In this DigitalMakers article, we want to propose the best options to be able to carry out a video-training platform and see the advantages and disadvantages of creating a platform in a personalized and customized way or using one of the existing platforms.
The current situation generated by COVID-19 requires facilitating social distancing to minimize contagion, and this is a difficulty for face-to-face courses, since it can pose an added problem of space and student management. For this reason, a very interesting option that in recent years was already beginning to stand out has accelerated: videocourse platforms.
In the face of the new global pandemic situation, all economic sectors have had to reinvent themselves, and many of the digital transformation practices that had begun to be used timidly have been streamlined and accelerated. In the educational world, this is even more noticeable.
Shall we start?
I want to make a video course platform, now what?
Perfect, you have already recorded, edited and prepared the various video lessons of your courses, but now it would be time to prepare the sales platform for these courses.
Selling courses online is now a good alternative, but there are several things that you have to be clear about before you start doing it and that the experience is successful. For example, what is your buyer persona, are we talking about people who already have an idea on the subject or are completely new to it? How do you want to structure the courses? How are you going to make them known?
All these questions and a few more are the basis that you have to have clear to start a video course project. And once they are resolved, you can focus on the next real step to have a course platform. What is better, creating your own platform that adapts exactly to what you need or adapting to a ready-made platform?
Here the key is precisely in three points: the adaptation of the course functionalities that you are willing to have, your budget and the timing in which you need the platform ready and working.
We better look at both options carefully, right?
Basically, we therefore have two options:
1.Use learning platforms.
We are talking about Saas platforms (where everything is ready for you to upload your courses on a ready-made platform) or MarketPlaces (where you can upload your courses to their platform and sell them within it).
This is a good option if you want to start preparing your online course platform relatively quickly and if you also have a tight budget. The platform is already programmed, so the possible functionalities are clear and everything is initially raised.
In this case, you will simply have to pay to use their system and adapt to the possibilities that it allows you and, quite possibly, the initial cost of the project will be lower because in the end you simply pay a kind of commission to use the service.
Obviously, this system has its advantages and disadvantages:
It is faster than starting from scratch mounting your platform
Obviously, as we already have the entire base of functionalities created, it will be much easier and faster to be able to prepare and launch an online course platform. You just have to check how the chosen platform works, and fly!
You forget about updates and servers
Being everything in the cloud and being a platform already installed, you forget to have to update it or have it on your own server. That is comfortable, very comfortable ...
It is cheaper
Obviously, by not having to create a whole new platform, the initial budget is much lower than running a platform from scratch. Do you have a tight budget? Then you better opt for a ready-made platform.
Student recruitment is facilitated
The platforms have a community that already knows them, which means that access to your courses and their discovery is easier since the recruitment of students begins on a platform already known to them. And it is already known, if you already know a platform and it has gone well you will return to it when you want to learn.
You have less control of your courses
Being a platform already created in Saas or MarketPlace format, the control of the courses in more technical terms will be with the platform. They will decide in some cases the final prices that the user receives, they will be able to veto a course if for whatever reason it does not fit their standards ... in this case, it is clear that you will not be king on your platform.
You have to adapt to what the chosen platform allows
Likewise, if you need to have a specific functionality that the platform does not allow, you can request it but in principle you will have to adapt to what its programming allows, since you will not have access to create new functionalities. If you have dreamed of a platform in a certain way, you may have to adjust your expectations to what the chosen platform allows you.
They promote your courses under their brand, so you don't grow your brand
If you have your courses done on an external platform, it is possible that what your students see is the name of your platform, with which your brand is diluted. And what do you want your students to remember, your brand name or that of the platform? Well that.
Some videocourse platforms
Within this category we have various online platforms that you can use. In English there are many platforms, but in this article we will talk about the most common ones in Spanish, they are the following:
Udemy:It is a MarketPlace that charges you based on the number of students you have. They already have a community, which is interesting, but you do not have access to the email information of your students and you cannot control your prices either, since they apply very significant discounts (sometimes 50% of the original price that you have chosen) to course prices. It is in several languages, including Spanish.
Tutellus:It is a MarketPlace very similar to Udemy, aimed specifically at the Spanish-speaking market, and specifically a Spanish company. They are smaller than Udemy and make it less difficult to upload the courses, they also have a more personalized treatment and their commission is 30% of the course price.
ClassOnLive:It is a very complete Saas to make a course platform, it is probably one of the best platforms to create online courses that are currently in the Spanish-speaking market. You can have your own virtual classroom in the cloud and from the first moment you can upload your course under your own domain (to enhance your brand at all times). It has unlimited accommodation to host your students, your content, with an integrated videoconference system that also allows you to create webinars and live classes. The cost is a monthly payment, according to your needs, from € 30 a year.
Which to choose? It depends on what you need. ClassOnLive is probably a good option if you are starting, since for a relatively low amount you can have your course platform working.
2.Create your own tailor-made online course platform:
The other option that you have in case you want to have an online course platform is to do it yourself (if you have technical knowledge for it, of course) or hire an agency or technician to prepare it.
Obviously, in this case it is very important that you carry out an initial project to be very clear about the operation in all cases of the platform. Will users have access to an open part, in addition to the private part? What possibilities will they have once they access the course, will they be able to openly browse all the content or will they have to go linearly? Will there be some kind of evaluation or will you just be able to access the course and see the contents? ...
In this regard there are many questions that one should ask oneself and that one has to take into account so that the result is what one expects and the story begins with a good story.
You have full control over your courses and the operation of the platform
If your platform is custom programmed, the limit is the sky. You can set it up as you want (well, as long as it is technically possible, of course) and you have the control to change it when you need it so that it adapts to your needs. Not bad, huh? In this case dreaming is allowed.
You don't have to pay a commission for the courses
Once you have your platform made, the full amount of the courses will go to your pocket, so you can reinvest it, if you want, in marketing or improvements, it will be totally yours so you can allocate it to what you need.
You can grow your brand
Everything on your platform will breathe your brand, and everything will be linked so that the focus is always on your brand, without a platform with an external brand being able to overshadow you.
It is slower since you have to start from scratch mounting your platform
Here you will have to create everything from scratch, so the time to perform it increases. But Rome was not built in two days, was it?
TYou will have to hire a server to host it and remember to make updates to ensure its proper functioning
The cost of the server and the domain is a fixed cost, in the case of the server it can be monthly or annual and in the domain it is annual. It is not usually a high cost, but you must take it into account. Likewise, you will have to make sure that your platform is up to date to avoid security problems, if your website does not work you lose the possibility of selling your courses and, therefore, you lose money! But if you still have doubts about why it is essential to have your website updated, I invite you to read the article that we prepared about it so that you understand it better.
You must have a bigger budget
Obviously, the fact of having to complete the entire platform from scratch will mean that you have to have a bigger budget to be able to carry it out. If you have technical knowledge, this point will not apply, but if not, you will have to take into account that everything has to be programmed, which will mean that your investment is greater.
You will have to make a greater effort to get students
Students do not arise from the air, you have to get them to your platform, after they are interested in your courses and convince them that the best option for them is to sign up for the course, and all this is neither easy nor fast but if it is done Well, a solid brand base will be created that will make it easier to reach these students. Everything costs, but in the end the result will be that your brand will be reinforced.
Systems to create a custom platform
In order to create this custom platform, we can mainly consider two different technologies:
Moodle:It is a free and free CMS focused on a learning management system widely used in universities. You need continuous technical maintenance of the server where it is hosted and whose learning curve is high, since it is not too intuitive.
Wordpress:It is the most popular CMS for creating corporate websites, and with some specific plugins and a specific elearning theme it can become a good option to create your online platform. In addition, not only is it a system with a large community of developers behind it (which means that you can always find an experienced professional), but also the learning curve for its internal management is much less than in the case of Moodle.
Both are good options to prepare your platform to measure. Surely, if what you want is a relatively simple platform, where you do not have to manage different groups, Wordpress can be a good option. If you need something more powerful you should surely opt for Moodle.
In any case, with these basic data that we have given you in our article you already have a basis to be able to decide which would be the path to choose and the route of the trip. At DigitalMakers we can help you both to present the project and to carry it out (you know, we are also “makers”), so if you need help you only have to arrange a meeting with us and we lay the foundations to help you start the journey towards a platform video course appropriate to your needs.
What do you think, we start the journey? We are excited to help you.