Almost all of us have heard our parents’ or grandparents’ generations go on talking about how they struggled to go to school or you might have seen that in the memes on social media too. However funny those memes seem to be, on some level you must agree with their words considering the level of technological advancement the present generation is witnessing. Technology has made everything seem effortless. Now, with everything going online, you can access almost everything comfortably sitting at your desk and scrolling through your mobile or Laptop.
Coming to the educational sector, teaching and learning has also become much easier and comfortable with the introduction of online learning platforms. Be it the teachers or the students, the online mode of learning has provided both parties with varied choices which made learning more engaging and enjoyable.
The access that we have to online resources now, has created a revolution in the world of education. Because of the current pandemic, without any doubt, we can say that there’s no teacher or student who isn’t familiar with online learning. The way we learn is changing coz the way we study is also changing drastically. There are plenty of online learning platforms out there offering a wide range of courses for free or with a minimum charge on their services.
But why should one choose these platforms to learn?? If we look into the advantages of taking online courses, there are plenty of them.
To start with, one of the main advantages is the flexibility that it provides us within the learning process. Online courses provide one with flexibility in a wide range of aspects, starting from the variety of courses that you can choose from to the learning schedule one wishes to have. You can choose any course that you want to learn and attend the class from anywhere that suits your comfort. They break the barriers that traditional classrooms have and make learning easier and comfortable.
Unlike other modes of learning, online learning allows you to learn at your own pace. You can listen to the same lecture ‘n’ number of times if you have any difficulties in understanding the topic or you can just skip the lecture if you are already familiar with it. You can also work a job or pursue other courses while you study online and that doesn’t impact your online learning as you can choose the timings at your comfort. It allows both the instructor and the student to expand their professional network.
The cost of education through this medium is very less compared to the physical classes. It also allows you to pursue your interests and/or hobbies. Along with these, there are many other benefits you can enjoy by choosing online courses.
The online learning industry is booming at present and there are plenty of sites out there that offer online courses. Confused to choose one??
We got you, here are the top 10 best online course platforms to buy and sell online courses:
If you are interested and are ready to commit yourself to learn, then Udemy can be worth the money you pay. Udemy offers Lifetime access to its courses for its subscribers. And after you complete taking a course on Udemy it also provides you with the certificate of completion. Currently, Udemy is offering a 7-day free pro trial and the pro subscription costs $19.99 per month.
If you are interested in becoming an instructor on Udemy and share your knowledge with 35 million-plus people and help them advance their careers, learn new skills and explore their interests, Udemy is currently offering 400 million course enrollments you can enrol yourself in.
Pros & Cons
Udemy offers you an affordable and wide variety of courses at a flexible schedule.
It provides you with a lifelong learning option. The courses on Udemy are affordable for everyone and often comes with a discount. And the certificate you get after the completion of the course makes the employer understand your dedication and commitment to learning a new course.
Anybody can teach on Udemy, so it is recommended that you check before you enroll in the course to make sure that you sign up for quality content. It is also better to keep in mind that the certification you receive from Udemy doesn’t work as a substitute or replacement for the traditional degree certification.
Visit website: Udemy
Skillshare is one of the best online course platforms to buy and sell online courses. This platform is an American Online Learning Community offering a variety of courses under Creative Arts, Design, Entrepreneurship, Business, Lifestyle, and Technology. The courses that are offered on Skillshare are not accredited and they will not provide any certification on the completion of the course, but you will acquire something more, which is the expertise in the skill that you have chosen to learn through the platform.
As of March 2021, Skillshare has over 27,000 courses. With $15 per month or $99 per year, Skillshare offers you unlimited access to any course, workshop or tutorial that the platform is offering. Skillshare also provides the user with a free trial. As part of the free membership, the user will have access to 2000+ free classes.
Pros & cons
The courses on Skillshare are of high quality, more engaging and simple. It offers classes, workshops and session which aim at providing the members with an opportunity to gain practical knowledge, expand their horizons and learn new skills. It also provides a 30-day free trial letting the users explore the platform and have an experience of the classes on the platform. It also has a very reasonable monthly subscription fees of $8.25 per month if you choose an annual subscription worth $99, if you choose to pay monthly it is $15 per month.
The major drawback of Skillshare that most people complain about is that the billing doesn’t stop after the end of the free trial if you forget to cancel or end your trial. Another drawback is that because anyone can teach on Skillshare, there are few classes that are of low quality, even though the platform is deleting such courses from time to time. So it is recommended that you check the reviews on the course left by other students before you take that class.
Visit website: Skillshare
If you want to create and sell online courses or start a coaching business Teachable is one of the best online course platforms you can choose from. It provides you access to everything you need to create and to sell online courses. Like it was said on their website “ Teach the way you want to learn”- Teachable encourages the creators and instructors to personalize their content and build the course the way they would want the course to be if they were the students. Teachable has over 100,000 instructors on their website by 2020 and are still growing in number.
It offers three plans for its instructors, a Basic plan of $29 per month(billed annually), a Professional plan of $99 (billed annually), a Business plan of $249 per month (billed annually), the benefits for these three plans vary in the range of services they offer in terms of the bandwidth, payment, customization, student experience and support. Teachable also allows the creator to set the pricing of the courses, create coupons that offer discounts for specific students, Bundle multiple courses together to be sold in a single transaction and also lets you customise your sales page.
The lectures you sell on Teachable can be the text that you typed on the site or any multimedia file( video, audio, PDF, etc.,) or quizzes or any combination of these. This platform allows you to create as many courses as you want, and if you are a beginner you don’t have to worry about a lot of things like design, hosting, or setting your sales page up as most of them are automatically done for you.
Pros & Cons
Building a course on Teachable is comparatively easier than other similar platforms. Also, the website updates its courses and adds new courses regularly. Along with many other features the site offers, Teachable also handles the EU- VAT reporting by itself, reducing the burden on the creators. 1 click-up sale is a recent feature on the website which allows you to sell your related products and courses to the students that are in the process of purchasing your course.
One of the main limitations of this site is that it doesn’t allow you to have more than one school. The site also charges a $1 + 10% transaction fee and 5% transaction fee for free and basic plans respectively. One more drawback of this site is that you can’t conduct a live workshop or office hours through this.
Visit website: Teachable
If you are looking for a platform to sell online courses or memberships or any digital products, Podia is the all-in-one platform for you. Podia allows you to sell any kind of digital downloads let it be an eBook or an audiobook or PDFs, checklists, cheat sheets, audio files, video files or text, any type of content you have you can sell them on podia. It has a neat interface, easy to use and is intuitive. Podia is currently offering two paid plans, the Mover plan ($39 per month) and the Shaker plan ($79 per month) with the difference in the range of services provided.
Pros & Cons
Like we already mentioned, Podia is easy to use compared to several other similar platforms. Another benefit of using Podia is that the services and products, both are stored in one place. It also offers a 14-day free trial and if you decide to get a paid plan within the first 5 days of the trial you will get a lifetime discount of 15% on your plans. The platform offers unlimited bandwidth for its users. One more reason to choose Podia is its instant payouts for instructors and the great experience it provides the students with.
Podia is often criticised for its steep prices for the limited customizations and advanced features it has. The email system is also not as robust as that of other providers. It also has few payment gateways which is one of the drawbacks.
Visit website: Podia
Thinkific is one of the best online course platforms out there if you want to create and sell your courses on your own branded site. Thinkific allows you to build courses with rich texts, videos, audios, and any downloadable content. The site is used by over 36,000 creators, 16 million students and is available across 164 countries. Thinkific offers four price plans. It has a free plan, $49, $99, and $499 plans. All the premium plans offered by Thinkific provide access to unlimited courses and also additional flexibility that lets you customize your courses.
Pros & Cons
Thinkific is the only online course platform with a free option (not a free trial), even though it is limited to three courses. It also doesn’t charge any transaction fee in any of its plans. Thinkific is also the only platform that offers phone support. On higher plans, it also offers priority phone support. It also lets you customize the look of your website matching the feel of your business. It also has a tool that offers voice-over PowerPoint presentations, which makes the production of videos easier. The platform also lets you offer student payment options like offering a monthly payment plan for the courses which are more expensive and also lets you offer a subscription that is monthly recurring, for providing ongoing access to a course through a membership-like model.
Thinkific doesn’t offer any course marketing place. Also, it doesn’t have integrated email marketing and integrated sales funnel builder, however, you can always use the third-party service providers which offer these services.
Visit website: Thinkific
Kajabi is like a ‘one-stop shop’ platform to sell online courses. It is an all-in-one platform that has all the features you will need to create a business online. Being an all-in-one platform, Kajebi offers you all the tools you need to create and customise your content without having to use other service providers and makes selling your courses easy. Kajabi offers three plans, a Basic plan of $149 per month or $119 per month if billed annually, a Growth plan of $199 per month or $199 if billed annually and a Pro Plan of $399 per month or $319 if billed annually. For all these plans, Kajabi offers a free trial of 14 days.
With Kajabi, you can also create a website and store all your courses and important information. You can also use its features to set a domain to make your courses easily found and accessible. When we said that Kajabi is a one-stop-shop to sell your courses, we said so because this is the only platform that offers you everything you need to create and sell a course without having to use any other third party providers.
Pros & Cons
Kajabi has a built-in email marketing system that allows you to market your courses and a built-in sales funnel software that helps you boost customer sales by letting you create many types of marketing funnels. It offers you a wide range of functionalities and features and also allows you to add tags and filter the students/ customers that can access the content.
One of the drawbacks of Kajabi is that it doesn’t offer a free option and the prices for the other plans are relatively higher. Even though Kajabi has all the features to create and sell a course, we will have to use a third-party platform to provide certifications to the students after the completion of the course. Kajabi doesn’t have a search option for students to search for the courses, it only displays the categories.
Visit website: Kajabi
Along with the free classes, Codecademy also offers its users a pro plan with the benefits of personalised learning plans, realistic products, quizzes, live help from the experts, and real-world projects, for $39.99 per month or $19.99 per month if billed annually. You’ll get a certificate of completion for each pro course you complete on Codecademy. Also, for first-time users, Codecademy offers a 14-day money-back guarantee. Codecademy is a perfect fit for you if you are a beginner or only have a little knowledge of programming or someone who prefers a practical and interactive way of learning instead of just watching videos.
Pros & Cons
One main benefit of Codecademy is that it offers free courses. The platform is very intuitive and easy to use. The classes are interactive and dynamic and each class has an active and dedicated forum. The classroom exercises are practical and include building real websites.
One major drawback of using Codecademy is that video instruction is not available on the platform. The reviews by the past users of code academy suggested that the courses in the basic plan are too general and that they won’t offer any clarification if the student has any doubts or gets stuck in the learning process.
Visit Website: Codecademy
Udacity is an online course learning platform that primarily focuses on business and technology-related topics. The platform offers hundreds of courses that are equipped with employable skills, based on and around real-world projects. The courses offered are high in quality, including the free courses. Currently, Udacity is offering about 200 free courses. This platform can be a good choice for anyone who wants to learn new skills in programming, data science, business and more. Udacity offers a bundle of 4 to 10 courses, called Nanodegrees, that provide in-depth knowledge about a certain topic. The courses are designed to provide practical knowledge which you would be able to apply to your job.
The interface of the platform is user-friendly and informative. Udacity lets the learners start a program at any time and learn at their own pace. Udacity offers hundreds of programs under six main subjects or categories that include Data Science, Programming and Development, Business, Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems, Cloud Computing. Currently, the monthly subscription price for programs on Udacity is $399 per course. If you purchase a full course prepaid, it will cost you $339 a month per course. Udacity provides certificates after completion of their Nanodegrees, but these certificates are not accredited as the platform is private.
Pros & Cons
The first good thing about Udacity is the high-quality content they provide in their courses and programs. Along with this, the certifications and the practical based learning they provide, Udacity has a very good reputation among several companies, which could help you climb up professionally. Udacity also provides scholarships and financial aid for those students who can’t afford to pay the program fee (sponsored by third-party organisations like Google, Lyft, AT&T, Intel or Accenture).
The courses on Udacity are quite expensive compared to other platforms. The range of courses offered is limited to only technology and business, where other platforms like Udemy are offering a wide range of courses. Only the backend and the website are available in other languages, but the course material is mostly provided in only English.
Visit Website: Udacity
LinkedIn Learning (Lynda)
Lynda used to be an online learning platform, with its main focus on software skills and graphic design. Anyone who paid the subscription fee was able to access the site and learn new skills. LinkedIn acquired the website in 2015 since then Lynda became LinkedIn Learning. Anyone with a LinkedIn premium account can access LinkedIn Learning and that is the only way one has access to all the courses on the website. There is no separate fee or membership for Lynda alone, it comes as a benefit to Linkedin premium membership.
LinkedIn Learning or Lynda now has a wide range of courses from programming to web designing and many more. LinkedIn offers two different premium subscriptions, the first one is Premium Career that costs $29.99 per month or $239 per year, the second is Premium Business that costs $59.99 per month or $575.88 per year. You can access LinkedIn Learning with any of the above-said subscriptions. Once you login using any of these subscriptions you can access any and all the courses that are available on the platform without having to pay any extra fee.
Pros & Cons
LinkedIn Learning (Lynda) offers a wide range of courses from soft skills to hard skills. They have plenty of courses for business people and their content is updated regularly to match the demands of the learners. It is a great platform for you if you are looking for technological content. The videos have high production quality. Along with that, in some courses like coding, it allows you to practice in the site’s editor without having to use any third-party software.
The main criticism about LinkedIn learning is that it doesn’t let you pay for the individual courses like on other learning platforms, you have to buy the whole LinkedIn subscription even if you want to access just LinkedIn Learning. Also, there is no function to sort out the courses, which sometimes is a mood kill due to plenty of courses on the site. The site doesn’t offer any certification.
Visit Website: LinkedIn Learning
Treehouse offers a pro subscription with a 7-day free trial. The subscription costs $29.99 per month or $19.99 per month if billed annually. The pro subscription allows you to attend Treehouse online conferences for free. It also lets you download videos and save them for offline learning and also offers a weekly progress report. Since it is a monthly subscription to the platform, as long as you keep paying for the subscription, you can access all the courses that the platform is offering.
Treehouse also offers a certification program called Techdegree which has a separate payment that costs $199 per month for any program that you choose under Techdegree. The programs under Techdegree can take a 2 to 12 month period to complete the whole course. It also offers real-world projects which will train you with the skills you need to have when you take up a job. The platform also offers a certificate of completion after you complete a program under Techdegree. The Techdegree also offers a guided learning path and also weekly office hours and in-depth code reviews,
Pros & Cons
One main thing that makes Treehouse better than others is the instructors and the quality of the content they deliver. All the instructors that teach on Treehouse are experts in their own field. That reflects in their content quality. The platform has a huge library from which you can access any course that they are providing on the platform.
The home page of the platform doesn’t provide direct access to the library to look up the courses they are offering. You cannot read through the reviews of other students who took the course on the platform as you do on other similar platforms.
Visit website: Treehouse
WizIQ is a Learning Management Suite (LMS) that offers varied features like Virtual Classroom, Online Course Creation, Mobile Learning, Tests and Assessments, e-Learning Analytics, LMS e-commerce. Wiziq offers great services to both learners and instructors. It allows the instructors to conduct live classes, create and upload the classes on the website.
The platform also has a cloud-based storage system. The course builder lets the instructors create interactive classes that let the learner learn at their own pace. The platform also has a learners section where they can access courses from a wide range of topics, within that section, they also have a Test and Assessment sub-section that provides you with the test material to practice and evaluate your learning.
This platform is designed to work both as a virtual classroom and as a self-paced learning platform. It is used by many instructors, enterprises and organisations. WizIQ offers 4 solution plans currently that comes with a yearly subscription.
The first is the Plus plan that starts at $190 per year, then the Pro plan that starts at $390 per year, the Premium plan that starts at $890 per year, the Enterprise plan doesn’t have a fixed price.
Pros & Cons
The whiteboard design on the platform offered for live classes is a much-needed feature that WizIQ has that is lacking in other platforms. It has a well-structured reporting system that provides a detailed progress report. The platform has a mobile application that is available both in the play store and AppStore.
The platform is often criticized for its lack of customer support after one sets up a solution plan. The video quality of the courses also decreases sometimes, which is also mentioned in a lot of customer reviews.
Visit website: WizIQ
Coursera is one of the most popular online learning platforms out there. The platform offers over 5300 courses in 11 subjects (Data Science, Computer Science, Business, Information Technology, Personal Development, Health, Language Learning, Social Sciences, Math and Logic, Arts and Humanities, Physical Science, Engineering). The platform also offers specialization degrees and has hundreds of free courses that anyone can access. Coursera works with top Businesses and Universities to facilitate its accredited courses. The platform offers high-quality courses taught by professionals from top universities. It also offers Guided projects that allow learners to gain job-relevant knowledge and skills.
Currently, Coursera is offering three different plans and their prices vary based on the services offered. Many courses have an “Audit for Free” option which allows you to access the course for free. But if you want to enjoy the features like graded assignments or certifications you have to pay for them. Along with the free access to a few courses, the platform offers two paid plans, Coursera Plus and Coursera Business.
Coursera Plus offers you unlimited access to courses, specializations, guided projects, and certifications. It costs $399 per year. Coursera Business offers two different plans which are Coursera for enterprise and Coursera for Teams. Coursera for Teams is for small organizations or teams that have 5-125 learners and it costs $400 a year for each user. Coursera for Enterprise has custom prices for organizations. The individual courses on the platform cost $29 to $100 each. Specializations cost $39 to $89 per month.
Pros & Cons
One of the main benefits of choosing Coursera is, the accredited university degrees it offers. Coursera fees are comparatively low than a conventional school or any campus-based courses. Unless you need a certification you can access most of their courses for free. The courses on this platform are taught by experts in the field from universities and the business sector. Coursera also allows you to save the videos for offline learning, which you can access and refer to at your convenience.
The pricing system of Coursera seems confusing to most people because of the different plans, courses and certifications it offers. Also, some courses on Coursera aren’t beginner-friendly, they need some knowledge of the topic prior to that. Many users in their reviews also complained about the user-friendliness of the platform, the platform is not as user-friendly as the other platforms offering similar services.
Visit website: Coursera
Khan Academy is a non-profit online platform that offers all its facilities and courses for free. The platform has instructional videos, learning material, and also a platform for the teachers to assign courses to their students. Khan Academy allows the students to learn at their own pace. The platform offers courses that are designed to focus on both beginner level and advanced level learners, which helps the students form a firm foundation of the course before they advance to a more advanced level of content. The platform is completely free and aims to provide free education to everyone. It also allows the teachers to assign courses in the platform to their students and check and track their progress.
Pros & Cons
The first main thing that makes Khan Academy special is that all the courses on this platform are completely free. It has separate sections for Teachers, Learners and Parents that offer different services to each section. The platform offers a wide range of subjects that you can learn from and their lectures start at a zero level which lets the learners form a firm foundation. It also lets you learn at your own pace.
The platform is criticized for being less interactive as there is no medium for the students to contact the instructors if any doubts arise in understanding the content. Some chapters on the platform doesn’t have practice sessions.
Visit website: Khan Academy
There are plenty of online platforms that let you buy and sell courses online and by now you might have become familiar with a few of the best ones among them. Deciding on which platform to choose might be a difficult task for both instructors and students. Hope this article provided you with the details you need to clarify your doubts and made that task easier. If you want to read more articles like this visit Zeen.