The Problem with Most Online Course Platforms

The biggest course creator SaaS platforms can’t keep up with the online changing education market.

Don’t get me wrong… Kajabi, Kartra, Clickfunnels, Thinkific, Teachable, Mighty Networks… They are all very useful for getting you started with your first online course and letting you focus on creating the teaching rather than creating the platform. But they have an inherent problem… they’ve reduced education to a series of video, image, and text content options that are the same for everyone.

The future of online education and course creation, however, will be more like software than a series of video lectures combined with a few tool and resource downloads. Education will be:

  1. Adaptable to the user
  2. Supported by real progress tracking of your student’s activity.
  3. Based on taking someone on a journey rather than teaching a skill.

One of our clients, for instance, is showing different content to their students in a single course based on personality profile data. This eliminates teaching information that is not needed or overloading the student with a bunch of things that can distract them from the goal of making real progress in their life. Something that would need to be in the course for others if it wasn’t created in a way that adapted to the user.

A lot of courses have different paths or different steps to take simply based on where the student is at in their journey (beginner vs advanced) but they still leave it up to the student to figure out which path to follow. Lower completion rate… lower results… less impact.

For tracking real progress, most platforms and LMS’s leave it to the student to mark the lesson complete. And the only real metric is… did they mark it complete or not. This is useful, but it doesn’t really tell you if they are actually doing the work or the results they are getting from implementing what you know. Without this information, the course creator can’t effectively evolve or improve the information over time and so their product eventually slips away and dies because they fail to keep creating results for new customers.

Lastly, let’s talk about the method of the course. Most course creators today are basing their training on giving you everything they know about a particular skill. The value of that is pretty much the price point you would see on Udemy. Go look at the courses over there. You can get any one of them for $10-20. And it’s because they are just giving you information, not results. That is what people really value… results. If you are charging $500, $2k, $5k, or more for your online program, and you want to sustain that for a long time… you better be creating results. And this means managing the journey that someone is going on rather than simply regurgitating what you know or have learned. Results are in the process, not the content. And none of the major platforms are built with this in mind.

This is why we recommend for anyone who is creating more than a single skill-based course, that they use a custom-built or WordPress site to manage their academy training process. Over time, the value they’ll be able to get out of that will far outweigh what they could ever get on a membership SaaS platform. The increase in value from this approach if you create a full on academy with multiple courses is exponential.

We’ve been working with course creators for a long time, but we are launching a new beta program to help 5 people who want to own their segment of the massive education market to build the proper foundation to make that happen. This includes support for building your curriculum the right way, building and implementing your academy site and its learning management system (LMS), and strategy for launching it. And it’s ridiculously inexpensive.

Want to upgrade your educational experience to create real transformation? Schedule an Academy Roadmap session.

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Teaching Effectiveness Index

Step 1 of 12

Compare your own educational platform to the best practices in the industry. Make sure to use your first gut reaction to the following questions for the most accurate results.