Background Ray Edwards Thinkific
If you are promoting Or thinking about selling courses, you don’t need to do much searching to think of a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific reviews out there. The main difference this one offers is that it is written by someone with: Ray Edwards Thinkific
- More than 20 years experience in the e-learning Business, with a Particular focus on businesses that sell schooling (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their students to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and implementing online course platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development firm.)
- Over a decade of experience tracking and exploring online course platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling classes
I have been closely Tracking Thinkific and other providers which have emerged in the previous decades as a new class of online course platforms. These are programs that LMSes, or are less costly and a lot more user-friendly than traditional learning management systems. They’re companies that are looking to enter the course enterprise and a boon for solo edupreneurs. As time passes, I think they also have potential to disrupt the learning management system market that is traditional.
Having said All that, let us get started.
Construction and Presence Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Market need to”live” somewhere, and ideally that someplace provides an appealing, user friendly to the students and potential students. Since the debut of its Website Builder capabilities this season, Thinkific is definitely up to the job. Ray Edwards Thinkific
Using Site Builder — that is only part of the admin board for the platform — you now have the capacity to prepare an attractive home page to your course site and make as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to give information about you and your other services). Despite the fact that you do not have total control — you can’t, for instance, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you do get really excellent capabilities for changing branding elements like font and colors styles and you may upload just about any type of images or media you would like to utilize.
Website Builder Now comes with three themes to select from, and there are numerous variants for each one of these topics. (The company says more topics are a part of the upcoming growth program.) Additionally, there are a range of pre-fab”segments” that you are able to insert and modify on any webpage to provide for matters like social evidence (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls for action, count down timer, and pricing options — basically, all of the critical tools you need for running a successful path or membership website. There is also a blank slate”Text & media” section that may be used to create pretty much anything you desire.
As is the case With just about any content management system, it took me a while to work out how to do some basic things like delete sections (the topics offer a house page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the website menu. However service has been readily available for them. Thinkific includes a good support website on which you are able to search for aid, but I often only use a Google search along with the phrase”Thinkific” to find whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find good support by doing this, whether to the Thinkific website or from another user.
Some additional Features to note:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid program (starting at $49 a month for Fundamental ) you can get a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — With any strategy you have the option to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for virtually any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this.)
- White labeling (under Settings > Site)– By jumping up into a Pro Plan ($99 a month) with the Development Add-on ($.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 several other areas) — It is possible to change a lot of the default language that is used in navigation and other areas. By way of example, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” as the label for portions of a course. You might like to change this to”Lessons.” Ray Edwards Thinkific
So, you might be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for my main Web website?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and do not already have an Internet presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a good way to take a huge item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out ways to find an adequate Web site set up”) and focus on creating and launching your classes. You can be concerned about a more complicated Web site later.
If you already Have an Internet site, though — particularly on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I wouldn’t suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other route platform) for your main Internet site. Site Builder is fantastic for what it does — and can create a fantastic course site to match your primary site — but finally it’s relatively limited. Some of the key current limitations include:
- All themes are column. So, for example, you can not put email sign-up types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your website.
- As noted, you can not use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limit in the event that you truly want to reflect the branding of an existing Web website.
- There’s absolutely no control on search engine optimization configurations on Internet pages — e.g., you can not define the name tags or meta descriptions. You can, however, do this on track landing pages, which is arguably more important for the typical edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins along with the broad network of seasoned contractors that are available to support platforms like WordPress.
Regardless of these Limits, Website Builder is likely to perform the work well for most edupreneurs and is quite a bit better than what most online course platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely need an attractive, user-friendly website 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 quite useful to track builders searching for assistance with how to organize their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you’d be prone to think about for supplying an educational item. All these are:
- Blank — Start new and build your course to meet your particular program requirements.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to generate leads for a full flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a full online class employing a robust curriculum outline created with best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and get started building a waitlist to judge interest on your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an online course to create revenue or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable tools to be included in a membership bundle with 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 supplied, delete segments, or insert new segments to reach the strategy that is right for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart coach course construction tips” to assist you. (I found these helpful, but they may be easily switched off, should you would like.) Ray Edwards Thinkific
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Web content, there’ll inevitably be a bit of a learning curve, but my opinion is that Thinkific has done a good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in earning your way up it, and you will reap the rewards.
And You’re Already comfortable with other Internet content programs — such as, for instance, WordPress or another program platform — I believe that you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
Overall, the logic A course at Thinkific makes sense. After choosing”New Course,” choosing your course type, naming it (which you may change at any point), and rescue it, you add”Chapters” (or modify ones in the template) to create the structure of the program. As noted above, if you do not like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way very similar to the way I described using Site Builder over. There are 11 choices:
- Video lessons — Upload a file. (This gets stored in a movie library for re-use in other courses. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who is not a registered user of your site.)
- Quiz classes — Create a quiz for your students. (More information on quizzes below)
- Multimedia lessons — This is 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 (supply the link to a 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 files (Requires Pro or Enterprise license. More on this below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text and Media” Site Builder option mentioned previously.
- Survey lessons — Collect information/feedback from your students by building a poll in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons.
- Disqus classes — Insert Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there’s also a discussion option built into Thinkific that you can turn off or on under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Include resources.
- Demo lessons — Upload a presentation as a PDF file and record sound for each slide.
- Lessons — Contain a Brillium exam on your program. (A Brillium license is distinct from Thinkific and begins at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The above Choices Will find the job done for all but the most complex edupreneurs. The primary places they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to move down different paths depending on their performances in the course or information you collect about them — and
- Adding interactive components like studying games.
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 types of tools here). Ray Edwards Thinkific
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Creators will be perfectly content with using the resources in Thinkific to make classes, but some might prefer the option of producing their courses with third-party e-learning class creation software like Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
Fundamentally, using a Third-party tool is an option to seriously consider if you (a) already have a significant number of classes built out in one of these applications (in which you case you probably do not need to have to re-create them using Thinkific course production tools), or (b) you anticipate developing a substantial catalogue of courses with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not want to have your courses locked into a specific delivery platform.
These can be used by you Kinds of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — however there are a few limitations you should be aware of if you go this route.
First, Thinkific (like the rest of the platforms in its own course ) has not implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides criteria for how an internet course can communicate with a learning platform to deliver it information like how long a student has invested in a program, or whether particular parts of the class have been completed successfully. Thinkific monitors this type of data. (More about SCORM here.)
Secondly, you Can’t Import an Articulate or Captivate course into Thinkific all on your own. These classes comprise of more than one file (such as, for instance, a video file), and to get them into the platform, you need to zip up the files and send them into Thinkific customer support.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
A great Course building platform typically offers the features you want from start to finish to you. Including the promotion the course construction, the promotion, and also the management.
Systems such as Thinkific don’t host classes on your own site. Your content is really hosted with Thinkific (so that you don’t have to venture out and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you total control over what your website looks like.
When compared to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides management that is branding and more liberty. Let’s explore some of the standout features.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It is a visual student management area, with images of your students, titles, contact information, and information for how far they are in your program.
You’ve got the Option to send customized emails or create a dialogue. Ray Edwards Thinkific
Incentives are Also part of the learning environment since Thinkific offers conclusion certificates, report cards, and of course, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want during classes.
Along with Unlimited replays of language controls, course material, students, and cellular optimisation working together with the Thinkific platform should feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of the Reason Thinkific looks great compared to the competition is that of its class designer. You don’t have to mess with any code in case you don’t want to.
In fact Your content is organized using a drag and drop editor, where you pile the course content and move it about .
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of all media types. By PDFs to audio files, and surveys to quizzes, the platform is great for offering up a vast range of learning tools for the students.
As we mentioned Before, every one of these documents are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You should not have to worry being too large or running slowly on your own shared servers.
When you customize Your course site it features some editing tools for the novices out there. You can correct items such as banners, color schemes, and logos, without touching any code.
However Advanced programmers have full control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, 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. Since there’s no way to begin making money unless people know your path 19, this is unfortunate.
Thinkific does It the way, with marketing and promotional tools built into the program. Much of this is automatic also. So, if you’d like to trickle articles to your students–in which particular courses would be released over the years –Thinkific has this operation. Ray Edwards Thinkific
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send automatic emails out based on a schedule. Pricing is done through Thinkific, in addition to the choice to get paid instantly when somebody signs up on your program.
In Terms of becoming People beyond your website try it out, Thinkific comes with an online affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers and other men and women who advocate your course. Coupons are also supplied through Thinkific, giving you a opportunity convince novices your course is well worth investing in and to create advertisements with specials.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is monitored in the dashboard, and you could link Facebook, your Adwords, and other reports to determine where students are coming out of.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Allowing you to deliver your courses, one of the reasons for utilizing a specialized online course platform is that it makes tracking and managing your users and their information much more easy.
Communication with Learners
Along with Helping you arrange your students, Thinkific also enables several ways for you and your learners to communicate and also for them to provide feedback on the program. Ray Edwards Thinkific
As noted, For example, you can empower discussion for your courses and then manage your students gifts under Support Your Students Discussions, where it is possible to sort discussions by course, react to students, and — if needed –“Disapprove” contributions that you don’t wish to show up in the course. (Note: Enabling discussions is currently an all or nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., either all classes have it or no classes have it. The workaround for this would be to use the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course basis.)
You can also Allow your student to submit reviews for your courses. You then have the capability to approve these reviews (they are not printed automatically) and utilize them as social proof on your sales page to the course. Unlike talks, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Ultimately, there are Numerous notifications that could be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, a few of which can be personalized. You enroll in a specific course can, for instance, send a message if they register for your website to students, or finish a program. It is also possible to send weekly reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up in your website, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and utilizing custom log-in fields (under Settings > Orders & accounts) you can easily add areas to capture whatever special information you desire from your users. (Notice that, unlike platforms such as Udemy, you get full access to the user data you collect.)
You can also Organize users into groups. This seemingly simple feature may have a big effect on your business model by making it possible for you to sell courses in bulk to organizations — among the best ways for online course sellers to drive revenue development .
You, using classes Can also easily arrange your learners by other variables, or organization, or cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, which makes it possible to monitor the efficacy of your own offerings and also to enhance your marketing going. (Note: use of the Groups attribute requires a Guru plan license with the Growth Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups functionality Ray Edwards Thinkific
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital reason to Have a specialized online course platform — to simply posting content behind a password on a Web site instead, for example — is that it is going to monitor things like path progress and completion in addition to quiz and survey data.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to pick a particular student and monitor a number of factors for each class in which the pupil is registered. 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 in (date)
I like this you If you are adding new classes can also choose to reset the completion percentage of a student at any time.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly basic, but I suspect it’ll serve the demands of the huge majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV document (instead of displayed on screen) and emailed to you. The .csv document includes the responses from all students who’ve obtained a questionnaire a quiz email address, together with their title, and when it was taken by them. For quizzes, it supplies percentage and the number of questions the student got right.
Overall, reporting For courses and quizzes/surveys is among the regions where the Thinkific system might be stronger. In fairness, this tends to be true for much of most of the platforms in this class of platforms. Ideally, over time, it would be possible to access quiz/survey data and course completion . Even better, it might be good to be able to see a student transcript that displays hours related to a program, any credit earned (not now captured in any way in Thinkific), and a URL to download the certificate associated with the course. Ray Edwards Thinkific
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the past couple of years (as I have) will realize that Thinkific provides a remarkable selection of features at a very reasonable price. It wasn’t that long ago that a system with these capabilities may have cost thousands of dollars a year.
With that in mind, It is really hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. Nonetheless, there are openings that can rule it out for some course sellers — and these all tend to be. The main ones that I find are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific may host and deliver classes created in common authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it does not actually make use of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capacities of these programs. In case you have a robust and valid reason for using one of the significant standards, Thinkific would not be the way to go.
As I said, these Are areas which aren’t served well by platforms that are in Thinkific’s course. To get a platform which supports all three normally means a price point than Thinkific — and it could go a lot from that point. So, be sure these truly are openings for you before ruling out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the number of hours for completing a class in Thinkific, you cannot specify the total amount of continuing 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, Ray Edwards Thinkific
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you handle and can create multiple instances of a platform under a single umbrella. This can be really useful if you are a training company with many corporate clients and those customers want their own example of the platform for serving and managing their own customers. While the Group performance in Thinkific makes you part of the way there, it isn’t the exact same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To find an online course platform that has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises it also has no hidden fees or contracts. That’s very good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a plan 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 and start your store. If you would rather 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 features. This plan has a high 10% transaction fee, all you need to make, promote, and market unlimited courses, your classes, course upsells, content hosting, fundamental integrations service, and access to all capital.
Essentials — For $49 a month you receive all core and newcomer features, along with a 5% transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, class packages, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate coverage, a majority student emailer, custom domain, and extra course rates. Ray Edwards Thinkific
Business — For $99 per month you get the attributes from all previous plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, private and hidden courses, site white labeling, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority support, instructor payout coverage, an onboarding call, payment plans, along with an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you receive all attributes from previous programs, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding package, people API, advanced integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Fantastic advantages to its pricing layout. Not only are you able to start your course at no cost (something that is not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) however, the extra three plans are broken down into a reasonable fashion.
After all, you Most probably do not need API access until you start getting advanced with your course promoting.
I would not mind Seeing the completion certificates as well as the HTML editing at the Essentials plan, however $99 per month still is not that bad.
As you can see, The transaction fees are 10% to the plan that is free. That is high, but it creates an environment for anyone who have low volume or people who do not have the funds. As soon as you start earning money you can cut that trade fee down.
You can Also save money by paying an annual basis. So, the Essentials plan goes to $39 per month if you cover it all upfront. The Business plan is $79 a month and the Advanced program is 219. That makes the pricing plans much like Teachable.
I will end this Thinkific review at which I started: this really is. Hopefully it is clear by now that it supplies a complete range of the features that are essential to encourage your ordinary edupreneur in selling classes.
I think it is Important to repeat as I wrap up that Thinkific is a company with a lot of momentum. This is not a trivial point: the marketplace for online class platforms such as Thinkific is currently noisy and crowded. You can be certain that a lot will be gone. I feel confident that Thinkific will be around, and the organization is clearly growing and always investing to boost its own platform. Ray Edwards Thinkific