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The popularity of online courses is on the rise, as conventional face-to-face classroom-based learning loses ground to e-learning alternatives. Here students can learn and carry out assignments and assessments remotely and in their own time. With the demand for e-learning escalating, creating and self-publishing online courses can be a lucrative business, providing you sell the course in the right place. Small Business Trends explores the 19 best online course platforms and their benefits below.

Benefits of Online Course Platforms for Small Businesses

Online course platforms offer a myriad of benefits for small businesses, enabling them to enhance their training programs and skill development initiatives. These platforms provide a flexible and cost-effective means of delivering educational content, allowing employees to learn at their own pace and on their schedule. This adaptability is particularly beneficial for small businesses where resources are often limited and the need for efficient training is high. The integration of interactive tools and diverse learning materials, such as videos, quizzes, and forums, enriches the learning experience, making it more engaging and effective. Additionally, these platforms often come with tracking and reporting features, enabling businesses to monitor progress and measure the impact of their training programs.

Benefits of Online Course Platforms for Small Businesses:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Reduces training costs compared to traditional in-person sessions.
  • Flexibility: Allows employees to learn at their own pace and schedule, accommodating diverse learning styles.
  • Accessibility: Provides access to a wide range of courses, enabling businesses to offer varied training options.
  • Scalability: Easily scalable to accommodate business growth or an increasing number of employees.
  • Tracking and Reporting: Offers tools to monitor employee progress and measure training effectiveness.
  • Interactive Learning: Incorporates various multimedia tools to make learning more engaging.
  • Customization: Enables businesses to tailor courses to meet specific training needs.
  • Global Reach: Allows training of remote or international teams, fostering a cohesive learning culture.

best online course platforms

Methodology for Selecting the Best Online Course Platforms

When we evaluate online course platforms, our aim is to find a solution that not only caters to the educational content delivery needs of small businesses but also enhances the learning experience for users. Here’s a breakdown of the essential criteria we looked at when creating our list:

  1. User Experience and Interface Design
    • Scale of Importance: 9/10
    • The platform should offer an intuitive, user-friendly interface for both course creators and learners, facilitating easy navigation and interaction.
  2. Content Hosting and Management Capabilities
    • Scale of Importance: 9/10
    • Robust hosting capabilities for various content types (videos, PDFs, quizzes) and efficient management tools are essential for streamlined course delivery.
  3. Customization and Branding Options
    • Scale of Importance: 8/10
    • The ability to customize the look and feel of the course, aligning with our brand identity, is important for creating a cohesive user experience.
  4. Integration with Other Tools
    • Scale of Importance: 7/10
    • Seamless integration with tools like CRM software, email marketing platforms, and payment gateways enhances operational efficiency.
  5. Scalability
    • Scale of Importance: 7/10
    • The platform should be able to support a growing number of users and courses as our business expands.
  6. Pricing and Monetization Features
    • Scale of Importance: 8/10
    • Affordable pricing structures with options for monetization, like subscription models or one-time payment features, are crucial for profitability.
  7. Analytics and Reporting Tools
    • Scale of Importance: 8/10
    • Detailed analytics and reporting capabilities to track learner progress and engagement are vital for course optimization.
  8. Mobile Accessibility
    • Scale of Importance: 7/10
    • A mobile-friendly platform is essential, considering the growing trend of mobile learning.
  9. Community and Interaction Features
    • Scale of Importance: 6/10
    • Tools for fostering community interaction, like forums or chat options, can enhance the learning experience.
  10. Technical Support and Reliability
    • Scale of Importance: 7/10
    • Dependable customer support and a reliable platform with minimal downtime are important for maintaining a smooth learning environment.
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best online course platforms

The Best Online Course Platforms

Skillshare

Skillshare is an e-course selling platform that offers instructors help to customize their online classes. Skillshare provides the tools to help instructors create short videos about the courses. Users can enjoy and benefit from networking with a community of over two million students and teachers. Team membership on Skillshare starts from $10 per month.

Udemy

Udemy provides teachers with the tools required to teach their knowledge to a global audience. The platform is free to use but course providers have to give 50 percent of its earnings for every student Udemy finds. Udemy assists instructors in creating an innovative online course, reach millions of students around the world, build their brand and earn serious money teaching something they are passionate about.

Click4Course

Click4Course enables instructors to create their own courses using their own content on any device. Users can create unlimited courses and organize courses into categories for learners. The platform also allows teachers to manager learners by manually adding and registering learners or allowing them to register themselves. Instructors can also set passing score percentages for each test. Pricing starts from $79 per month for unlimited learners.

WizIQ

WizIQ proudly asserts to comprise of everything instructors will need to teach and train online. The site offers an easy-to-use integrated learning delivery platform for both instructors and institutions. In 2016, WizIQ was awarded as a Top-Rated Learning Management System. Pricing ranges from $190 a year to $890 annually.

best online course platforms

Pathwright

Pathwright allows instructors to outline their entire course within minutes. Courses can be jazzed up with quizzes, videos, projects, discussions and more, designed to make learning interactive and fun. Pathwright users can choose a plan that works best for their individual course requirements, starting from $19 a month for the starter package.

Teachable

Teachable encourages individuals with knowledge to share and sell their skills and knowledge on the simple-to-use Teachable platform. Teachable currently has more than 20,000 active courses, 7,500 instructors online and 4 million students learning from the platform. Teachable offers monthly and annual payment plans, starting from $33.25 per month for the basic package.

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Academy of Mine

Academy of Mine is an all-in-one platform to create, sell and market online courses. This easy-to-use portal enables tutors to build their own learning website using drag and drop templates, set-up courses, students and instructors with a fully-integrated learning management system and sell courses with various pricing options. Academy of Mine offers a three-tiered pricing structure starting from $199 a month for a Starter Course to $499 a month for a Monster Course.

best online course platforms

CourseCraft

CourseCraft enables those with a passion to share and teach their knowledge to build a professional online course without any coding or design skills required. When signing up, instructors will benefit from an intuitive dashboard, fast and reliable hosting and website integration. Teachers on the free plan merely have to pay a 9% transaction fee. Those on the Society plan pay $47 per month but a 0 percent transaction fee.

Educadium

Educadium is an easy-to-use platform that empowers teachers to reach learners around the world by creating cost-effective online classes for knowledge sharing, assessment and certification. Instructors can profit from digital content and expertise when using Educadium’s learning management system services. This e-learning platform offers three different payment structures, $99 per month for the standard package and $299 for the premium package.

Thinkific

This e-learning platform hosts over 35,000 course creators and is a popular site for educators and trainers to build their brand and sell their e-courses. Users can create compelling content and start selling their courses immediately on Thinkific. The platform offers four different payment structures, starting from $0 with a 10 percent transaction fee to $219 per month with no transaction fee.

best online course platforms

Digital Chalk

Digital Chalk provides instructors with a single solution for creating, marketing and selling courses online. Digital Chalk’s managed e-commerce removes much of the hassle and time involved with processing online sales, allowing teachers to sell their courses at their own price. Digital Chalk costs $25 per month.

Course Merchant

Course Merchant from D2L offers eBusiness solutions for education and training purposes. Educators can manage their courses online, through a sophisticated content management system. Course creators can sell their courses via a shopping cart system. Sellers have the choice of selling course bundles and can offer discounts for courses by selling on Course Merchant.

LearnDash

LearnDash proudly claims to be the “most trusted WordPress LMS” and is the number one choice for Fortune 500 companies, training organizations, major universities and entrepreneurs around the world for the creation and selling of their online courses. Users can create and sell courses with ease and efficiency, manager learners and download reports.

best online course platforms

OpenSesame

OpenSesame assists instructors in setting up an online course and how to generate revenue from it. Users simply have to create an OpenSesame seller profile to upload their courses to. When uploaded, instructors can set their own prices for courses. OpenSesame users do not have to pay any upfront fees but have to give the portal 50 percent of the course revenue.

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LearnWorlds

With the LearnWorlds platform those wanting to share and sell their knowledge can create, market and sell online courses with ease from one convenient location. This user-friendly e-learning channel provides a professional, engaging, social and interactive school, which enables teachers to sell learning experiences. Sellers are not required to have any design or development skills, as they can create sales pages for their courses using dozens of striking templates. LearnWorlds offers different payment structures starting from $24 per month for the Starter Trainer program, plus $5 per sale.

Ruzuku

Ruzuku prides itself on having everything an instructor will need to connect with their audience, create inspiring content and “change the world”. This user-friendly online course selling portal is simple to use and instructors are not required to have much technology know-how. The site boasts a number of favorable features, including daily backups and PayPal payments. The portal offers a 14-day unlimited-use free trial.

best online course platforms

ProProfs

More than 1,214,000 businesses, educators and students are putting their faith in the smart online course tools provided by ProProfs. This online course portal permits course creators to add quizzes, media and certificates to their existing documents to make learning more fun and interactive.

Coggno

Coggno users can create courses on this easy-to-use platform or upload their own content. Instructors selling courses on Coggno benefit from full reporting tools, showing who has bought what course and when and enabling them to tracker learners and their contact information. Payment can be received via PayPal. Coggno’s pricing starts from $24.95 per month, plus 10% of transactions.

Rainmaker

Rainmaker offers a complete solution for the digital marketing and sales of online courses. By creating articles, video and audio, e-course creators can grow their brand and ultimately sell more courses. The Rainmaker platform costs $1,740 a year for the whole management system package.

Platform Features
Skillshare Customizable classes, networking with a large community, from $10/month
Udemy Global audience reach, 50% earnings share, course creation support
Click4Course Unlimited courses, learner management, from $79/month
WizIQ Comprehensive platform, award-winning LMS, $190-$890 annually
Pathwright Quick course outlining, interactive tools, from $19/month
Teachable Large course library, monthly and annual plans, from $33.25/month
Academy of Mine All-in-one platform, drag and drop templates, from $199/month
CourseCraft No coding required, intuitive dashboard, free plan available
Educadium Cost-effective online classes, multiple payment plans, from $99/month
Thinkific 35,000+ creators, immediate selling, $0-$219/month
Digital Chalk E-commerce solution, $25/month
Course Merchant Sophisticated CMS, shopping cart system, course bundles
LearnDash Trusted WordPress LMS, course creation and management
OpenSesame Seller profile setup, 50% revenue share, no upfront fees
LearnWorlds Marketing tools, social learning, from $24/month
Ruzuku User-friendly, daily backups, PayPal integration, free trial
ProProfs Interactive tools, quizzes, media integration
Coggno Course creation and upload, full reporting, from $24.95/month
Rainmaker Digital marketing tools, comprehensive package, $1,740 annually

Are you an educator, trainer or instructor with experience of using an online platform for selling your digital courses? We would love to hear our readers’ experiences with platforms for selling online courses.

Image: Traind




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