They started to look for and still desire to get one-size-fits-all online course software to deliver high-quality educational products and skyrocket their businesses. Nowadays a majority of educational institutions are hosting classes remotely and implementing innovative approaches to create an effective and friendly learning environment online. This became possible due to constantly increasing and improving different online course software.
A striking example of an innovative approach is the "Virtual Exchange" program of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. This program allows students to gain necessary credits by taking online courses from partner universities. According to Globe-News Fire Report, the massive open online course (MOOC) market is projected to be worth $25.33 billion by 2025.
Institutes and colleges may offer blended or hybrid programs that combine standard live lectures and augmented and virtual reality to engage students in a learning process. So, one can attend classes remotely: by connecting to the live broadcast (synchronous option) or listening to the recording (asynchronous option), the course can include Skype sessions and webinars. The statistics show that a considerable share of faculty worldwide, precisely 65 percent approves the use of open educational resources (OERs) in teaching.
What is online course software?
Online course software is a dedicated platform that provides everyone with access to online lessons, lectures, and seminars. Most often, knowledge transfer is carried out through a variety of media content, including video, images, graphics, audio files, texts, etc. After studying the provided materials, students are offered tasks for self-examination, as well as various tests and other forms of self-report.
What to pay attention to when choosing the best online course software?
There are a few things to consider while choosing an online course software because they have a big impact on your content creation and business growth.
Consider essential elements that you want to include in your online course: giving assignments to students, creating quizzes, or providing a variety of payment methods. It will influence your choice of learning management system (LMS) to build a course.
2. Payment solutions
You can also make sure that a chosen online course software offers payment solutions that are available to you as a business owner. Some online course creation platforms may charge a percentage of the income generated from the sale of each course, and this amount increases over time.
The LMS integration helps you connect online course software with third-party platforms and market automation tools. For example, you can link online course software to your email marketing service, social media, or CRM software. Make sure your online course platform supports third-party integrations and has many ready-to-use ones.
4. Flexibility and freedom
Many online course platforms have terms and conditions that could affect your business. For example, they may not allow you to sell certain types of courses, or they may be able to shut down your entire business without any notice.
Some platforms provide less control you can have over your courses and, more importantly, in some cases, you cannot add new settings or features to your course.
5. Ease of use and support
As a course creator and entrepreneur, you want to choose the online course software that is easy for you to use. It should contain custom templates, be able to work with your website, and offer good customer support.
You should also consider whether your online course platform is convenient for students and clients.
With these criteria in mind, let's take a look at the best online course platforms on the market today.
Here is our top pick for Best online course software to build your perfect course:
By choosing one of the proven course software, you can create a unique educational business and independently customize the learning process for students. Here are our highlights for the best online course software:
Top Open Source Online course software: Open Edx
Online course software for professionals: Kajabi
Online course software for automation: Thinkific
Online course software for beginners: Teachable
Online course software for interactive eLearning: Adobe Captivate
1. Top Open Source Pick: Open Edx
Open EdX is a cutting-edge online course software created by Harvard and MIT to deliver inspiring learning experiences. As the only massive open online course (MOOC) provider that’s both non-profit and open source, the software is a good choice for teachers who want to get their own customized and easy-to-use platform. We explained the increasing popularity and covered online course software features in detail in our review of Open Edx, but here are some of the main highlights.
1. Open edX is an open-source educational platform that allows you to organize online learning for a variety of educational tasks: an online campus, instructor courses, group training programs, and one-off training courses.
2. Open edX software is designed to be used throughout the entire learning process by several user groups: students, course organizers, and teachers. There are many features available in the Open edX software system: educators can publish courses, host discussion boards, manage groups and teams, edit grades, and communicate with students. Students can access their profiles, check registration status, and view courses through the student dashboard.
3. Open edX software can help you launch any educational product you would like to deliver, grow and support your audience faster and more efficiently, present topics you care about, or make money online incredibly fast and with relative ease.
Since Open Edx itself is open source and free for use, it gives a greater amount of options for any instructor to use, either from the teaching or the learning end. Certainly, these options might be a little challenging to the beginner or someone who is not so good at using online platforms, which is why the software offers both self-managed and fully-managed options. To avoid unnecessary obstacles on your way to creating a course, it is better to address an Open Edx service provider and get your best customized Open Edx solution. Being a preferred Open Edx service provider, The Raccoon Gang team is always ready to deliver innovative eLearning solutions to customize your courses.
2. Online course software for professionals: Kajabi
If you are pursuing the aim to create an in-depth course for professionals, this platform can be a good choice. Kajabi is all-in-one course software with a user-friendly interface where any integrations can be easily set up and a secure customer experience is guaranteed. A basic $119 subscription fee gives you access to an extensive library of themes and styling options, as well as the ability to automate email marketing and customize your finished course validation.
There are marketing automation tools that are the hallmark and best feature of Kajabi. Thanks to them, you can segment customers and launch personalized mailings that will attract even more potential students to you. The only drawback is considered to be quite an expensive subscription fee.
3. Online course software for Automation: Thinkific
The main policy of Thinkific is to help grow your educational empire. Here you can find a wide variety of functions to help optimize the performance of any project. These include, for example, tools to launch email marketing or providing 24/7 customer support.
After uploading the course to the platform, you will be prompted to create a personal website. You will be able to choose a template from the ready-made Thinkific library. There are business tools that allow you to quickly and easily launch sales as soon as the course is ready.
4. Online course software for beginners: Teachable
If you are new to the educational business, we advise you to pay attention to this particular platform. Teachable is a good option for those who are just planning to launch their first course.
Teachable is a one-stop platform that allows you to easily create courses and sell them without managing any software or installing updates. You can use Teachable on your domain name, or add it as a subdomain to your existing website.
It is easy to use for creating courses, uploading content, and publishing it. It also includes marketing and analytics tools to help propel your course forward.
5. Online course software for interactive eLearning: Adobe Captivate
This software helps you create engaging mobile courses in minutes, offers ready-to-use slides and a variety of interactive elements. The software considerably saves your time on content creation and allows you to automatically structure compound courses, and copy the look of one object and apply it to others.
If you like creating aesthetic course materials and you want to engage your students with something bigger than just text content, then Adobe Captivate should be on top of your online course software choices. On the other hand, this platform provides a difficult learning curve and you will have to buy extra software products to launch your course.
In conclusion, to choose the best online course platforms, it’s mandatory firstly to do some research: pay attention to any time restrictions, the monthly cost, and accessible marketing features.
Each platform allows you to easily upload the content, provide training for your learners, and generate sales. But more importantly, the ultimate success relies on those, who are responsible for high-quality engaging content and learn the ropes of how to market yourself.