What learning platform? Part 2

Learning Platform2

A comparison of Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi and Learn Worlds

If you are looking to try and create an online course, you will of course need to make sure that it goes as smoothly and to plan as possible. There are many ways to make sure of that, but one of the major considerations that you are going to need to make is which course builder website you are going to use. There are so many of these out there that you would be mistaken for feeling as though there are too many to choose from. However, there are three in particular which are especially popular and commonly used, and it is these three which we are going to focus on in this article. Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi and LearnWorlds are all strong contenders for best online course platform for thought leaders looking to share their expertise online. There are a range of other course platforms, but many of these are designed for the corporate market. While it might not be possible to pick a single best, however, there are many ways in which we can compare and contrast them, and that is what we will do here. Let’s take a look in some detail at the differences between these three and what they are able to offer you. First of all, we’ll take a brief overview of each one.

Teachable: An Overview

This is probably the world’s most popular and famous platform for building online courses, and with good reason. It does offer a lot that many others don’t, and it has been doing it for longer than many others have too. 23 million learners use Teachable at the time of writing, and there are more than 257k courses which are active on its platform right now. Clearly, there must be something that they are doing right, for so many people to want to use it as a platform. Teachable is proud of its focus on multiple device setup, as well as their power editor that allows you to modify any part of the online school at your will. They provide a good looking service and one that is intuitive to use, and many people find that they are the best, or one of the best, online course providers out there. They are certainly one that you will want to consider if you are building an online course yourself.

Thinkific: An Overview

Thinkific is wildly popular too, and also focuses on producing beautiful pages that work well with the content within them. They argue that they are the prime choice for crafting learning experiences from start to finish, and on the whole you get more of a vibe of a tailor made service, rather than something you have ultimate control over. However, for many people this is exactly what they are looking for, so it might be one to consider if that is something that you are thinking of for yourself. They are quick to upload, and you can easily customize many of the functions and features of your course. It is also very simple to use, and in general might be considered the much more user friendly of all of the options here. If you are unable to code but you still want to be able to make huge changes to your online school, then Thinkific can be a good option to go for.

Kajabi: An Overview

Kajabi markets itself much more to business leaders than those who are seeking to teach, while still offering many of the same functions and features as the previous two options. In fact, Kajabi is much more than just an online course creator: it is used in a wider way to integrate many aspects of a business in one place, and it seems to do so for many businesses in a smooth and easy manner which is clearly very useful for a lot of entrepreneurs out there. If you are looking to integrate a course with other aspects of your business, then Kajabi might well be the one to go for. Something that is standout about Kajabi is the way in which they prioritize and champion looking after your leads, and watching what is really happening in real time with regards to your course and your business as a whole. If that sounds like something you want, then you are going to need to consider Kajabi as a strong possibility.

LearnWorlds: An Overview

LearnWorlds is a platform that has flown under the radar and not very well known, but certainly have a great number of features, and has had some significant growth in the business during 2019. LearnWorlds has some great content creation features as well as a complete e-commerce solution with built-in marketing and sales tools for growing your audience and increasing your revenue. What started several years ago as a cool side project has already evolved into a profitable SaaS business serving top course sellers in over 70 countries. The LearnWorlds vision is to be rewarded for creating learning products that provoke authentic, comprehensive, continuous, creative and challenging learning experiences.

Content Creation Options

Now let’s start comparing these platforms with regard to a range of different elements that you might hope to see. First of all, we will look at the content creation options that each of them offer, to see whether there might be a clear winner here, or whether it is more of a tie. With any online course, you want to make sure that you have a good deal of options when it comes to the content creation, as this effectively amounts to a much more customizable experience, and means you have more power and freedom to do what you really want to do. So how do the three stack up against each other in this respect With Teachable, you have the ability to create multimedia lectures, meaning that you can include text, audio, video, PDF, and more. You can do this manually or by using Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. So no matter what platform you might be using, you can be sure that you are going to be able to easily upload content in one place. You can also build the website itself, of course, which is an important part of the whole process, including sales pages. There is also an option for quizzes, to test your learners’ learning, course completion certificates, and more. There is a lot here that you might make use of, and really this is just the tip of the iceberg. When it comes to Thinkific, you have the opportunity to do many of the same things. You can produce video, text, download materials, quizzes, surveys, discussions, google docs, and more. But somewhere they differ is that you can also produce private and hidden courses, prerequisite lessons, and you can drip schedule content so that your learners can gradually gain the information they need at the schedule that you feel is right for their learning. That might be more helpful in many cases, depending on what you are going for. As for Kajabi, you are going to get a wholly different range of items and content that you can produce, for the simple fact that they are such a widely differently focused company. If you are looking to use Kajabi, it is probably because you are a business, and as such you are going to be able to use them for creating emails, webpages, integrated course pages, and even many kinds of automations too. This might be more your style, or you might want to go for the purer options of Teachable or Thinkific. LearnWorlds has the greatest range of content creation options. This includes an interactive ebook, allowing learners to mark up content and make notes, and an interactive video tool which allows you to easily show the video transcript, add hotspots and questions, add titles and images. Audio files, PDFs, scorm, html5 can also be added as content. Quizzes, exams and assignments can also be created to check for understanding and assess learner progress.

Adding externally created content

If you are looking at creating your content in an external authoring tool (such as Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate or dominKnow Flow as examples) and publishing it as a SCORM file then Teachable or Kajabi are not for you. Thinkific has the ability to import files created in an external authoring tool, however the files must be exported for web (HTML5). LearnWorlds allows for SCORM objects to be easily added to the courses to allow for higher levels of interaction that the external tools allow.

Price

No matter what else might be the case, it is obviously always going to be important that you are not paying too much for your course creation platform. Comparing the prices is therefore going to prove very important indeed. So just how do the three stack up when it comes to their pricing ranges? Teachable’s Basic plan sits at $29 per month, billed annually. That’s for all base features, along with unlimited learners and 5% transaction fees. To go without transaction fees and to have more admin user capability, you can upgrade instead to the Professional level at $79 per month billed annually. Or for the Business plan, you are looking at $399 per month, also billed annually. Over at Thinkific, one real selling point is that there is a Free option. That’s just to test out the core features, however. If you want a proper plan, you are looking again at three options: Basic, Pro, and Premier. It has to be said that Thinkific is distinctly more expensive than Teachable, with prices for its packages being $49, $99, and $499 respectively. You are getting much the same for a lot more money. Kajabi’s pricing is bigger still, possibly because they market themselves to business much more than individuals. The Basic package is $119 a month, their Growth mid-range package is $159 a month, and their Pro is $319 a month, all billed annually. Actually, their Pro is the cheapest of the three platforms, so if you are running a large business, that might be your best bet, but you might not get all the features of the other two. LearnWorlds has a number of pricing packages. The starter package is $24 a month billed annually making it the lowest of the four compared. However, it has an additional $5 fee per course sale with this package. The subsequent packages are $79 and $249 a month, billed annually, with no course transaction fees.

Site Design & Customization

One important part of setting up your online course is that you want to make sure the site design is one you can enjoy, and that you have a lot of options with regards to customizing it to suit your needs as well as possible. As it happens, that is something that you can be sure of with all three, but there are still ways in which they differ too. Teachable might well be the best option for sheer variety of styles, and you are bound to find something there that you are going to be able to use as well as you would hope. You also have the option to fully customize everything on the site, so if there is anything that you don’t quite like that might not be a problem at all, or not for very long. It’s also very attractive in what it offers, and you will probably find that your learners find it to be a user-friendly and lovely graphical interface which you can enjoy. When it comes to Thinkific, you don’t have quite the same level of customization as Teachable, as you don’t have the opportunity to code. But again there is a considerable range of site designs to choose from, and much of what you can customize means that you are still going to be able to make it yours in most cases. However, if you were going for the full business experience, it might not quite live up to your expectations. Kajabi is certainly the least customizable of the three, although it does offer some good designs and a wide variety of styles that you can choose between. To say that their service in some way replaces Teachable is not really doing Teachable justice, however if you are merely in need of a good-looking site that works and is up and running fast, then this is something that you might still want to consider. LearnWorlds has the ability to create simple web pages for attracting interest and marketing to prospective clients. It has an intuitive drag and drop block-based web page builder, where you can choose between hundreds of templates and create high-converting landing pages. It also has a wide range of integrations with other marketing and affiliate tools.

Reporting & Analytics

It’s always going to be important that you are able to see how your site is doing, what your learners are getting up to, and much more besides. Having access to that data reporting and being able to access and analyze it is hugely important for ensuring the success of your online course. Each platform speaks of this reporting, but which is actually going to be the best option in this way? Teachable is proud of its comprehensive dashboard, its course-wide learner insights and contact and revenue data exports, and it is all presented in a clear, yet detailed manner that many will find very useful. Thinkific offers automated check-ins with learners, providing you with reports after the fact, and a range of progress reports that you will be able to make use of. It is about the same as Teachable in this area. Both Kajabi and LearnWorlds have very comprehensive reporting and analytics. LearnWorlds reporting extends across the learning and marketing sides, with a clear dashboard showing the clickrate on site pages. If you want greater ability to see what is really going on, then Kajabi or LearnWorlds might well be the option to go for.

In Conclusion

On the whole, you have a good all-rounder in Teachable, though it lacks in some areas such as its backend – which is a little cleaner and simpler to use in Thinkific. That platform is not quite as customizable, however, and it is considerably pricier. Kajabi is probably the best option for large businesses, but might not be quite as good for anyone else. LearnWorlds is the clear winner in the content creation tools and is a great all rounder that would satisfy the majority of your needs. Whichever you end up going for, make sure that you carefully choose beforehand, as it is one of the biggest decisions you will make in creating your online course.
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Superb Learning
Superb Learning
The modern entrepreneur is shifting to become an ‘edupreneur’ – providing an educational and entrepreneurial income generating business, driven by visibility, scalability and profitability. With more edupreneurs delivering online learning programs than ever before, the online education market is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025.

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