How To Choose The Best Host For Your Online Course (What To Consider)

How To Choose The Best Host For Your Online Course (What To Consider)

Selling courses is a great way to make additional income, position yourself or your brand as an authority on a subject, add an educational feature for your viewers, increase your services portfolio, or simply, finally pursue your childhood dream of being a teacher.

Teaching online can do all these things for you, and many more.

While it is important to be well-versed in your chosen subject, as well as have some understanding of how you want to structure and sell the course, many teachers find it particularly difficult to choose a single platform to sell through. 

While online teaching can be very profitable, simply facilitating the teacher-student relationship through a platform is also quite a profitable industry.

Therefore we are seeing a drastic increase in the number of teaching platforms that are available.

More importantly, they all market themselves as being unique and claim to have services that no other platform does.

In reality, they are simply rebranding some basic services and playing the same trick that many other businesses do in order to differentiate their offering from competitors.

Rather than getting caught up with things that you don’t actually need and paying for additional services that you will probably never use, why not focus on the real problems that teachers and students face and find solutions that will address those particular challenges?

If you are looking to get into online teaching and are in search of the best platform for your services, these are the things that you should focus on.

1. Accessibility

Today we have people accessing the internet from all kinds of different devices.

Whether that is a smartphone or a computer, the way the internet is accessed is very different from how it was done in the past.

There are multiple factors for this change but the important thing is that your students could be coming from a variety of devices and you need a platform that will cater to each.

If you have a fantastic website with all the things that the student needs but the website isn’t loading on their device, it will be of little use to them.

Similarly, you don’t know the computer literacy level of the person that is coming to access your courses.

Ideally, you want something that is very easy to navigate and as intuitive as possible.

2. Customization

Just like all other services, teaching cannot be placed into a cookie-cutter and generalized.

Even two courses on the same subject can be structured very differently and can require completely different things from the platform because of this.

You want to have a platform that allows you at least some degree of customization and allows you to mold the interface according to your requirements rather than the other way around.

Also, it should allow for your users to adjust the settings and the interface according to their learning style.

If you do have to make a compromise, it shouldn’t be on the most important aspects of the course.

3. Nature Of The Course

The course itself is a big deciding factor for which platform you will use.

For instance, if you are selling an arts course that teaches people how to sketch, you don’t want it to be listed on a platform that teaches people how to do video editing.

While they are both under the arts umbrella, they are quite different.

You want to look for something appropriate for your course while choosing an online course platform, including features that meet the needs of what you’re learning and access to the kind of audience and services that you may need to reach as you study.

You don’t want your course to be the ugly duckling in the library, nor do you want it to be competing in such an over-stocked market that it barely stands out.

If your course is video-intensive, use a platform that has superior video features.

If it is a more interactive course, choose something that gives you the ability to communicate more efficiently with the audience.

If your course is region-specific, then choose something that will give you access to your desired audience rather than wasting resources on targeting the entire world.

4. Security

The internet is equally dangerous for all people that visit this network. As a teacher, you are watching out for not only your own safety but also the safety of your students.

You want a platform that provides good security or allows you to add specific security features.

Security is a big concern, especially if this is a course through which you are going to be exchanging a lot of personal information, there is going to be a lot of interaction, and if you’ll be communicating through different mediums.

After the pandemic, the number of digital crimes has increased exponentially and it is crucial that both students and teachers take security into their own hands.

The platform itself is only responsible to a certain extent.

5. Analytics

One of the toughest parts of teaching is actually providing the feedback that will help students improve.

While this is already difficult with physical teaching, it is even more challenging as an online teacher.

You are constantly scrolling through files and folders, you are accessing multiple resources, some of the work is digital, the other is manual, and overall it can be quite overwhelming to deal with.

To add to this, you are teaching hundreds if not thousands of people, and getting around to everyone in time is rather challenging.

The right platform will give you the services you need for analysis, marking, and reporting.

This way, your job as a teacher and the experience of the student is far better.

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Pricing also plays a part in teaching platforms. Some platforms are free for both the teacher and the student, though most reputable platforms take a share from both parties.

Depending on the services that they offer and the nature of the course, this could be a few dollars or it could be a few hundred dollars.

You need to keep in mind the kind of audience that you are targeting and whether or not the price is going to be something that will push them away.

Also, you don’t want it to be so low that students don’t take the course seriously and you don’t get any traffic because your course doesn’t seem authentic.

A great way to start is to split the course up into different tiers.

Those who want more in-depth information or more advanced information can go for the higher-priced version while those looking for an introduction to the field can pick up the beginner version.

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