Intro Online Video Course Platform
If You’re currently selling Or even thinking about selling online classes, you do not need to do much searching to think of a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific testimonials out there. The main difference that this one provides is that it is written by someone with: Online Video Course Platform
- More than 20 years experience in the e-learning Business, with a Particular focus on companies that sell education (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their students to purchase )
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and executing online class platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and course development company.)
- Over a decade of experience monitoring and researching online course platforms and assisting individuals and organizations pick the right platform for selling classes
I have been closely Tracking Thinkific and other providers which have emerged as a new type of online course platforms. These are programs that LMSes, or are less expensive and more user-friendly than conventional learning management methods. They’re companies that are looking to get into the course enterprise and a boon for solo edupreneurs. As time passes, I think they have real potential to disrupt the learning management system market that is conventional.
Having said That, let us begin.
Construction and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Market need to”live” somewhere, and that somewhere supplies an appealing, user friendly to the students and prospective students. Since the introduction of its Site Builder capabilities Thinkific is up to the project. Online Video Course Platform
Using Site Builder — that is only a part of the admin board for the platform — you now have the ability to set up an appealing home page for your course site and create as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to give information about you and your other services). Despite the fact that you don’t have total control — you can not, for instance, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you do get very excellent capabilities for changing branding components like font and colors styles and you may upload just about any type of pictures or media you’d like to utilize.
Website Builder Comes with three topics and there are numerous variations for each of these topics. (The company says more topics are a part of the future development plan.) There are also a selection of pre-fab”segments” that you can add and change on any page to provide for matters like social proof (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing choices — essentially, all the essential tools you require for running a successful path or membership site. There is also a blank slate”Text & media” section which may be utilised to create pretty much whatever you desire.
As is the case With just about any content management system, it took a while to work out the way to do some basic things like delete sections (the topics provide a house page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the website menu. But service has been readily available for them. Thinkific has a good support website on which you can look for aid, but I often only use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to find whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find decent support by doing this, whether on the Thinkific site or from a different user.
Some additional Features to notice:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid plan (starting at $49 per month for Basic) you can get a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any strategy you have the choice to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this)
- White tagging (under Settings > Site)– By jumping up into a Guru Plan ($99 a month) using the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can easily get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your website and courses.
- Text Dimensions (below Settings > Learning Content and various different areas) — You can change a great deal of the default language which is used in navigation and other areas. For example, Thinkific uses”Chapters” as the label for parts of a program. You might prefer to change this to”Lessons” Online Video Course Platform
So, you may be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for my main Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are only starting off and don’t 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 ways to find a decent Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launching your courses. It is possible to be concerned about a more complicated Web site later.
If you already Have a Web site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I would not suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other route platform) for your main Web site. Site Builder is great for what it does — and may create a great course website to match your main Web site — but finally it is relatively limited. A few of the key current limitations include:
- All themes are single pillar. Therefore, for example, you can not put email sign-up types, promotions for course, or other things down the left or right side of your website.
- As mentioned, you can not use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limit if you truly wish to mirror the branding of an present Web site.
- There is no control on search engine optimization configurations on Internet pages — e.g., you can’t specify the name tags or meta descriptions. You , however, do this on course landing pages, which is arguably more significant for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins along with the broad network of experienced contractors that are available to support platforms such as WordPress.
In spite of these Limitations, Website Builder is very likely to perform the work well for most edupreneurs and is quite a bit better than what most online course platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want an attractive, user-friendly website to house your courses, the classes themselves are the primary attraction. As you may expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates that may be very useful to course builders looking for help with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you would be prone to consider for supplying an educational item. These are:
- Blank — Start fresh and build your course to meet your specific program needs.
- Mini-course — Use a free or low-cost mini-course to create leads for a complete flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a full online course employing a robust curriculum outline created using best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and start building a waitlist to judge interest in 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 allow registrants to assess your presentation and provide.
All of these can Be modified extensively — you can alter the content in the sections that are provided, delete segments, or insert new segments to reach the approach that’s ideal for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart mentor course construction hints” to help you. (I found these useful, but they may be easily switched off, if you prefer.) Online Video Course Platform
If you have zero Experience working with Web content, there will inevitably be a bit of a learning curve, but my view is that Thinkific has done a good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in making your it up, and you’ll reap the rewards.
And, in case you are Already comfortable using other Web content systems — like, for a different program platform, WordPress or example — I believe that you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
The logic, overall Of putting together a class in Thinkific makes sense. After selecting”New Course,” picking your path type, naming it (which you can change at any point), and saving it, you add”Chapters” (or change ones already in the template) to produce the structure of this program. As noted above, if you do not like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way. There are 11 choices:
- Video lessons — Upload a file. (This gets stored in a movie library for re-use in different courses. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who is not a registered user of your website.)
- Classes — Create a quiz for the students. (More info on quizzes under )
- Multimedia lessons — This is a means to link out to articles not hosted on Thinkific and also make it an integrated part of your program. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (supply the link 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 about that below)
- Text classes — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text & Media” Website Builder alternative mentioned above.
- Survey lessons — Collect by building a short survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons.
- Disqus classes Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there is also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific which you may turn on or off under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads resources.
- Demo classes — synchronize a demonstration as a PDF document and record audio for each slide.
- Exam lessons — Contain a Brillium exam on your program. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The aforementioned options Will find the work done for all but the edupreneurs. The main places they fall short is in
- Providing for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to go down different paths depending on their performances in the course or data you collect about them — and
- Inserting interactive elements.
If those are Choices you genuinely need, you would be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool such as iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of programs here). Online Video Course Platform
Use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Founders will be content with using the tools in Thinkific to create classes, but some may 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) currently have a significant number of classes built out in one of these applications (in which you case you probably do not need to need to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course creation tools), or (b) you anticipate developing a substantial catalog of courses with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not want your courses locked into a particular shipping platform.
You can use these Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — however there are some 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 to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There’s a whole lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides criteria for how an online course can communicate using a learning platform to deliver it information like how long a student has spent in a course, or if specific parts of the class have been finished successfully. Thinkific tracks this type of information using its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Articulate or Captivate course into Thinkific on your own. These courses comprise of over one file (like, for example, a video file), and to get them into the platform, you need to zip the files up and send them to Thinkific customer service.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course building platform offers you. Including also the teacher/student management, the marketing, the promotion, and also the course construction.
Systems like Thinkific don’t host classes . Your articles is really hosted with Thinkific (so that you don’t need to go outside and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you total control on what your website looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific surely provides more liberty and management that is branding. Let’s explore some of the other standout features.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the student communication tools. It is a visual pupil management area, together with pictures of your students, titles, contact information, and information for how far they are on your program.
You have the Choice to send emails that are customized or create a conversation with the community. Online Video Course Platform
Incentives are Also part of this learning environment because Thinkific offers report cards, conclusion certificates, and needless to say, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want throughout courses.
In addition to Unlimited replays of course material, language controllers, and cellular optimization, pupils working together with the Thinkific platform should feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of the Reason Thinkific seems great in contrast to the competition is that of its course designer. In case you don’t want to, you don’t need to mess with any code.
In fact, all of Your content is coordinated with a drag and drop editor, where you pile the class content and move it about .
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of all media types. By PDFs to audio files, and polls to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a vast assortment of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned Before, every one of these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. Therefore, you should not need to worry about a file running in your servers that are shared or being too large.
When you personalize Your course site it features some editing tools for the beginners out there. For instance, you can adjust items like banners, color schemes, and logos, without touching any code.
The further, however Advanced programmers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. So, if you want to make your site unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. As there’s no way to begin earning money unless people understand that your path 19, this is unfortunate.
Thinkific does It the right way, with promotional and marketing tools built into the app. Much of this is automatic also. Consequently, if you want to trickle content to your students–where courses would be released over the years –Thinkific has this operation. Online Video Course Platform
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails that are automated out based on a program. Pricing can be done through Thinkific, in addition to the choice to become paid instantly when somebody signs up for your program.
As for becoming People beyond your site try it out, Thinkific comes with an online affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers. Coupons are also provided through Thinkific, giving you a chance to create advertisements with specials and convince novices that your class is worth investing in.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is monitored directly in the dashboard, and you could also join your Adwords, Facebook, and other social reports to determine where students are coming out of.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the key reasons for using a specialized online class platform is that it makes monitoring and managing your customers and their information much easier.
Communication with Learners
In addition to Helping you arrange your learners, Thinkific also enables a number of ways that you communicate with your learners and for them to give comments on the program. Online Video Course Platform
As noted, For instance, you can empower discussion to your courses and then manage your pupils gifts under Support Your Students > Discussions, where it is possible to sort talks by course, respond to pupils, and — if desired –“Disapprove” contributions which you don’t wish to appear in the program. (Note: Letting talks is now a nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all classes have no or it classes have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Allow your student. You then have the capability to approve these reviews (they aren’t printed automatically) and use them as social evidence on your earnings page for your program. Unlike talks, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are Numerous notifications that could be disabled or enabled at the Thinkific platform, a few of which can be personalized. You can, as an example, send students a message if they register for your website, enroll in a course, or complete a course. You can also send out weekly reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up at your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and utilizing custom log-in fields (under Settings > Orders & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever special information you desire from the own users. (Note that, unlike programs like Udemy, you receive full access to the user data you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users. This apparently simple feature may have a big effect on your business model by making it feasible for you to sell courses in bulk to associations — among the greatest ways for course sellers to induce revenue development .
You, using groups Can also arrange your students by other variables, or organization, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, making it feasible to monitor the effectiveness of your offerings and to enhance your marketing. (Note: Use of the Groups attribute requires a Guru plan license with the Growth Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups functionality Online Video Course Platform
Tracking and Reporting
A key motive to Have a online class platform — as opposed, for instance, to simply posting articles supporting a password on a Web site — is it will monitor things like course progress and conclusion in addition to quiz and survey data.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to pick a specific student and monitor a number of factors for every class in which the pupil is enrolled. For each class you may see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed in (date)
- Course Started at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign (date)
I enjoy this you If you’re adding new classes to an class can choose to reset the completion percentage of a student at any moment, for instance,.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly simple, but I guess it will serve the needs of the majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the Program Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV document (rather than displayed on screen) and emailed to you. The .csv file contains the answers from all students who’ve obtained a questionnaire a quiz email address, together with their name, and when it was taken by them. For quizzes, it also provides the amount and percentage .
Overall, reporting For quizzes/surveys and courses is one of the chief areas in which the Thinkific system could be stronger. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for much the platforms of the all . Over time, it might be possible to get quiz/survey data and course completion via a single Web interface. Even better, it might be great to have the ability to view a student transcript that shows hours associated with a course, any credit earned (not currently captured in any way in Thinkific), and a URL to download the certificate associated with the course. Online Video Course Platform
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning sector for the past couple of years (as I have) will realize that Thinkific offers a remarkable range of features at a very reasonable price. It was not long ago that a system with those capacities may have cost thousands of dollars per year.
With that in mind, It’s hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are openings which will rule it out to some class vendors — and these all tend to be openings that are characteristic of this category of platforms. The main ones that I find are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific can host and deliver courses created in common authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it does not really take advantage of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these programs. If you’ve got a strong and legitimate reason for using one of the significant criteria, then Thinkific would not be the way to go.
Like I said, these Are areas which are not served by additional programs which are in Thinkific’s course. To get a platform which supports all three generally means a price point a few times higher than Thinkific — and it could go up a lot from that point. Thus, be sure these are gaps for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the estimated number 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 Substantial barrier to using Thinkific, Online Video Course Platform
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you can create and manage multiple instances of a platform under one umbrella. This can be handy if you’re a training company that has corporate clients and those customers want their very own branded example of this platform for serving and managing their own users. While the Group performance in Thinkific makes you part of the way there, it isn’t the exact same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I have yet To find an internet course platform which has hidden fees, Thinkific advertises that it too has no hidden charges or contracts. That’s good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a program that is totally free for those who wish to try the platform but not get bogged down from constraints. In theory, it makes it possible to start your shop and begin building a pupil base. If you give a whirl to one of those more innovative plans there’s also a free trial.
The pricing is Divided into four simple strategies:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific capabilities. This plan has a 10% transaction fee, all you want to create, market, and sell infinite courses your courses, class upsells, content hosting, basic integrations, Stripe/PayPal support, and instant access to all capital.
Essentials — For $49 a month you get all center and starter features, along with a 5% transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, course bundles, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a bulk student emailer, customized domain, and extra course prices. Online Video Course Platform
Business — For $99 per month you get the attributes from all previous programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, private and concealed classes, site white labeling, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority support, instructor payout coverage, an onboarding call, payment strategies, along with an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you receive all attributes from prior programs, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding professional, onboarding package, public API, innovative integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Benefits to its pricing layout. Not only can you start your course for free (something that’s not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) however, the extra 3 programs are broken down into a reasonable fashion.
After all Most likely do not need API accessibility until you start becoming advanced with your course promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the HTML editing as well as the completion certificates but $99 per month is bad.
As you can see, The transaction prices are 10% to the program that is free. That is large, however, it creates an environment for anyone with low quantity now or individuals who do not have the upfront capital to launch a professional online store. You’ll be able to cut down that trade fee once you start earning money.
Finally, you can By paying on an yearly basis, save money. If you pay it all upfront, the snowball strategy goes down to $39 a month. The Business program is $79 a month and the Advanced program is $219. This makes the pricing programs similar to Teachable.
I’ll end this Thinkific review where I started: this really is. Hopefully it is evident by now that it supplies your ordinary edupreneur to be supported by a range of the features in selling online classes.
I Believe it is Important to replicate 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 such as Thinkific is now noisy and crowded. You can be certain that a lot of the platforms that are here now is going to be gone. I feel confident Thinkific will be about, and the company is obviously growing and continually investing to improve its platform. Online Video Course Platform