The number of persons resorting to online teaching and learning has skyrocketed since the onset of the global pandemic. Forced to maintain social distancing, for many instructors and students, the only option was to transition to an e-learning setting.
Students don’t have much of a say in which learning modulating system is used but professors do. Selecting the right one is crucial to carrying out effective teaching strategies. Weighing the pros and cons of your possible choices will help the decision become clearer.
Benefits of E-Learning
Just because the switch was mandatory in many cases, doesn’t mean the situation has gone from good to bad. Not at all. In fact, digital learning comes with its own slew of perks for both teachers and students. As professors, you get the opportunity to develop new technical skills.
Broadening your skillset and professional abilities will serve to open up more doors for you in the future. You will become more familiar with new software programs and learn how to troubleshoot the issues which no doubt will arise during your sessions. For students, there’s increased flexibility with accessing materials, and time management skills will be sharpened.
Consider These Factors
If your teaching portfolio includes many subjects, narrow down those you want to focus on. Select whichever you have the most experience with and are most comfortable teaching. Having a good handle on the material will lessen the stress a change of platform may cause. You should also consider how much in demand your chosen subject is.
What you love to teach may not be what many students are eager to learn. Some tweaking then is necessary if you want the venture to be profitable. Check out your competition. You can learn from their positives and negatives. However, should there be many well-versed teachers covering your preferred coursework, you may do well to reconsider if the competition is too strong.
Battle of The Platforms
Now that you’ve decided what you will teach, it’s time to delve into the right online platform for you. There are quite a few out there that may appeal to you, very possibly including Teachable, Kajabi, and Thinkific. Both are reputable platforms with key differences that you should be aware of. Both allow you to construct your courses as you like from the onset to completion.
You are given free rein to design, publish, and host all of your courses. If your intention is to host webinars and video interactive sessions, Teachable is not the best option for you as Thinkific is the option that allows for hosting live videos.
Ease of use, however, goes to Teachable so if you are not very technically inclined, this will be less of a headache. Should you be interested in unique customizations requiring a more in-depth interface, opt for Thinkific. Kajabi would occupy the sweet spot between the two being somewhat easy to use but also carrying some depth.
You need your platform to stand out. There are thousands of instructors trying, just like you, to develop the best site possible. For the most options in designing your worksheet templates opt for Thinkific as none of the other two has as many options. Uniqueness will increase your odds of getting noticed.
Another need is a platform that has top performance. Can you imagine a crash that takes your learning platform completely offline? Disastrous. Now imagine this occurring with frequency. Horrific. Both Teachable and Thinkific have copped to experiencing downtime but with both options, you do have the avenue to personally monitor your site in the event quick action needs to be taken.
Thinkific boasts voice-over PowerPoint capability and multiple student payment options. They don’t, however, offer any chat support. Teachable allows you the avenue to sell other products aside from courses if you so desire and is also the cheapest option out of all three. You cannot integrate plug-ins or third-party apps though.
As you can tell, making a decision will require some serious thought. The two major platforms focused on, teachable and Thinkific both offer many great pros. It may serve you better to regard more closely the cons. If you need live videos for your courses, then you should bypass teachable.
If you cannot do without an avenue for chat support, then Thinkific is not the right choice. Online teaching is a serious task and as such, you should set yourself up for success as best you can. If neither of these options meets your criteria, then keep searching. What you need is out there.