[Updated May 24, 2020 – LearnWorlds has introduced a new Zoom integration] If you’ve been scouring the internet for a good LearnWorlds review, then you’re in luck – not many are out there. But don’t let that discourage you! After having tinkered about with the interface and features, I’ve developed some comprehensive insights that will help you determine if this online course creation and selling platform is right for you!
If you’re an individual or enterprise who’s looking to create and sell online courses, LearnWorlds has definitely earned its “premium” title! Not only does it provide a powerful sales engine, extensive analytics, and 3rd party marketing tools to help you generate residual income, but it stands out from its competitors by allowing you to develop courses with an unparalleled capacity for student interactivity and engagement. To that end, LearnWorlds markets to a crowd of driven entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders who aim to provide learning experiences, rather than just courses.
Features and perks
- Unlimited courses
- Landing and sales pages
- Course builder, video uploads
- Digital downloads
- Online testing engine
- Interactive engagement
- Built-in social network
- Custom domain
- Custom native mobile apps
- Full white label
- 24/7 customer support
The above list of features and perks hardly scratches the surface of what LearnWorlds has to offer. The full list is much longer and depends on the pricing plan you select. Because I don’t want to overwhelm you, I’m going to cover the most critical components you should consider.
Navigating the Interface
I would consider myself a moderate techie. As such, it doesn’t usually take long for me to efficiently maneuver around a new site or software application. However, after signing up for a free 30-day trial (no credit cards!), I was a little overwhelmed by the layout of the dashboard. I’ve always preferred minimalist interfaces, and certainly didn’t think this dashboard was the easy on the eyes.
Nevertheless, once I focused on the top and left margins, the dashboard became much more intuitive. The design actually makes a lot of sense if you view the analytics as the command center, which effectively “commands” the center of the page. While it takes some effort to decipher all the visualizations, once you’ve adjusted, the possibilities are limitless.
Under “Active Learners”, you can see who is currently logged in, enabling you to promote engagement and collaboration in real time. You can also track your revenue and sales from the last 7, 30, or 60 days and trace how it has changed over time. Even though the analytics seemed daunting at first glance, I quickly came to appreciate how easy it is to access, understand, and leverage this feature. It takes the guesswork out of future decision-making and also allows me to make adjustments to current projects before continuing them.
The actionable elements of the page are in the top and left margins. Some of the most critical functions – such as “Create course” and “Preview page” – can be accessed from either area, depending on your preference as user.
Looking at the top of the page, I could tell right away that the first thing I needed to do was use the “School wizard” before creating a course. Whether you’re creating a school or entire course, the interface will walk you through everything step-by-step. It’s a very smooth process with detailed information explaining what’s happening every step along the way.
Creating your school is a simple two-step process of naming it and specifying the language, time zone, and currency. Once your school is set-up and you are ready to start creating online courses the course creation wizard prompts you to:
- Name your course
- Give the course an SEO-friendly URL
- Select what type of course (free, paid, upcoming, or an invisible draft)
- Select a price (if paid)
- Upload a course image and description
Everything is super easy. Learnworlds supports you at every step you and assumes no prior knowledge. So if you’re a first timer, you can simply focus on creating instead of dealing with confusing or unhelpful navigating.
Once you’ve set up your course parameters, you’ll find that the text editor is not only familiar and user-friendly in layout, but also highly attractive. To the left, you can click “Layout” and scroll through a variety of eye-grabbing templates, visualizing them in real time to make the selection process fun and efficient. Just under layout, you can select the background color, add text by double-clicking the text fields, and just in case you’re not familiar with the font and text options, Learnworlds describes their function when you hover over them.
To the right, you have the option of using an embed code or uploading a video file. While uploading chunky video files can get pricey, all of LearnWorlds’ plans include unlimited video hosting – a valuable and comforting feature.
The bottom line: Navigating LearnWorlds is very easy. Every step is accompanied with visual and textual clues for added support, making it as easy as possible to convert your ideas into a full-fledged online course.
Creating Learning Experiences
As someone who’s taught in both traditional and online learning environments for nearly a decade, I’m quite passionate about the breadth of learning experiences that a learning management system (LMS) – the fancy term for what LearnWorlds is – makes possible. The overwhelming majority of LMSes I’ve encountered to date do not offer anywhere near as much interactivity and engagement as LearnWorlds. While LearnWorlds dually functions as an e-commerce platform, you can tell there was substantial emphasis placed on instructional design techniques and accommodating different learning styles.
- An interactive video player
- Interactive eBooks
- Online Testing Engines
The interactive video player is my favorite feature because it enables me to engage every learning style simultaneously. In other words, your videos can engage visual, auditory, verbal, and kinetic learners by including text and/or pop-up text, navigation buttons, questionnaires with feedback on your responses, external links, etc. You can automatically pause the video to draw attention to something or give the reader time to ponder your questions.
In addition, the interactive eBooks also function to engage multiple learning styles, such as verbal and kinetic! Your learners can highlight key or interesting areas of the text or make annotations directly on the reading. As an e-learning specialist and instructional designer, these features are rare to find in your standard learning management systems. Furthermore, regardless of whether you’re in a traditional or online learning environment, kinetic learners are often ignored, as it is difficult to incorporate this style into lessons while staying close to the learning objectives. With both the video player and interactive eBooks, your learners will be able to physically interact with the videos and readings.
In addition to embedded questionnaires or assessments within your videos or eBooks, you can also host them as stand-alone assessments to test your students’ knowledge on a module or entire course – it’s up to you how to structure it. Learnworlds’ online testing engine also allows you to generate custom digital certificates which can feature your brand, logo, course name, date of issue, etc.
As with the interactive videos, few platforms in LearnWorld’s class allow you to award certificates with this degree of control. Certificates are a tangible and thus powerful reinforcer of one’s competency and achievements. And, in addition to helping to motivate your students, they can also boost your marketing: students who share their certificates on social networks like LinkedIn will also be sharing your brand and drawing attention to your offerings.
Speaking of social networks: most platforms do a poor job of supporting interpersonal – or social – learning. LearnWorlds, on the other hand, provides built-in social learning tools that offer a wide degree of functionality. There’s no need for additional software, 3rd-party plug-ins, technical complications, or privacy scares. Your students will be able to prompt meaningful discussions with questions, or exchange tips to help reinforce learning in a fun and social atmosphere.
LearnWorlds’ built-in social tools provide a much better experience than the inactive forums you see in most platforms. LearnWorlds actually provides a networking hub where each learner has a personalized profile displaying their activity, achievements, and the courses they’re taking. Not only is this an excellent tool for even shy learners to motivate themselves, but you become the center of a professional network in which learners can forge meaningful connections.
Finally, unlike most of the platforms in its class, LearnWorlds is SCORM compliant, meaning you can upload and configure course content that has been developed according to the most widely adopted e-learning industry standard. (More about SCORM here.)
The bottom line: LearnWorlds has done more than prove its commitment to foster interactive learning experiences. By maximizing interactivity with its videos, eBooks, assessments, certifications, and social learning tools, it has placed itself above the curve within the e-learning realm.
Branding Your Online School
When it comes to branding – key to standing out and maximizing sales in competitive online course markets – LearnWorlds does a great job of catering to design and coding gurus while still making life easy for the rest of us.
Learnworlds’ theme editor makes the branding process really simple. From the dashboard, click on “Appearance” in the left margin and then click “Logo & Colors”. From there, you can upload logos for the top of your site pages, the footer, and email headers.
The theme editor also allows you to customize your school colors to match your brand, such as the main color, top-bar background color, and navigation bar color. The “see what you are changing” feature comes in very handy for visualizing your selections. Before exiting the theme editor, you’ll know exactly what your school will look like without any need for tedious navigating or refreshes.
Another key feature of LearnWorlds’ sleek designs is that they all offer mobile responsivity. Your audience or demographic might be more inclined towards learning on iPads, tablets, and smartphones rather than PCs. If you’re not familiar with using HTML and CSS to make necessary adjustments for different devices, then LearnWorlds’ mobile and tablet ready designs will do the heavy lifting for you. Your students won’t need to download any native apps. That said, if you want to create a mobile app for your school LearnWorlds can do that for you. (See more on this topic below in “Marketing and selling your courses.”
While I do have basic HTML and CSS skills, I was quite impressed with not only the modern and professional template designs, but also the breadth of options. Nevertheless, you might have a very specific vision in mind for your brand and possess the know-how (or help) to execute it. In that case, LearnWorlds lets you effortlessly add code to customize any aspect of your courses, pages, and branding. You can even insert code so your sites can integrate with 3rd party analytics and marketing tools.
The bottom line: One of Learnworlds’ most outstanding features is the range and customizability of its designs. While you don’t need to be a web developer to have an appealing and professional brand, you still have the option to customize any aspect of your courses and pages with coding. With access to 400+ readymade templates and extensive design tools, you’ll have ample options to customize your brand and minimal limitations!
Marketing and Selling Your Courses
When I began my career as an e-learning specialist 6 years ago, I mainly focused on conquering learning curves related to course development. Marketing and selling was certainly on my mind, but I’ve always preferred platforms that take on the majority of the marketing work while also providing me with new ideas. LearnWorlds definitely does not disappoint in this area.
Like many other platforms, LearnWorlds supports effective search engine optimization (SEO) with clean code for its software along with the ability to manage metatags and keywords. Other common features it provides include:
- Subscriptions and plans: Subscriptions are a great way to generate residual, rather than one-off income!
- Coupons and promotions: Increase your sales with temporary discounts! The urgency and scarcity of your offerings will spur them to action!
- Free courses: Attract more leads with free offerings! Entice potential customers with a commitment and risk-free taste of what you have to offer!
- Integrations: If LearnWorlds doesn’t provide a marketing feature – or you already have a preferred option – chances are it’s got you covered by the range of integrations it offers with third party application. (See the full list of integrations here.)
In addition to the above, some LearnWorlds marketing and selling features that really stood out for me include:
- Free chapters: offer small parts of your courses for free, as teasers, to attract potential customers. Let them taste the added value of your offering and then buy.
- Conversion Pixels: You can easily add add tracking pixels to create custom audiences and launch remarketing/retargeting campaigns on platforms like Facebook and Google.
Native Mobile Apps: Already mentioned above, but well worth repeating. LearnWorlds can create a native mobile app for your school that will enable you to get your courses in front of millions of potential customers in Google Play and Apple App Store.
Finally, you can take advantage of LearnWorlds’ impressive, full-scale analytics to understand your customers’ behavior and maximize conversion rates.
The bottom line: LearnWorlds provides an effective marketing and selling platform, especially for content-first creators who would rather not fixate on these details. Nevertheless, implementing certain features like coupons, drip courses, and subscriptions has never been easier!
As mentioned at the beginning, LearnWorlds positions itself as a “premium” platform. Given the breadth and depth of features it offers, this positioning is reasonable – and so is the pricing that goes with it.
At the lower end of its packages, LearnWorlds is actually comparable to most other platforms in its class. The “Starter” plan is $29 per month ($24 if paid annually) plus $5 per course sales. The Pro Plan – which drops the $5 per course fee and adds in a range of features like subscriptions, a Web site builder, SCORM compatibility, and integrations – is $99 per month ($79 if paid annually).
If you want to get the full “premium” power of LearnWorlds, then I’d highly recommend their most popular plan, the “Learning Center” plan which is priced at $299 per month, or $249 if you go for the annual rate (a saving of $600). This is more than most edupreneurs may be accustomed to paying, but it gives you a platform that truly will stand your learning experiences out in the market.
You can click the image below to see the full details regarding pricing. Better yet, I’d highly recommend taking advantage of their free 30-day trial. No credit cards or commitments required.
And as a gift for making it this far, if you do decide to give LearnWorlds a try, then use the code LEARNINGREVOLUTION50 to get 50% off on the first month of a Pro plan or higher!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the question I often get from readers or see asked in other places.
Does LearnWorlds have a free plan?
No. You can sign up for a free 3–day trial, but there is no option to use the platform free of charge beyond that.
Does LearnWorlds support SCORM?
Yes. In fact, it is one of the few platforms in its class that does. Thinkific, Teachable, and Podia do not. Read more about LearnWorlds and SCORM here.
What are the main alternatives to LearnWorlds?