not have anything additional to develop, but sometimes it is necessary to complement some additional tools according to your marketing or sales strategy. Many of these cloud platforms already come with registration forms, payment platforms, forums, unlimited hosting, web templates, messaging, etc.
Although it all sounds wonderful, you should keep in mind that these types of platforms are not custom developments. measure, so it is very important that you try them and determine if they fit within what you are looking for since if you want something very specific, they do not usually make “custom requests”.
3.2.1. Cloud LMS Platform
This type of platform, being in the cloud, does not need installation, is accessible from any place and device, and updates and maintenance do not depend on you, but on the company that has already developed it, which entails one less headache. An e-learning platform in the cloud-like ClassOnLive gives you everything on the same platform and from minute one you can create your training, including your own Virtual Academy under your brand and domain, without the need for technical knowledge, which makes you focus on creating quality content and the technical part is left to them. Scalability is guaranteed since this type of platform is prepared and designed to manage large numbers of students.
3.2.2. Marketplace style platforms
These types of platforms allow you to upload your courses online and help you sell them. They have a Marketplace of potential students and a strategy to reach them, and for this work, you give a percentage of the price of your course to the platform. Some platforms of this type will sound familiar to you: Udemy, hotmart, etc. At first, it sounds great, but do not forget to read the fine print. You must confirm beforehand that you are not giving up your copyright, the students “are not yours” since these platforms do not give you their emails, therefore you have no way of selling them again, etc. In other words, not everything that glitters Its gold, however, it is a good way to test if there is a market for your niche.
I hope that now that you know the factors to take into account when choosing the platform to deliver your online training, you can make the best decision for your needs.