Intro Thinkific Surveys
If you are promoting Or considering selling online courses, you do not have to do much searching to think of a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials on the market. The main difference this one provides is It Is written by someone with: Thinkific Surveys
- Over 20 years experience in the e-learning industry, with a Particular focus on companies that sell education (as opposed to, by Way of Example, corporate training departments, that do not have to convince their students to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and implementing online course 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 class platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling courses
I’ve been Monitoring Thinkific and other providers which have emerged as a new class of course platforms. These are platforms that are a lot more user friendly and less costly than traditional learning management methods, or LMSes. They’re businesses that are looking to enter the course enterprise and a real blessing for solo edupreneurs. Over time, I think they also have potential to disrupt the traditional learning management system market.
Thus, having said All that, let us begin.
Construction and Presence Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and ideally that someplace supplies an appealing, user friendly to the students and prospective students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capabilities this season, Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Thinkific Surveys
Using Site Builder — that is only part of the admin panel to the platform — you now have the capacity to prepare an attractive home page for your course website and create as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to give details about you and your other solutions ). While you do not have complete control — you can not, for instance, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you do get really excellent capabilities for changing branding components like colors and font styles and you can upload pretty much any kind of images or media you’d want to use.
Website Builder Comes with three themes to choose from, and there are multiple variations for each one of those themes. (The company says more themes are part of the future growth plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”sections” you can add and change on any webpage to provide for matters like social evidence (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing options — essentially, all the essential tools you need for running a successful course or membership website. There is also a blank slate”media & Text” section which may be used to make pretty much whatever you desire.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took a while to figure out the way to do some basic things like delete sections (the themes offer a home page pre-populated with segments ) and include custom pages to the site menu. But service was readily available for these. Thinkific has a solid support website on which you can search for help, but I tend to only use a Google search along with the word”Thinkific” to find whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find good support by doing this, whether on the Thinkific site or from a different user.
Some added Features to note:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid plan (starting at $49 a month for Basic) you can get a customized URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — With any strategy you have the option to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this)
- White labeling (under Settings > Site)– By jumping up to a Pro Plan ($99 per month) using the Growth Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can easily remove the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your site and courses.
- Text Changes (below Settings > Learning Content and several different areas) — You can change a great deal of the default language which is used in navigation and other regions. By way of example, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” as the label for portions of a program. You might like to change this to”Lessons.” Thinkific Surveys
So, you might be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for the primary Web site?”
For edupreneurs Who are just starting off and don’t have an Internet presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a great way to have a big item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to find a decent Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launching your courses. You can be concerned about a more complicated Web site later.
If you already Have an Internet site, however — 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 fantastic for what it does — and may create a fantastic course site to match your primary Web site — but ultimately it is relatively limited. Some of the key current constraints include:
- All themes are single column. Therefore, as an example, you can not put e-mail signup types, promotions for course, or other things down the left or right side of your website.
- As mentioned, you can’t use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limitation if you really want to reflect the branding of an existing Web site.
- There’s absolutely no control over search engine optimization configurations on Web pages — e.g., you can not define the title tags or meta tag descriptions. You can, however, do this on track landing pages, which is arguably more significant for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins and the broad network of experienced contractors who are available to support platforms like WordPress.
In spite of these Limits, Site Builder is likely to do the job well for most edupreneurs and is a bit better than what most online class platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want to have an attractive, user-friendly site to house your classes, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you might expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates which may be quite beneficial to track builders searching for assistance with how to organize their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you would be likely to think about for offering an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start new and construct your own course to match your specific curriculum requirements.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to create leads for a complete flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Construct a full online class using a strong curriculum outline made using best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and start building a waitlist to judge interest in your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an online course to generate earnings or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable tools to be included in a membership package with this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to permit registrants to review your presentation and offer.
All of these can Be modified broadly — you can change the content in the sections which are supplied, delete sections, or add new segments to arrive at the approach that is right for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart coach course construction hints” to assist you. (I found them helpful, but they may be easily switched off, if you would like.) Thinkific Surveys
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Internet content, there will 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 Internet content programs — such as, by way of example, WordPress or a different course platform — I think you will find operating in Thinkific to be a breeze.
Overall, the logic A course in Thinkific makes sense. After selecting”New Course,” choosing your course type, naming it (which you may change at any point), and rescue it, you add”Chapters” (or change ones in the template) to produce the structure of the program. As noted above, if you do not like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way very similar to the way I described using Website Builder above. There are 11 choices:
- Video lessons — Upload a movie file. (This gets saved 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 site.)
- Classes — Create a quiz for the students. (More information on quizzes below)
- Multimedia lessons — This is a means to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your program. Some of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (provide the link to some live Zoom session, by Way of 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, pictures, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text and Media” Website Builder option discussed previously.
- Survey lessons — Collect by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF classes — Upload a PDF document to be viewed within the program player.
- Disqus classes Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there is also a discussion option built into Thinkific that you may turn on or off beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads resources to be available for download from inside the course participant.
- Presentation classes — synchronize a demonstration as a PDF document and record sound for each slide.
- Exam lessons — Contain a Brillium exam on your program. (A Brillium license is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The above Choices Will find the job completed for all but the edupreneurs. The main places they fall short is in
- Providing for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to move down different paths depending on their performances in the course or information you collect about them and
- Like studying games, Adding interactive components.
If those are Options you genuinely want, you’d be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool such as iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of tools here). Thinkific Surveys
The use of Articulate and Captivate at Thinkific
Many course Founders will be perfectly content with using the tools in Thinkific to make classes, but some may prefer the option of producing their courses with third party e-learning course creation software such as Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
Basically, using a Third-party tool is an alternative to seriously consider if you (a) currently have a significant number of courses built out in these applications (in which you probably do not want to need to re-create them using Thinkific course production tools), and/or (b) you anticipate developing a significant catalog of lessons with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not want your courses locked into a specific shipping stage.
These can be used by you Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are supported — but there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this route.
First, Thinkific (like the rest of the platforms in its own class) has not implemented SCORM, which stands for the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a whole lot to SCORM, but the principal thing for edupreneurs to understand is that it provides standards for how an online course can communicate with a learning platform to send it information like how much time a learner has spent in a program, or whether particular areas of the course have been completed successfully. Thinkific monitors this type of data with its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Captivate or Articulate route into Thinkific on your own. These courses comprise of over a single file (such as, as an instance, a video file), so to get them inside the platform, you have to zip the files up and send them to Thinkific customer support.
The Features and How They Benefit You
A great Course building platform typically offers you the features you want from start to finish. Including the promotion the training course construction, the selling, and also also the management.
Systems like Thinkific do not host courses on your own website. Your articles is really hosted with Thinkific (so you don’t need to go outside and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you total control over what your website looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides management and more freedom. Let’s explore some of the standout attributes.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It is a visual pupil management area, together with images of your students, titles, contact information, and details for how far they’re in your program.
You have the Choice to send customized emails to each of the pupils or create a conversation. Thinkific Surveys
Incentives are part of the learning environment because Thinkific offers report cards, completion certificates, and throughout courses, the emails for sending out just about anything you want needless to say.
In addition to Replays of course content, speech controllers, and mobile optimization working together with the Thinkific platform should feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of the Motive Thinkific looks so great compared to this rivalry is that of its class designer. You do not need to mess with any code in case you don’t want to.
In Reality, all of Your content is coordinated with a simple drag and drop editor, where you move it about and pile the class content.
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of all media types. From PDFs to audio files, and surveys to quizzes, the platform is great for offering up a wide range of learning resources for your students.
As we mentioned Before, all of these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. Therefore, you should not need to worry about a file running slowly in your very own servers or being too large.
When you customize Your course website it features some editing tools for the novices on the market. As an example, you can adjust items such as color schemes banners, and logos without touching any code.
The more, however Advanced developers have full control over the HTML and CSS. So, if you want to make your site unique, the option is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail from the promotions arena. This is unfortunate as there’s no way to begin earning money unless people know that your path exists.
Thinkific does It the right way, with marketing and promotional instruments built into the program. A lot of this is automatic also. So, if you want to trickle content to your students–in which certain courses would be released over time–Thinkific has this functionality. Thinkific Surveys
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send automated emails based on a program. Pricing is done through Thinkific, along with the option to get paid instantly when someone signs up for your program.
In Terms of getting It is tried by people beyond your website out, Thinkific includes an affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers and other men and women who recommend your program. Coupons can also be provided through Thinkific, giving a opportunity convince newcomers that your class is well worth investing in and to create advertisements to you.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is monitored right in the dashboard, and you could link Facebook, your Adwords, and other social accounts to see where students are coming out of.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the important reasons for utilizing a specialized class platform is that it makes tracking and handling your customers and their information much simpler.
Communicating with Learners
In addition to Assisting you to arrange your learners, Thinkific also enables a number of ways for you to communicate with your learners and also for them to provide feedback. Thinkific Surveys
As previously noted, By way of example, you can enable discussion to 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 desired –“Disapprove” contributions that you don’t want to appear in the program. (Note: Letting talks is now a nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., either all courses have it or no courses have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize the Disqus option on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Enable your student to submit reviews for your classes. Then you have the ability to approve these testimonials (they aren’t printed automatically) and use them as social evidence on your earnings page to the program. Unlike discussions, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Finally, there are Numerous notifications which could be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, a few of which can be personalized. You can send a message if they register for your website to pupils, enroll in a specific course, or complete a course. You can also send reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To Begin with, When a user signs up in your website, Thinkific captures all their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and utilizing custom log-in fields (under Preferences > Programs & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever specific information you want from your own users. (Note that, unlike platforms like Udemy, you receive full access to the user information you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users. This simple feature may have a large effect on your business model by making it feasible for you to market courses in bulk to associations — one of the best ways for course sellers to drive revenue development that is significant , in my experience.
You, using groups Can also arrange your students by other factors, or organization, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, making it possible to refine your marketing and to track the efficacy of your offerings with every group. (Note: use of the Groups feature requires a Pro program license with the Growth Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups performance Thinkific Surveys
Tracking and Reporting
A reason to Have a online class platform — to posting content behind a password on a Web site as opposed, by way of instance — is that it is going to track things like conclusion and course progress in addition to quiz and survey information.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to select a particular student and monitor a number of variables for each class in which the student is registered. For each course 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 that you If you are adding new lessons can choose to reset a student’s completion percentage at any moment.
Overall, the Course coverage is rather basic, but I guess it will serve the demands of the huge majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV file (instead of displayed on screen) and e-mailed to you. The .csv file contains the answers from all students when they took it, and who have obtained a survey a quiz email address, together with their title. For quizzes, in addition, it provides the amount and percentage .
Overall, reporting For both courses and quizzes/surveys is one of the areas in which the Thinkific system could be stronger. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for much of most of the platforms within this category of platforms. Ideally, over time, it would be possible to access course completion and quiz/survey data via a Web interface. Even better, it might be good to be able to see a student transcript that shows hours related to a course, any credit earned (not now captured at all in Thinkific), along with a URL to obtain the certificate associated with the course. Thinkific Surveys
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the last couple of years (as I have) will understand that Thinkific offers a remarkable range of features at a really reasonable price. It wasn’t that long ago that a system with those capacities may have easily cost thousands of dollars per year.
With that in mind, It is hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are gaps which will rule out it and these tend to be. The main ones that I find 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 doesn’t really take advantage of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capacities of these applications. If you’ve got a robust and valid reason for using one of the major e-learning standards, Thinkific would not be the way to go.
As I said, these Are areas which aren’t served by other programs that are in Thinkific’s course. To get a platform which supports all three means a starting price point than Thinkific — and it can go up a lot from that point. So, be sure these truly are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the number of hours for finishing a course in Thinkific, you cannot specify the amount of education available for a course. While there may be work-arounds, for most course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to using Thinkific, Thinkific Surveys
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you handle and can make a number of instances of a platform. This can be really useful if, for example, you’re a training company that has many corporate clients and those customers want their very own branded example of this platform for serving and managing their users. While the Group functionality in Thinkific gets you a part of the way there, it isn’t the exact same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To discover an internet course platform which has hidden fees, Thinkific advertises it also has no hidden fees or contracts. That is good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a plan that is free for people who want to try the platform but not get bogged down by limitations. In theory, it makes it possible to start your shop and begin building a student base. There is also a free trial if you give one of those more innovative plans a whirl.
The pricing is Broken up into four easy strategies:
Starter — $0 to many core Thinkific features. This plan has a 10% transaction fee, everything you need to create, market, and sell content hosting courses, class upsells, your courses, basic integrations service, and access to all capital.
Basics — For $49 a month you receive all core and newcomer features, together with a 5 percent transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, drip content, affiliate coverage, a majority student emailer, customized domainname, and extra course prices. Thinkific Surveys
Business — For $99 per month you receive the features from all prior plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden classes, website white tagging, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority support, instructor payout reporting, an onboarding call, payment strategies, along with a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you get all attributes from previous 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 innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Fantastic benefits to its pricing design. Not only can you begin your course at no cost (something that is not offered with competitors like Teachable,) however, the extra 3 programs are broken down into a logical manner.
After all Most probably don’t need API accessibility until you start getting advanced with your path selling.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing also the HTML editing as well as the completion certificates however $99 a month is not that bad.
As you can see, The transaction fees are 10% for the program that is free. That is high, but it creates an environment for individuals who do not have the upfront capital to launch a professional online shop or those with low quantity now. Once you get started earning money you can cut that trade fee down.
You can Save money. The Essentials plan goes to $39 per month if you cover it all upfront. The Business program is $79 a month and the Advanced plan is $219. This makes the pricing plans similar to Teachable.
I’ll finish this Thinkific review where I started: this really is. Hopefully it’s clear by now that it offers a complete range of the most essential features to encourage your average edupreneur in selling online courses.
I think it is also Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a company with a great deal of momentum. This is not a point: the market for online course platforms such as Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be sure that a lot of the programs that are here now will undoubtedly be gone. I’m confident that Thinkific will be around, and the company is obviously growing and always investing to improve its platform. Thinkific Surveys