Introduction Udemy My Courses
If You’re currently selling Or thinking about selling online classes, you don’t have to do much searching to come up with a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific testimonials on the market. The main difference this one provides is that it is written by someone with: Udemy My Courses
- More than 20 years expertise in the e-learning industry, with a specific focus on businesses that sell schooling (as opposed to, by Way of Example, corporate training departments, that do not have to convince their students to purchase )
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and executing online course platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development company.)
- Over a decade of experience monitoring and exploring online class platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling courses
I have been Monitoring Thinkific and other providers which have emerged as a new type of course platforms. These are programs which are less expensive and a lot more user friendly or LMSes. They are a true boon for solo edupreneurs and small companies that want to get into the course business. Over time, I believe they also have potential to disrupt the learning management system market that is traditional.
Having said All that, let us get started.
Construction and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and that somewhere supplies an appealing, user friendly to the students and prospective students. Since the debut of its Website Builder capacities Thinkific is up to the job. Udemy My Courses
Using Site Builder — that is simply a part of the admin panel to the platform — you now have the ability to set up an appealing home page to your course website and create as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to give information about you and your other solutions ). Despite the fact that you do not have complete control — you can’t, as an instance, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you do get really good capabilities for changing branding components like colors and font styles and you can upload pretty much any kind of images or media you would like to use.
Website Builder Comes with three topics and there are numerous variations for each one of these themes. (The company says more topics are part of the future development program.) Additionally, there are a selection of pre-fab”sections” you are able to insert and change on any page 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 critical tools you require for conducting a successful path or membership site. There is also a blank slate”media & Text” section that may be used to make pretty much whatever you want.
As is the case With just about any content management system, it took me a while to figure out the way to do some basic things like delete sections (the themes provide a home page pre-populated with segments ) and include custom pages to the site menu. However support was readily available for them. Thinkific has a solid support website on which you are able to search for aid, but I often just use a Google search along with the phrase”Thinkific” to find whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom website pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find decent support using this method, whether to the Thinkific site or from a different user.
Some added Features to notice:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid program (beginning at $49 a 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 these days. (Google smiles on this)
- White labeling (under Settings > Website )– By leaping up into a Pro Plan ($99 per month) using the Development Add-on ($.10 per busy student/per month) you can quickly get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your website and courses.
- Text Dimensions (below Settings > Learning Content and several other areas) — You can change a lot of the default language which is used in navigation and other areas. For example, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” as the label for parts of a program. You might like to change this to”Lessons.” Udemy My Courses
Thus, you might be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for the main Web site?”
For edupreneurs Who are only starting off and don’t have an Internet presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a good way to take a huge item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out ways to get an adequate Web site setup”) and focus on creating and launching your courses. You can worry about a more sophisticated Web site after.
If you already Have an Internet site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I wouldn’t suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other route platform) for your primary Web website. Site Builder is fantastic for what it does — and can create a fantastic course site to complement your primary site — but finally it is relatively restricted. Some of the key present constraints include:
- All themes are column. So, for instance, you can not put e-mail signup types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As noted, you can’t use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limitation if you truly want to mirror the branding of an present Web website.
- There’s no control on search engine optimization configurations on Internet pages — e.g., you can’t specify the title tags or meta descriptions. You can, however, do this on track landing pages, which is arguably more important for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins along with the broad network of seasoned contractors who are available to encourage platforms such as WordPress.
In spite of these Limitations, Site Builder is likely to do the job well for many edupreneurs and is quite a bit better than what many online class 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 start with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates which may be quite beneficial to track builders looking for help with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you’d be prone to think about for supplying an educational item. These are:
- Blank — Start new and construct your course to meet your specific program needs.
- Mini-course — Use a low-cost or free mini-course to generate leads for a full flagship course or service.
- Flagship Course — Build a complete online class using a robust curriculum outline created using best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and start building a waitlist to judge interest on your course.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable documents in an internet course to generate earnings or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable resources to be included in a membership package with this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to permit registrants to assess your presentation and offer.
All these can Be modified extensively — you can change the content from the sections which are supplied, delete segments, or insert new sections to reach the approach that’s right for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific supplies”smart coach course construction hints” to help you. (I found these useful, but they may be easily turned off, should you would like.) Udemy My Courses
If you have zero Experience working with Internet content, there will 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 making your way up it, and you’ll reap the benefits.
And, in case you are Already comfortable with other Web content systems — such as, for example, WordPress or another program platform — I believe that you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
The logic, overall A course in Thinkific makes sense. After choosing”New Course,” picking your course type, naming it (which you can change at any stage ), and saving it, you add”Chapters” (or change ones already in the template) to produce the structure of the program. As noted above, if you don’t like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you would like.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way. There are 11 options:
- Video classes — Upload a movie file. (This has saved in a video library for re-use in other classes. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who isn’t a registered user of your site.)
- Lessons — Create a quiz for your 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 course. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (supply the URL 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 Pro or Enterprise license. More on this below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, pictures, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text & Media” Website Builder option discussed previously.
- Survey lessons — Gather information/feedback from the students by building a short survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons — Upload a PDF file to be looked at within the course participant.
- Disqus classes — Insert Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there is also a discussion option built into Thinkific that you can turn on or off beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads resources.
- Presentation classes — synchronize a presentation as a PDF file and record audio for each slide.
- Exam lessons — Include a Brillium examination on your program. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 a month. More on this below.)
The aforementioned 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., allowing learners to go down different paths based on their performances from the course or information you collect about them — and
- Inserting elements.
If those are Choices you genuinely want, you’d be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool like iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of programs here). Udemy My Courses
The use of Articulate and Captivate at Thinkific
Many course Creators will be perfectly content with using the tools in Thinkific to make courses, but some may prefer the option of creating their courses with third-party e-learning class creation software like Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Fundamentally, using a Third party tool is an option to seriously think about 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 need to re-create them using Thinkific course creation tools), or (b) you anticipate developing a substantial catalog of lessons with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not wish to have your classes locked into a specific delivery stage.
You can use these Kinds of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are supported — but there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this path.
First, Thinkific (like the rest of the platforms in its 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 know is that it provides criteria for how an online course can communicate with a learning platform to send it data like how long a student has spent in a program, or if specific parts of the course have been finished successfully. Thinkific monitors this kind of data using its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
Secondly, you cannot Import an Captivate or Articulate course into Thinkific on your own. These courses are made up of over one file (such as, for instance, a video file), so to get them into the platform, you have to zip up the files and send them into Thinkific customer support.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course building platform offers you. This includes the training course building, the marketing, the selling, and also the teacher/student management.
Systems like Thinkific don’t host courses on your own site. Your content is actually hosted with Thinkific (so that you don’t have 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 surely provides management that is branding and more liberty. Let us explore some of the standout attributes.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the student communication tools. It’s a visual student management area, together with pictures of your students, titles, contact information, and information for how far they are on your course.
You’ve got the Option create a dialogue or to send emails. Udemy My Courses
Incentives are Also a part of this learning environment because Thinkific offers report cards, completion certificates, and throughout courses, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want needless to say.
Along with Unlimited replays of course material, language controls, and optimisation working together with the Thinkific platform ought to feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of this Reason Thinkific seems so great compared to this competition is that of its course designer. You don’t have to mess with any code if you don’t want to.
In Reality Your content is organized with a drag and drop editor, where you pile the course content and move it about vertically.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media types. From PDFs to audio files, and polls to quizzes, the stage is great for offering up a vast assortment of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned Before, all of these documents are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You shouldn’t have to worry running slowly in your very own shared servers or being too big.
When you customize Your course site it features some useful editing tools for the beginners on the market. For instance, you can correct items such as banners, colour schemes, and logos without touching any code.
However, the more Developers have full control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you would like to make your site unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. This is unfortunate since there’s no way.
Thinkific does It the ideal way, with promotional and marketing instruments built into the app. Much of this is automatic. Consequently, if you want to drip articles to your students–where courses would be released over the years –Thinkific has this operation. Udemy My Courses
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send automatic emails out based on a schedule. Pricing is done through Thinkific, along with the choice to get paid immediately when someone signs up for your program.
In Terms of becoming It is tried by people beyond your site to come out, Thinkific includes an online affiliate marketing program to reward bloggers and people who advocate your program. Coupons can also be provided through Thinkific, giving a chance to create advertisements with specials and convince newcomers your class is well worth investing in to you.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is monitored in the dashboard, and you can join Facebook, your Adwords, and other reports where students are coming out of to see.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the reasons for using a online class platform is that it makes managing and monitoring your customers and their data a lot simpler.
Communicating with Learners
In addition to Assisting you to organize your learners, Thinkific also enables a number of ways also for them to provide feedback on the course and for you and your learners to communicate. Udemy My Courses
As previously noted, For instance, you can empower discussion for your courses and then manage your students contributions under Service Your Students > Discussions, where it is possible to sort discussions by course, respond to pupils, and — if needed –“Disapprove” gifts which you don’t want to show up in the course. (Note: Enabling discussions is now a nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all courses have it or no courses have it. The workaround for this is to use the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Enable your student to submit reviews for your courses. You then have the ability to approve these reviews (they aren’t published automatically) and utilize them as social proof on your earnings page for your course. Unlike discussions, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Finally, there are Numerous notifications which can be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, some of which can be customized. You can send students a message when they register for your website, enroll in a specific course, or complete a program. It is also possible to send reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To Begin with, When a user signs up at your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and using custom sign-up fields (under Settings > Orders & accounts) you can easily add fields to catch whatever special information you desire from your users. (Note that, unlike programs like Udemy, you get full access to the user information you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users. This feature can have a big impact on your business model by making it feasible for you to sell courses in bulk to associations — one of the best ways for internet course vendors to induce revenue growth.
You, groups May easily organize your learners by other factors, or business, or cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, which makes it possible to enhance your marketing moving ahead and to track the effectiveness of your own offerings with each group. (Note: Use of the Groups feature requires a Guru program license with the Growth Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups performance Udemy My Courses
Tracking and Reporting
A reason to Have a technical online class platform — to simply posting articles behind a password on a Web site as opposed, by way of instance — is it is going to monitor quiz and survey information as well as things like course progress and conclusion.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to pick a specific student and monitor a number of variables 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 enjoy this you If you’re adding new lessons to an already completed class can opt to reset a student’s completion percentage at any moment, for instance,.
Overall, the Course coverage is rather basic, but I suspect it will serve the needs of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Contrary to the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported into a .CSV document (rather than displayed on screen) and emailed to you. The .csv document includes the answers from all students who’ve obtained a questionnaire a quiz email address, along with their title, and when they took it. For quizzes, it supplies the number and percentage .
Overall, reporting For quizzes/surveys and courses is one of the areas in which the Thinkific system could 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 get quiz/survey data and course conclusion through a single Web interface. Better still, 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 at Thinkific), and a link to obtain the certificate related to the program. Udemy My Courses
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning sector for the past couple of decades (as I have) will understand that Thinkific provides a remarkable range of features at a very affordable price. It was not that long ago a system with these capacities may have easily cost thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It’s hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are gaps which will rule it out and all of these tend to be gaps which are characteristic of the class of platforms. The main ones I see are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific may host and deliver courses created in shared authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t really take advantage of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these applications. In case you’ve got a robust and legitimate reason for using one of the major e-learning standards, Thinkific would not be the way to go.
Like I said, these Are areas which aren’t served well by platforms that are in Thinkific’s class. To get a platform which supports all three means a price point three to four times higher than Thinkific — and it can go far from that point up. Be sure these are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the number of hours for finishing a class in Thinkific, you cannot define the total amount of education available for a program. While there may be work-arounds, for most course providers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Udemy My Courses
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you can make and manage a number of instances of a stage. This can be very useful if you’re a training company with many corporate clients and those customers want their branded instance of this platform for serving and managing their customers. While the Group functionality in Thinkific makes you a part of the way there, it isn’t the same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I’ve yet To find an internet course platform that has many hidden fees, Thinkific advertises that it too has no hidden fees or contracts. That is good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a totally free plan for those who wish to test the platform but not get bogged down from constraints. In theory, it helps you launch your shop and begin building a pupil base. If you would rather give one of those more innovative plans a whirl there’s also a free trial.
The pricing is Divided into four simple plans:
Starter — $0 to many core Thinkific features. This plan has a 10% transaction fee, all you want to make, market, and sell infinite courses your classes, course upsells, content hosting, basic integrations support, and access to all capital.
Basics — For $49 per month you get all core and newcomer features, along with a 5% transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate coverage, a bulk student emailer, customized domain, and additional course rates. Udemy My Courses
Business — For $99 per month you receive the features from all previous plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden classes, website white tagging, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout coverage, an onboarding telephone, payment strategies, and an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you get all attributes from previous programs, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding package, people API, advanced integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Advantages to its pricing design. Not only are you able to begin your course at no cost (something that’s not offered with competitors like Teachable,) but the additional three plans are broken down into a reasonable manner.
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 and also the HTML editing but $99 a month still isn’t that bad.
As you can see, The trade prices are 10% for the free program. That is high, but it creates an environment for people who do not have the funds to start a professional online shop or anyone with low volume. Once you start making money you’ll be able to cut that transaction fee down.
Finally, you can By paying an annual basis, also save money. If you pay it all upfront, the Essentials plan goes to $39 a month. The Business plan is $79 per month and the Advanced program is 219. That makes the pricing plans similar to Teachable.
I’ll end this Thinkific review at which I started: this really is a platform I recommend. Hopefully it’s evident by now that it offers a range of the characteristics to support your average edupreneur in selling classes that are online.
I think it is Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a great deal of momentum. This is certainly not a point: the marketplace for online class platforms like Thinkific is currently crowded and noisy. You can be sure that a lot of the programs that are here today is going to undoubtedly be gone tomorrow. I feel convinced Thinkific will be around, and the organization is clearly growing and continually investing to improve its own platform. Udemy My Courses