Learning Management System for Small Business to Sell Online Courses

The learning management system for small business category has improved dramatically in the past few years for businesses interested in selling online courses. It used to be that if you wanted to sell courses, you either had to develop custom software or bolt e-commerce onto platforms that were built for corporate training or delivering college classes. Needless to say, this usually came with plenty of headaches and and a less than ideal experience for customers and channel parters.

Learning Management System for Small Business - Photo of Learning Management System return key on keyboard

These days, many small businesses may be able to take advantage of the new breed of platforms geared toward solopreneurs and very small entrepreneurial businesses that I cover in 15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses. This is particularly true, for example, of Teachable, which has begun expanding its efforts to support enterprise customers.

However, based on my own experiences and feedback from many small business owners, some of these platforms may not meet the more sophisticated demands of established businesses, particularly those that already have a significant base of face-to-face education customers. That’s why I decided to create a separate “learning management system for small business” page.  The following is my short list of platforms to consider. [Read more…]

Does SCORM Matter for Selling Online Courses?

Does SCORM Matter - graphic of e-learning data

If you are looking for a platform to sell online courses, there is a a good chance you will come across the term “SCORM” at some point. But what is SCORM? And, when it comes right down to it, does SCORM matter for selling online courses? [Read more…]

Looking for an alternative to Udemy?

photo of an orange in between two apples

Don’t mix apples and oranges when looking for an alternative to Udemy

I run across a lot of blog posts that aim to highlight an alternative to Udemy, the major online marketplace for publishing and selling online courses and a very popular option for subject matter entrepreneurs. In most cases, though, these posts highlight platforms like Teachable or Thinkific as alternatives. While, technically speaking, these are good alternatives, I suspect that a lot of people searching on “alternative to Udemy” are really looking for a substitute for Udemy.

Simply put, an alternative represents a different way of achieving essentially the same purposes – in this case, selling online courses.

A substitute, on the other hand, is essentially a replacement – in this case, a platform that offers essentially the same functionalities as Udemy.

While that may sound like just a bunch of academic hair-splitting, it’s actually a critical difference. One of the main functions of Udemy, after all, is to offer a marketplace, a ready-made destination for people who are shopping for online courses. This is one of the main reasons that subject matter entrepreneurs flock to Udemy in the first place.

While both Teachable and Thinkific offer significant advantages over Udemy in many ways, they do not offer a marketplace – and, as far as I know, have no plans to. (For other options like Teachable and Thinkific, see 15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses.)

So, what other platforms do offer a marketplace for your courses? That is, which platforms may truly be a substitute for Udemy rather than (or in addition to) an alternative to Udemy? Take a look at the following: [Read more…]

15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses (and Counting)

It's a whole new world out there is you are an individual subject matter expert of a small training/education organization looking to sell online courses. This post will help you narrow down the choices quickly. And you may also want to grab the free learning platform guide to help you make the right choice faster.

Image of e-commerce related to sell online courses

To sell online courses, it used to be that you had to master an authoring tool, license a learning management system (LMS) – or come up with a workaround – figure out hosting and e-commerce, and then somehow deal with end user support. These days, you can get across the finish line with little more than a Web cam, an Internet connection, and one of the platforms listed here.

In this post, I draw on two decades of experience working with online course platforms to narrow down the options and take a quick look at some of the best of what’s out there for helping you create, market, and sell online courses on the Web.

[Read more…]

Google Releases Course Builder – Free Massive Course Tool

Update, September 2013: It appears that Google will be ditching CourseBuilder as part of a collaboration the company has announced with EdX. Read more about the Google-EdX partnership.

Here’s another tidbit related to the Massive model (which I mentioned in my previous post on Steven’s Blank’s Udacity course): Google has released Google Course Builder, an open source version of the software and technology used to build its Power Searching with Google online course. You have to have some tech chops if you want to get up and running on it yourself, but if being a Webmaster isn’t your thing, I don’t think you would have any trouble finding someone to help you out with this on Elance or ODesk. I’m betting, too, that it won’t be too long before some hosting providers start offering it as an option.

Here’s Peter Norvig from Google giving a brief introduction to Google Course Builder:

There are also some good tips for designing an online course on the Google Course Builder site. Let me know if you decide to take it for a spin.

Jeff