Introduction Derek Halpern Courses
If You’re promoting Or even thinking about selling classes, you don’t have to do much searching to come up with a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials on the market. The main difference this one offers is It Is written by someone with: Derek Halpern Courses
- Over 20 years experience in the e-learning Business, with a specific focus on companies that sell education (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their learners to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and implementing online class platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development company.)
- Over a decade of experience tracking and exploring online course platforms and assisting individuals and organizations pick the right platform for selling courses
I’ve been closely Tracking Thinkific and other providers which have emerged as a new class of online course platforms. These are platforms which are a lot more user friendly and less expensive than learning management systems, or LMSes. They’re a true boon for solo edupreneurs and companies that are looking to get into the online course enterprise. Over time, I think they have real potential to disrupt the learning management system marketplace.
Having said That, let’s begin.
Construction and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and that somewhere supplies an attractive, user friendly for your students and potential students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capabilities this year, Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Derek Halpern Courses
Using Site Builder — which is simply a part of the admin panel to the platform — you have the ability to set up an attractive home page to your course website and make as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to provide details about you and your other services). While you do not have complete control — you can not, for instance, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you can get really excellent capabilities for modifying branding components like colors and font styles and you may upload just about any kind of pictures or media you’d like to use.
Site Builder Comes with three themes to select from, and there are multiple variants for each one of these themes. (The company says more topics are a part of the upcoming growth program.) There are also a range of pre-fab”sections” that you are able to add and modify on any webpage to provide for things like social proof (e.g. customer quotes or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing choices — basically, all of the critical tools you need for conducting a successful path or membership website. There is also a blank slate”Text & media” section that can be used to make pretty much anything you want.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took me a while to work out how to do some basic things like delete segments (the themes provide a home page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the website menu. But support has been readily available for them. Thinkific has a good support site on which you are able to search for help, but I often just use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to find whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom website pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find decent support using this method, whether on the Thinkific site or from another user.
Some added Features to notice:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid plan (starting at $49 per month for Fundamental ) you can find a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any plan you have the choice to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for virtually any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this.)
- White tagging (below Settings > Website )– By leaping up into a Guru Plan ($99 a month) with the Growth Add-on ($.10 per busy student/per month) you can easily get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your site and courses.
- Text Dimensions (below Settings > Learning Content and several other areas) — It is possible to change a lot of the default language which is used in navigation and other regions. By way of instance, Thinkific uses”Chapters” because the label for parts of a program. You may like to change this to”Lessons.” Derek Halpern Courses
Thus, you may be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for the main Web website?”
For edupreneurs Who are only starting off and don’t already have a Web presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a good way to have a huge item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to get an adequate Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launch your classes. You can worry about a more sophisticated Web site after.
If you already Have a Web site, however — particularly on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I would not recommend relying on Thinkific (or any other route platform) to your primary Internet website. Site Builder is fantastic for what it does — and may create a great course website to complement your primary site — but ultimately it is relatively restricted. Some of the key current limitations include:
- All motifs are column. Therefore, as an example, you can not put e-mail signup forms, promotions for course, or other things down the left or right side of your website.
- As noted, you can not apply your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limit in the event that you truly wish to reflect the branding of an present Web site.
- There is no control on search engine optimization settings on Web pages — e.g., you can not specify the title tags or meta descriptions. You can, however, do this on course landing pages, which is arguably more significant for the typical edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins along with the extensive network of experienced contractors that are available to encourage platforms such as WordPress.
Regardless of those Limits, Site Builder is likely to do the job well for most edupreneurs and is a bit better than what many online class platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want an attractive, user-friendly site to house your classes, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you might expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates which may be very useful to track builders searching for help with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you would be prone to think about for supplying an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start fresh and build your own course to meet your specific curriculum needs.
- Mini-course — Use a low-cost or free mini-course to generate prospects for a complete flagship course or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a full online class using a robust curriculum outline created using best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and start constructing a waitlist to gauge interest on your course.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an internet course to create revenue or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable resources to be included in a membership package for this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to permit registrants to assess your presentation and provide.
All these can Be modified broadly — you can alter the content in the segments which are provided, delete sections, or insert new sections to arrive at the approach that’s right for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific provides”smart mentor course construction tips” to assist you. (I found them useful, but they may be easily turned off, if you would like.) Derek Halpern Courses
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Internet content, there’ll inevitably be a small learning curve, but my opinion is that Thinkific has done a good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in earning your it up, and you’ll reap the benefits.
And, in case you are Already comfortable with other Web content systems — like, for example, WordPress or another program platform — I think you will find working in Thinkific to be a breeze.
The logic, overall A course in Thinkific makes complete sense from my standpoint. After choosing”New Course,” choosing your path type, naming it (which you may change at any stage ), and saving it, you include”Chapters” (or change ones in the template) to create the structure of the program. As mentioned above, if you don’t like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you would like.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way very similar to the way I described using Site Builder above. There are 11 choices:
- Video lessons — Upload a video file. (This gets stored in a video library for re-use in different courses. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who isn’t a registered user of your website.)
- Quiz classes — Create a quiz for your students. (More info on quizzes below)
- Multimedia lessons — This can be a means to link out to articles not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your course. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (provide the URL to some live Zoom session, for example)
- Surveys (e.g. Typeform)
- Appointment booking tools (e.g. Calendly)
- Presentations (e.g. Prezi)
- Google Docs
- Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate documents (Requires Professional or Enterprise license. More on this below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text & Media” Site Builder alternative discussed above.
- Survey lessons — Collect information/feedback from your students by building a poll in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons — Publish a PDF document to be viewed within the course participant.
- Disqus classes Disqus discussion boards to your program. (Note: there is also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific that you may turn off or on under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Contain resources.
- Demo lessons — Upload a demonstration as record audio and a PDF file for each slide.
- Classes — Include a Brillium exam in your course. (A Brillium license is distinct from Thinkific and starts at $49 a month. More on this below.)
The aforementioned Choices Will find the job completed for all but the edupreneurs. The main areas they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to go down different paths depending on their performances in the course or data you gather about them and
- Inserting interactive components.
If those are Options you truly want, you would be better off with a full size course authoring tool such as iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of tools here). Derek Halpern Courses
Use of Articulate and Captivate at Thinkific
Many course Founders will be perfectly content with using the resources in Thinkific to create courses, but some might prefer the option of creating their courses with third-party e-learning class creation software like Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
Basically, using a Third party tool is an option to seriously think about if you (a) already have a substantial number of courses built out in these tools (in which you probably do not want to have to re-create them using Thinkific course creation tools), or (b) you expect developing a substantial catalogue of lessons with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not wish to have your courses locked to a particular delivery stage.
These can be used by you Kinds of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are supported — however there are a few limitations you should be aware of if you go this path.
First, Thinkific (like the rest of the platforms in its course ) has not implemented SCORM, which stands for the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There’s a lot to SCORM, but the principal thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides standards for how an internet course can communicate using a learning platform to deliver it information like how long a student has invested in a course, or if particular areas of the course have been completed successfully. Thinkific tracks this kind of data. (More about SCORM here.)
You cannot Import an Captivate or Articulate route into Thinkific all on your own. These courses are made up of more than one file (like, as an instance, a video file), and to get them inside the platform, you need to zip the files up and send them to Thinkific customer support.
The Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course construction platform offers you. Including the promotion, the marketing, the training course construction, and also the management.
Systems such as Thinkific don’t host classes . Your content is really hosted with Thinkific (so that you do not need to go outside and find your own hosting,) but it still gives you complete control on what your site looks like.
In comparison to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more freedom and control. Let’s explore some of the standout features.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It’s a visual student management area, together with pictures of your pupils, names, contact information, and details for how far they’re on your program.
You have the Choice to send emails that are customized to every one of the pupils or create a dialogue with the community. Derek Halpern Courses
Incentives are Also part of this learning environment because Thinkific offers conclusion certificates, report cards, and throughout classes, the mails for sending out just about whatever you want of course.
Along with Infinite replays of speech controllers, course content, students, and mobile optimisation working with the Thinkific platform should feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of this Motive Thinkific looks great compared to this competition is that of its course designer. If you don’t need to, you don’t have to mess with any code.
In Reality, all of Your content is organized using a drag and drop editor, in which you move it about vertically and stack the class content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media forms. By PDFs to sound files, and polls to quizzes, the platform is great for offering up a vast range of learning tools for your students.
As we mentioned Every one of these documents are hosted on the Thinkific servers. Therefore, you shouldn’t need to worry about a file being too large or running slowly in your very own shared servers.
When you customize Your course website it features some editing tools for the novices out there. You can adjust items like banners, color schemes, and logos, without touching any code.
The more, however Developers have full control over the HTML and CSS. So, if you would like to make your website unique, the option is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. Since there’s no way to begin earning money unless people know that your course 19, this is unfortunate.
Thinkific does It the ideal way, with promotional and marketing instruments built into the program. A lot of this is automated also. So, if you’d like to drip content to your students–where particular courses would be published over the years –Thinkific has this functionality. Derek Halpern Courses
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the ideal people and send out automatic emails based on a schedule. Pricing can be also done through Thinkific, in addition to the option to become paid instantly when someone signs up on your program.
In Terms of becoming It is tried by people outside of your site out, Thinkific comes with an affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers and other people who advocate your course. Coupons are also provided through Thinkific, giving you a opportunity to create ads with specials and convince novices that your course is worth investing in.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is monitored in the dashboard, and you could also join Facebook, your Adwords, and other social accounts to see where students are coming out of.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Enabling you to produce your courses, one of the reasons for using a technical course platform is that it creates tracking and handling your users and their information much more easy.
Communication with Learners
Along with Helping you arrange your students, Thinkific also enables a number of ways for you and your students to communicate and for them to give comments on the course. Derek Halpern Courses
As previously noted, By way of instance, you can enable discussion to your classes and manage your students contributions under Support Your Students Discussions, where you can sort talks by course, respond to pupils, and — if needed –“Disapprove” contributions which you don’t wish to appear in the program. (Note: Enabling discussions is currently an all or nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., either all classes have it or no classes have it. The workaround for this would be to use the Disqus option on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Allow your student. You then have the ability to approve these reviews (they aren’t published automatically) and use them as social evidence on your sales page for the program. Unlike talks, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Ultimately, there are Numerous notifications which can be disabled or enabled at the Thinkific platform, some of which can be customized. You can, for example, send students a message if they enroll for your website, enroll in a course, or finish a course. It is also possible to send out reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To Begin with, When an individual signs up in your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and utilizing custom log-in fields (under Settings > Programs & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever specific information you desire from your users. (Note that, unlike platforms such as Udemy, you get full access to the user data you collect.)
You can also Organize users. This simple feature may have a big impact on your business model by making it feasible for you to market classes in bulk among the greatest ways for online course sellers to induce revenue development that is major .
Using classes May also easily organize your learners by other factors, or business, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, making it feasible also to refine your marketing and to monitor the effectiveness of your own offerings. (Note: Use of the Groups feature requires a Guru plan license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups performance Derek Halpern Courses
Tracking and Reporting
A key motive to Have a technical course platform — as opposed, for instance, to posting content behind a password on a Web site — is that it will monitor quiz and survey information in addition to things like course progress and conclusion.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to pick a particular student and track a number of factors for every course in which the student is enrolled. For every course you may see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed in (date)
- Course Launched at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign (date)
I enjoy that you If you are adding new classes to an already finished course May also choose to reset a student’s completion percentage at any moment, for instance,.
Overall, the Course reporting is rather simple, but I suspect it will serve the needs of the huge majority of course entrepreneurs.
Contrary to the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV file (instead of displayed on display ) and e-mailed to you. The .csv document includes the responses from all students who’ve obtained a survey a quiz along with their name and if they took it. For quizzes, it also provides percentage and the amount .
Overall, reporting For courses and quizzes/surveys is one of the areas in which the Thinkific system might be stronger. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for pretty much the platforms of the all . Over time, it might be possible to access quiz/survey data and course conclusion . Even better, it would be good to be able to view a student transcript that displays hours associated with a program, any credit earned (not currently captured at all at Thinkific), along with a URL to obtain the certificate associated with the course. Derek Halpern Courses
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the past few decades (as I have) will understand that Thinkific offers a remarkable range of features at a very affordable price. It was not long ago that a system with those capabilities may have easily cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.
With that in mind, It is really hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are openings which will rule out it for a few class vendors — and these tend to be openings that are characteristic of this category of platforms. The main ones that I see are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific can host and deliver classes created in common authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it does not actually make use of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capacities of these programs. If you have a robust and legitimate reason for using one of the major e-learning criteria, then Thinkific might not be the thing to do.
As I said, these Are areas that are not served by additional programs which are in Thinkific’s class. To get a platform that supports all three means a price point three to four times greater than Thinkific — and it could go a lot from that point. Be sure these are openings for you before ruling out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the variety of hours for completing a course in Thinkific, you can’t specify the amount of education. While There Might Be work-arounds, for many course providers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to using Thinkific, Derek Halpern Courses
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you can make and manage a number of instances of a platform under a single umbrella. This can be handy if, as an example, you are a training company that has many corporate clients and those clients want their own instance of this platform for serving and managing their own customers. While the Group functionality in Thinkific makes you a part of the way there, it isn’t the same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I’ve yet To discover an internet course platform that has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises that it also has no hidden charges or contracts. That is good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a program that is free for people who wish to try the platform but not get bogged down from constraints. In theory, it helps you start building a pupil base without needing to pay a dime and launch your shop. If you give one of those plans a whirl there is also a free trial.
The pricing is Broken up into four simple plans:
Starter — $0 for all core Thinkific capabilities. This plan has a high transaction fee, everything you want to create, market, and sell content hosting , unlimited courses, course upsells, your classes, fundamental integrations support, and access to all funds.
Essentials — For $49 a month you receive all core and newcomer features, together with a 5% transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, custom domainname, and additional course prices. Derek Halpern Courses
Business — For $99 per month you receive the attributes from all previous plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden courses, site white labeling, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority service, instructor payout reporting, an onboarding telephone, payment strategies, and an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you receive all attributes from prior programs, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding professional, onboarding package, public API, innovative integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Fantastic benefits to its pricing design. Not only are you able to begin your course for free (something that is not offered with competitors like Teachable,) but the extra three programs are broken down in a reasonable manner.
After all Most likely do not need API access until you start getting advanced with your course promoting.
I would not mind Seeing also the HTML editing as well as the completion certificates at the Essentials plan, but $99 a month still is bad.
As you can see, The trade fees are 10% to the free plan. That is large, but it creates an environment for individuals who don’t have the upfront capital or anyone with low quantity. Once you start earning money you’ll be able to cut down that transaction fee.
Finally, you can By paying on an annual basis save money. So, the Essentials plan goes to $39 per month if you cover it all upfront. The Business plan is $79 per month and also the Advanced plan is 219. That makes the pricing programs quite similar to Teachable.
I’ll end this Thinkific review at which I started: this really is. Hopefully it is evident by now that it offers a range of the vital features to encourage your edupreneur.
I Believe it is also Important to repeat as I wrap up that Thinkific is a company with a lot of momentum. This is not a point: the market for online course platforms like Thinkific is currently crowded and noisy. You can be sure that a lot will undoubtedly be gone. I’m convinced that Thinkific will be about, and the company is clearly growing and always investing to improve its platform. Derek Halpern Courses