Types of Online Course Platforms in 2019
There are several online course platforms that all help you accomplish different teaching goals. Two types of online course platforms are high-quality learning management systems and online course marketplaces (Baidhurya, 2019).
If you don’t yet have a student following, and want to see if your course could potentially attract a substantial enough number of learners, it is best to first put your course in an online course marketplace. Marketplaces are online course platforms that provide you with the technology to build and sell your courses online, and also actively act on your behalf to market and sell your course. This is a great solution for course creators looking to see how profitable their course can be before making a large investment in a platform all his/her own. This is also a great solution for course creators with an established online presence that want to explore an additional sales channel for their courses (Baidhurya, 2019).
High quality learning management systems typically will not have tools to design your own website, or tools to help you market your course (Baidhurya, 2019). However, these solutions provide the perfect online platform solution for internal trainings for small businesses, hospitals, clinics, universities, and corporations that want an online platform that seamlessly integrates with their established online website (Baidhurya, 2019). You can also sell courses on learning management systems which support integrations with online payment processors.
There are many advantages of SaaS platforms, and in this article we hope to (a) identify the advantages and disadvantages of these types of online course platforms, and (b) provide an example of each that is regarded as one of the best online course platforms in 2019.
Best Learning Management System Platform in 2019
Pros of LMS Online Course Platforms in 2019:
- Easily integrate an LMS with your organization’s existing web presence.
- Utilize one platform for online in-house trainings that are free, and for online courses that you wish to sell for profit.
- Cloud-based LMS solutions are more affordable.
Cons of LMS Online Course Platforms in 2019:
- Most do not have built-in tools for marketing your online course. Though client support for these LMS solutions can typically give you good advice for marketing your online course materials.
- A website design all your own is usually not offered by an LMS. However, it is possible to find an LMS that offers a custom URL and custom branding options.
CertCentral is an LMS online course platform designed for scalable continuing education and certificate training programs. This streamlined interface makes it easier than ever to quickly build dynamic trainings and quickly train staff or students. The ease of use, affordability, and strong customer service of this LMS make CertCentral one of the best online course platforms in 2019.
Pros of CertCentral:
- Affordable and scalable: CertCentral offers a free 30-day trial period so that users can build their trainings prior to paying for a subscription plan. Plans start as low as $29/month so users can easily increase their plan as their training needs advance.
- Integrates with Stripe: Sell trainings easily by connecting your Stripe account with your CertCentral account. Manage online courses with and without a price tag all in one platform.
- Delivers online CE credits: Create courses that students pay for in exchange for earning CE credits. Award CE credit on custom completion certificates
- Custom branding: Choose a custom URL and integrate your company’s color scheme and branding onto your interface in an Enterprise Plan.
Cons of CertCentral:
- Webinar is only offered within Enterprise Plans.
- Standard plans do not support languages other than English.
Best Online Course Marketplace Platform in 2019
Pros of Online Course Marketplace Platforms in 2019:
- They provide you with the technology to build and sell your courses online, and also actively act on your behalf to market and sell your course.
- Allows you to see how your courses will do without as much upfront financial investment as another online platform solution.
- Courses can be offered and sold to any existing learning management system of a large enterprise (Baidhurya, 2019).
Cons of Online Course Marketplace Platforms in 2019:
- Typically they do not allow you access to your students’ contact information, so your audience might not be able to find you once you decide to leave the marketplace and try to sell your courses through a medium all your own.
- Selling through a marketplace, unfortunately does not al3low you to make as much of a profit off of your course as you would make if you were selling it on your own platform. You will typically have to pay the online course marketplace 25% to 75% cut of your sales (Baidhurya, 2019).
OpenSesame is an online marketplace platform with comprehensive catalog of courses for companies.
Pros of OpenSesame:
- Affordable: It is absolutely free to get started.
- Multilingual platform: This platform supports multiple languages.
- Easy interface:Just create your profile as a teacher, upload your trainings, and OpenSesame handles all of the marketing and selling of your program to its students.
- Low requirements for teachers: Become a teacher on OpenSesame regardless of educational background and let your experience in the industry speak volumes for the popularity of your course.
- Wildly popular: Ensure that your course reaches a wide audience by choosing OpenSesame.
Cons of OpenSesame:
- OpenSesame will take 50% of sales from all of your courses sold.
- Customers have said that the PPU model for certifications can become pricey. So if you are looking to offer certification courses, you might want to look at selling on another marketplace option that wouldn’t price your certification course too high.
If you have an online course business that you are looking to launch. There is no better place to start than with these two affordable online course platform options–ranked among the best online course platforms in 2019.