30+ Best Online Course Platforms

Table of Contents

Creating, marketing, and selling online courses is easier than ever.

The eLearning market was worth $105 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow to a massive $325 billion by 2025 [1].

The internet has made it possible for a larger number of people to undertake education at their own pace, and online course platforms fill that niche.

It certainly seems like eLearning isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That’s why we put together this comprehensive guide about eLearning platforms; to give you an overview of what, exactly, eLearning is all about.

We will cover the different types of online course platforms and give an in-depth overview of some of the best platforms for creating, selling, and marketing online courses.

Best Online Course Platforms at a Glance

What Are Online Course Platforms?

An online course platform is basically an integrated set of interactive modules that give educators, students, and professionals information, tools, and resources to facilitate education and learning processes. 

Online course platforms come in a wide variety of forms but they all share one common feature: they provide tools for learning through the internet; whether for academic, professional, or casual use. 

You can think of an online course platform like a digital education buffet. Learners are given more or less free rein to pick and choose which courses to take and which things to learn. Online course platforms are noted for their flexibility and wide range of available lessons. 

Online courses can run the gamut from traditional courses like math or business to things like dance, marketing, personal well being, and more. The only limit on the content of online courses is the creativity of course creators. 

People use online courses for all kinds of reasons. Many businesses use online educational portals to train staff and the majority of post-secondary institutions in the US now incorporate some form of online course access. 

Several online learners are just independent students who just want to learn a new skill or a new field of expertise. The benefit of online course platforms is that they give learners a way to take courses no matter where they are and at their own pace.

Why Is eLearning Important?

One major reason why eLearning has exploded in popularity is its cost-effectiveness. The remote nature of eLearning allows much cost to be saved on transportation and operations.

Organizations that adopt eLearning save an average of 50% in time and an estimated 40%-60% in cost savings [2] when compared to traditional face-to-face learning.

The majority of these saved costs come from transportation. Since eLearning students don’t have to commute, eLearning has a lot of cost savings on indirect expenditures.

Cost Saving

Elearning is also a potent solution to distance education problems. One barrier many people have to getting an education is geographical location. Thanks to the internet, those in relatively isolated areas that would otherwise have to commute long distances can get an education.

Specifically, rural communities that lack educational infrastructure have a lot to gain from eLearning [3] as it makes education more accessible to isolated populations. 

Accessible

Moreover, eLearning reflects the global trend to a more digitized economy. As the internet becomes more inundated in our everyday lives, the rising trend of eLearning is expected to continue.

The fact of the matter is that most people nowadays turn to the internet as their first resource for information.

The transition to a digitally dominated education landscape is a natural consequence of the digitization of the socio-economic sphere.

The Difference Between an Online Course Platform and an LMS

Online Course Platforms vs. LMS

Strictly speaking, an “online course platform” and “learning management system” are two distinct things, although the terms are often used interchangeably. The main difference between the two is how each handles the learning approach.

The term “online course platform” is actually fairly broad and can be used to refer to any platform that has educational materials users can view. Any platform that includes a listing of courses, resources, or modules for learning could be considered an online course platform.

One important caveat we might put on this definition is that the platform has to actually host the courses that are listed. So a directory that just has course listings but no course content would not be an online course platform.

Learning management systems, in contrast, are platforms with modules specifically focused on the delivery and engagement of educational content. LMS platforms not only host courses but also have tools for training and development so learners and educators can have a more comprehensive educational experience. Common LMS tools include course schedules, assessments, navigable course pages, and interactive resources. 

So while all learning management systems are online course platforms, not all online course platforms are learning management systems. Learning management systems are more specialized and put a larger emphasis on the delivery, development, and engagement of educational content.

Online Learning Platform Types

Types of Online Course Software

Given that the term “online course platform” is broad, you can pick out several distinct types of course platforms. Each type has a different focus and is designed with a different audience in mind, though individual platforms may incorporate aspects of multiple types.

All-in-One Platforms

All-in-one platforms are the most comprehensive and focus on both hosting and managing educational content. These kinds of platforms let you create courses, market them, and manage student engagement. All-in-one platforms are best suited for entrepreneurs and individual educators.

All-in-one Online Learning Platform Icon

Plugins

Plugins are not full platforms in their own right but can be added to existing platforms to enhance their features. For instance, a simple quiz module plugin can be added to an online course platform to open up quiz options. Or you could add a video plugin for lectures/webinars. Whether or not you will need plugins depends on how many features your core platform has. 

Wordpress Plugin Platform Icon

Standalone Platforms

Standalone platforms are fairly bare-bones and are oriented mostly towards hosting online courses. These kinds of platforms usually have few LMS tools and do not offer much in terms of student engagement. Standalone platforms are good for educators who might already have tools at their disposal or those who are not really interested in LMS tools.

Standalone Platform Icon

Enterprise Learning Management Systems 

Enterprise LMSs are platforms oriented towards helping course creators organize the learning experience. These kinds of platforms often have a lot of engagement and development tools to keep track of student progress. Many businesses use enterprise LMSs because they give the eLearning experience a lot of structure. 

ELMS Platform Icon

Marketplaces

Marketplaces are essentially platforms that allow anyone to join and try to sell their courses to people. Marketplace software and sites allow creators to outsource the distribution process and focus on creating courses. Marketplaces like Udemy, for example, allow basically anyone to upload paid or free courses. Marketplace course platforms are a good idea if you don’t want to deal with the distribution of your content and prefer to stick to just making courses. 

Marketplace Online Learning Platform Icon

How to Choose the Best Online Course Platform For Your Needs?

The best online course platform depends on your specific goals as an educator. Are you looking to start a brand and market your content, or are you just more interested in making courses for fun?

Do you want to engage deeply with your students or do you prefer a more hands-off approach? Questions like these are an important part of the decision process. 

Here are a couple of important things to think about when looking for an online course platform:

Consider Your Business Goals – This is an important issue because how serious you are about making content affects which platform you should choose. If you just want a small side hustle to make a few extra hundred a week, then you will need a completely different platform than if you wanted to branch out and start a full-time business. If you want to make a full-time business out of making courses, you will need a platform that is comprehensive enough.

Figure out Your Educational Style/Niche – Some platforms might be better suited to specific styles of education or topics. For instance, if you plan to include a lot of video lectures or webinars in your courses, then you will need a platform with solid video hosting. If you want a mix of media for your courses, then you need something that can handle text, images, pdfs, audio, video, etc. 

Figure out Your Educational Style/Niche

Determine the Amount of Student Engagement You Want – Some platforms have a ton of resources so it’s basically a full classroom online while others are barebones and focus just on hosting content. If you want a lot of engagement with users, then you’ll need a more comprehensive LMS-type platform. If you don’t really plan to interact with learners very much, then a more streamlined platform will suffice. 

Determine the Amount of Student Engagement You Want

Figure Out Your Budget – Pricing for course platforms can be all over the place, from around $10-$20 a month for simple platforms, all the way to thousands for high-end LMSs. Obviously, budgetary constraints should affect your decision. Purchasing online course software should be considered an investment, so you’ll have to determine your budget based on expected returns. If you expect to make a decent amount selling courses, then a more expensive and comprehensive platform may be a better decision in the long run, despite the higher upfront cost. 

Be Realistic – Online course platforms are great but they’re not magic. No online platform can handle the actual course creation part and no platform will market your content for you (though several have tools to make that easier!). It is important to be realistic about the capabilities of online course platforms. That means you will likely have to study up from external sources on how to make engaging content that keeps users coming back.

Be Realistic

Best Online Course Platforms by Category

Given that there are distinct types of online course platforms, it would not make sense to compare them all together in one category. That is why we segmented our list to the best platforms of a specific type. This ranking methodology gives a more nuanced look at the strengths and weaknesses of individual platforms. 

Online Course Platforms

Standalone Platforms

Standalone platforms are relatively stripped down and are geared towards solo entrepreneurs who want to create a functional and efficient site without too much hassle. Many standalone platforms incorporate the ethos of all-in-one platforms and include tools for running a business, but the main difference is where the emphasis lies. Standalone platforms have a different look and feel and are focused on strong support and resources to help course creators succeed. 

1. Thinkific

Thinkific has generated a sizable and loyal following over the years. Today, Thinkific is one of the best standalone online course platforms you can choose.

One main feature that separates Thinkific from its competitors is the course creation tool. The drag-and-drop editor lets you organize courses freely in lessons, sections, and chapters so you can create a logical flow to course modules.

Thinkific allows for a wide range of course materials, including text, PDFs, surveys, audio, video, assignments, live lessons and more. All files are hosted by Thinkific too so you don’t need to worry about hosting.

Thinkific also has a good amount of offering-types for products aside from the basic subscription model. 

Thinkifics site-building tools are solid and easy to get a handle on.

Thinkific can be used in conjunction with another platform so you can build your site with a different set of tools and use Thinkific for the LMS features. If you know a thing or two about coding, you can access HTML and CSS scripts which opens up a lot of customization options. You can still build a solid, functioning, and aesthetically pleasing site with the default tools though. 

There are two main differentiators when it comes to comparing Thinkific to other platforms: the learning experience design (live lessons, integrated assignments, communities, advanced quizzes, and engagement surveys), and your ability to scale with the platform (API access, SSO, Video Library).

Cost

Thinkific has 3 paid plans: Basic ($49/mo), Pro ($99/mo), and Premier ($499/mo). They also offer an unlimited free version which gives you the core features along with 3 courses, unlimited students, and quiz functionality. You can opt for annual instead of monthly billing to get a 20% discount on subscription costs. 

Best For
  • Individual educators
  • Solo entrepreneurs and small businesses
  • Those who have a web-builder but need a good LMS
  • DIY instructors and hobbyists
Pros
  • Easy to make good-looking online courses quickly
  • Unlimited free plan is great to start with
  • Unlimited students even on free plan
  • Unlimited courses on all paid plans
  • Unlimited media hosting (video, audio, etc.)
  • Easy to embed widgets as necessary
  • Reliable cloud-based architecture
  • PayPal functionality built-in
  • Excellent pricing structure
  • Fantastic assignment & live lesson functionality.
Cons
  • Limited training resources
  • Customer support could be quicker to respond
  • Marketing tools are slightly lacking

2. Teachable

Teachable is another standalone course platform that has some features you see in an all-in-one platform. Teachable is noted for its simplicity and ease-of-use, along with its reliable cloud-based architecture. Teachable hosts all content for you and you don’t need to install any software packages. Everything can be run right from your browser. 

Teachable features a simple but competent web-builder that requires virtually no tech knowledge to use. The platform includes a lot of educational resources so you always have some help if you get stuck. One thing Teachable lacks is a good email marketing suite. Fortunately, you can integrate another client to handle email efforts. 

Teachable also offers a neat blogging tool so you can connect with your community. They also offer a free plan that gives you access to a lot of features, but it has a high 10% commission fee on any courses you sell using the platform. 

Cost

Teachable has 3 pricing plan options: Basic ($39/mo), Professional ($119/mo), and Business ($299/mo). You can also opt for annual billing and save 20% on subscription costs. Keep in mind that the Basic plan has a 5% transaction fee. This fee is removed on the Professional and Business plans.

Best For
  • Those with little to no experience running a website
  • Entrepreneurs who want to quickly set up a functioning site that takes payments
  • Those who have an LMS but need better course creation options
  • Small businesses with multiple admin users
Pros
  • Free tier plan available (capped at 10 students)
  • 1-page checkout options
  • Great multimedia hosting capabilities
  • Intuitive course builder
  • Reliable cloud hosting architecture
  • Unlimited students on all plans, even the free one
  • Custom domain support on all paid plans
  • Good amount of third-party integrations
Cons
  • High transaction fees on free and Basic plans
  • Sales pages are not as good as some other platforms
  • Payout process can be frustrating
  • Cannot completely remove Teachable brand

3. Podia

Podia is also one of the more well-known online course platforms with over 20,000 registered content creators. Podia is another standalone platform that has some all-in-one capabilities, including digital storefronts, newsletters, emails, and built-in payment processing. Podia allows for three product types: online courses, digital downloads, and product bundles. The digital download feature is the most unique and lets you sell downloadable products like eBooks, guides, videos, and audio files. 

Podia also has a basic suite of email marketing tools with the capacity to make drip campaigns and send out regular newsletters. The email module has tools for tracking metrics like open, click, bounce, and unsubscribe rates. The email marketing tools are good but ultimately limited which is why you may want to combine Podia with another email client. 

Lastly, Podia offers 1-page checkouts, which are generally considered better at making conversions than standard 2-page checkouts. 

Cost

Podia has 2 pricing plans: Mover ($39/mo) and Shaker ($78/mo). Podia does not have a free plan but they do have a free 14-day trial. You can save $78 on the Mover plan and $158 on the Shaker plan if you opt for annual billing. None of the plans have transaction fees on purchases.

Best For 
  • High volume sellers
  • Those who want a wide range of product types besides online courses
  • Those who are looking for a competitive atmosphere
  • Creating membership sites
Pros
  • Very affordable pricing schemes
  • Focus on creating high-quality courses
  • High conversion rates due to streamlined payment process
  • Free-trial
  • Constant stream of updates from developers
  • Excellent customer support
Cons
  • Not very many automations
  • No sales funnel builder
  • No option for phone support

4. LearnWorlds

LearnWorlds is a relatively unknown player in the online course industry, but has some solid sales/analytics tools and an interactive course builder that make it stand out among its competitors. LearnWorlds also has some good testing options and built-in social networking tools which are invaluable for building your online community. 

LearnWorlds has a fairly complex dashboard interface that may take some getting used to. But once you do, it is easy to see how flexible the platform is. One thing we really like is the “School Wizard” tool which walks you through the process of creating courses step-by-step. The course builder is attractive and has several visual text bubbles and cues so you can figure out what everything does. 

The best feature of LearnWorlds is the interactive lesson builder.  The course builder lets you create interactive videos, interactive eBooks, and online testing engines. The interactivity features are a great way to present lessons in a way suitable for people with different learning styles. 

Cost

LearnWorlds has 3 pricing options: Starter ($29/mo), Pro Trainer ($99/mo), and Learning Center ($299/mo). They also offer a High volume & corporate plan with variable pricing. You can opt for annual billing to save 20% in subscription costs. The Starter plan has a 5% commission fee on course sale which is removed in the Pro or higher plans. LearnWorlds also offers a generous 30-day free trial. 

Best For
  • Educators who want to incorporate multiple learning styles into lessons
  • Businesses who need to train employees
  • Educators who want some one-on-one contact with students
  • Great for solo educators or large businesses
Pros
  • Highly customizable pages
  • Deep interface is complex and powerful
  • Interactive lessons are amazing
  • Over 300 ready-made page templates
  • Great SEO analytics tools
  • Reliable cloud-based architecture with no update requirements
  • True white label; you can provide custom branding for sites
Cons
  • The number of features can be overwhelming at first
  • Navigation can take a bit to figure out
  • 5% transaction fees on Starter plan
  • Some users report glitches in the web-builder typing space

5. Ruzuku

Ruzuku markets itself as “Ridiculously Easy Online Course Creation,” and for the most part, it makes good on the promise. Ruzuku is an easy-to-use platform that can help you create a course in as little as 2 hours. Ruzuku is built for amateurs so they take great pains to make sure everything is as streamlined as possible. The course builder takes a systematic approach to building products and allows for flexible pricing options aside from just subscriptions. 

One thing we really like about Ruzuku is the inclusion of a discussion board module. This feature allows students to communicate amongst one another and build a community around your knowledge. Ruzuku is a bit weak on marketing tools because the main focus is on creating an engaging learning experience.

Cost

Ruzuku has 3 main payment plans: Bootstrapper (99$/mo), Up-and-Comer ($149/mo), and University ($199/mo). You can opt for annual billing and save 20% on subscription costs. There is no free option but they offer a 14-day free trial. None of the plans have a commission fee on transactions.

Best for
  • Solo entrepreneurs who want to build courses quickly to sell
  • Educators who want to create a student community
  • Multiple individuals who want to teach together
  • Those who want to make a large course library
  • Educators who want to do live lectures to many students at once
Pros
  • Flexible content delivery system
  • Multiple payment options for students
  • Discussion forum helps build an online community
  • Analytics for single students and groups of students
  • Students can set up social profiles
  • Teleconference tool can hold up to 200 students at once
  • Unlimited students and courses
Cons
  • Relatively limited customization options
  • No phone or live chat support
  • No real marketing capabilities

6. WizIQ

WizIQ is a cloud-based online course platform that has over 4 registered users across 200 countries. The main distinguishing feature of WizIQ is its “Virtual Classroom”—a module that allows educators to host live lectures at any time from anywhere in the world. In that sense, WizIQ is a lot like a real classroom in that it places emphasis on face-to-face instruction. 

The Virtual Classroom suite also includes testing/assessments, assignment and feedback tools, a cloud-based content library, and a discussion board. The course builder lets you create pre-packaged courses to sell and multiple educators can have admin accounts on the same site. The testing features are robust and you can set milestones for individual students to keep track of their progress. 

One other unique feature is the messaging app which lets students contact each other through the platform. This feature in conjunction with the discussion board is a great way to build a community of students. 

Cost

WizIQ has different pricing structures for the live classroom and LMS features. Live classrooms can be rented on a per-minute basis, or you can buy the Enterprise or Professional VC packages. LMS plans include the Elite and Infinite plans. WizIQ does not list pricing for each option on its site and instead asks you to contact them regarding pricing. They also offer a free 14-day trial. 

Best For 
  • Colleges and university teachers
  • Lage enterprises who need to train employees
  • Test prep tutors
  • Lecturers
  • Those who want a more traditional learning experience
Pros
  • Virtual classroom module has tons of useful features
  • Upload videos, powerpoints, audio files, and more
  • System automatically keeps tabs on student participation
  • Decent course building and payment tools
  • Lectures and webinars are recorded for future viewing
Cons
  • No notable marketing features
  • Non-transparent pricing structure
  • Customer support is slow
  • Virtual classroom can lag for lectures with large amount of students

7. Pathwright

Up next is Pathwright, a standalone platform that is geared towards educators who want to create a more personalized learning experience for students.

Pathwright has been noted for its beautiful interface, flexibility, great customer service, and learner-centric orientation.

The simple uncluttered UI is easy to navigate and the course building tool is very flexible with multiple supported media types and course templates. 

Pathwright also has good student engagement tools. The blocks based builder lets you add interactive assignments into your courses. Native discussions are available on any step in the course. You can keep tabs on student progress and set milestones to incentivize progress. You can also make custom certificates for the completion of courses. 

Pathwright also allows you to assign students to “cohorts” each of which follows a master curriculum. That plus the discussion features are wonderful for building a community of learners.

Cost

Pathwright has 3 pricing options: Starter ($99/mo), Essentials ($199/mo), and Complete ($499/mo). You can get a 10% discount by signing up for annual billing. Pathwright offers a limited free version and a free trial of the full version.  

Best For
  • Small to medium businesses who need to train employees
  • Educators who value a personal design to education
  • Multiple educators who want to teach together
Pros
  • Flexible LMS tools
  • Simple intuitive course design
  • Fantastic student engagement tools, including discussions and cohorts
  • Easy to transfer existing course from another platform
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • Robust system is hard to learn at first
  • Some customization options are limited
  • Admin structure can be obtuse

8. Digital Chalk

Digital Chalk is a cloud-based standalone online course platform designed for use by both small- and medium-sized businesses. Digital Chalk adopts a very streamlined approach to courses that alleviates a lot of the problems organizations face when transitioning to eLearning. Courses can combine multiple formats including video, audio, text files, and more, and you can record and live stream webinars to students. 

Aside from the course interface, Digital Chalk allows for custom site branding and includes unlimited storage for uploads. Dashboard analytics help you keep tabs on business and student progress, while customer support is available via live chat, phone, or email. Digital Chalk also has a useful migration feature so you can easily switch between LMS providers. 

Digital Chalk has great learning tools but it’s on the thin side when it comes to marketing and sales. The platform is not really designed for these though, so it’s not a huge drawback. Digital Chalk’s developer tools also open up the option to use Digital Chalk in conjunction with another platform. 

Cost

Digital Chalk offers 3 pricing options: Essential ($35/mo), Professional ($79/mo), and Premier ($189/mo). You can get a 20% discount by signing up for annual billing. They charge a 3% transaction fee for using the built-in shopping cart tool. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial. 

Best For
  • Small to medium businesses who need to train employees
  • Government agencies
  • Continuing education professionals and organizations
  • Professional development firms
  • Educators who want powerful LMS tools
Pros
  • Single annual fee
  • Very affordable pricing
  • Unlimited web hosting included
  • Very well-rounded platform
  • Integrates well with WordPress
  • Ability to build smart widgets
  • Built-in payments processing
  • Tiered course delivery system
Cons
  • Course customization is not incredible
  • Customer service can be slowing responding to queries
  • Relatively few integrations

All-In-One Platforms

As we stated earlier, all-in-one platforms integrate software for creating, managing, marketing, and selling online courses. These platforms commonly come with marketing tools, email tools, web-building tools, and payment processing tools.

The point of all-in-one systems is to give users everything they need to run an online course business under the same roof. One benefit of this design is you don’t have to spend hours tweaking plugins and extensions to make sure they hang together properly. All-in-one systems are more-or-less ready to go “out-of-the-box”, so to speak. 

As such, their main target demographic are entrepreneurs and individual educators who want to run an independent operation. All-in-one platforms give users a lot of flexibility in how they approach web-building, course creation, and marketing. 

1. Kajabi

Kajabi is one of the best all-in-one platforms for digital courses out there. Kajabi’s main draw is the incredible suite of marketing tools that are attached to a competent and intuitive site-building interface. Included in those tools are the awesome “pipelines”—their take on sales funnels. The pipelines have a visual editor of your sales process which you can customize using the drag-and-drop editor. Email marketing automations open up tons of avenues for unique sequences and the ability to segment user lists optimizes your marketing campaign reach.

While the marketing/sales tools are the distinguishing features, Kajabi has good web-building tools as well. All editors are drag-and-drop and there is a large selection of pre-built customizable templates. The course creation tool is similarly robust and lets you create products, offerings, and lesson modules with just a few clicks. 

Cost

Kajabi has transparent pricing and no plan includes transaction fees. Kajabi does not have a free-tier plan and the Basic plan starts at $149 per month. You can get a 20% discount off subscription costs if you sign up for annual instead of monthly billing. Kajabi is a bit more expensive than a lot of online course platforms out there but it also comes with more features, so it’s a suitable trade-off. 

Learn more about Kajabi pricing.

Best For
  • Entrepreneurs who want to get a course business off the ground
  • Individual educators who want independence in how they teach
  • Small businesses that are looking for a platform for growth
  • Brands looking to educate
Pros
  • Great set of web-building tools
  • Powerful marketing tools
  • Visual pipeline editor is a nice touch
  • Email automations are robust and complex
  • Great for landing/sales pages
  • Transparent pricing-tier scales functions
  • Good rewards/affiliate programs
  • Great potential for growth
Cons
  • Higher pricing than average
  • Student engagement tools are lacking
  • No free-tier plan

2. ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is a unique piece of software that is designed with a marketing approach in mind. ClickFunnel’s best feature is its awesome set of marketing and sales tools. Using the platform, you can bring people to your site through a specific series of pages and generate conversions from visitors. ClickFunnels has a massive library of templates to choose from including opt-in pages, landing pages, sales pages, and more. All functions are wrapped up neatly in a single comprehensive platform.

ClickFunnels is a good platform if you don’t have any technical experience. The tools are clearly laid out and work together in an intuitive point-and-click interface. You don’t have to use ClickFunnels by itself either. Many course platforms, such as Kajabi, integrate with ClickFunnels. So you can run your marketing suite using ClickFunnels but rely on another platform for web-building and product creation. 

Cost

There are three pricing plans for ClickFunnels: Basic ($97/mo), Platinum ($297/mo) and Collective ($1,497/mo). They do not seem to offer any pricing discounts for annual instead of monthly billing, but they do have a free 14-day trial. 

Best For
  • Those who already own a business
  • Those who have an established website
  • Businesses that want more options for monetization
  • Creating intricate sales funnels for conversions
  • Companies that want to step up their marketing game
Pros
  • Simple and intuitive to use
  • Great set of powerful marketing tools
  • Large library of customizable templates
  • Tracks sales data automatically
  • No need for sales plugins or extensions
  • Integrates with a lot of other platforms
Cons
  • Course building tools are so-so
  • No page ownership and no access to source codes
  • No blogging tool

3. Academy of Mine

Academy of Mine is a platform for online courses known for its high flexibility and good learning management/student engagement tools. Academy of Mine gives users access to custom pages and course catalogs, pre-built customizable layout, automated course enrollment functions

Marketing analytics, and more. It’s a great all-in-one platform for someone who wants to run their page more like a traditional classroom. 

The real draw of Academy of Mine is the learning management/student engagement tools. Academy of Mine gives tons of ways for teachers to engage with students, including certificates of completion, auto-student enrollment, a built-in grade book to track progress, and multiple language compatibility. The quiz tool is especially useful and lets you pull random questions for quiz sets so no two students take the same quiz. Quiz options allow for true/false, multiple-choice, and multiple selection-type questions. 

Cost

 Academy of mine is fairly expensive. Academy of Mine has 2 main plans: the Essentials ($499/mo) and the Professional ($899/mo). There is also the Enterprise option, a custom plan that lets you pick and choose features for a variable monthly price. 

Best For
  • Businesses who need a solid LMS for training
  • Educators who want a more academic atmosphere with their courses
  • Educators who want high amounts of student engagement
  • Multiple educators working together
  • Professional certificate training courses

Pros

  • Amazing set of LMS tools
  • Grade book lets you keep tabs on student progress
  • Extremely customizable
  • Customizable pricing plans open up flexibility
  • Cloud-based architecture
  • Support live video lectures
  • 24/7 live customer chat/support
  • Free demo version available

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Tools are hard to figure out at first
  • Customization options are almost too much; hard to get started if you are a beginner

Marketplaces

Online Course Martketplaces

Marketplace course platforms allow educators to focus on creating content while handling the sales and distribution on their end. Marketplace platforms allow anyone to create courses and upload them to the marketplace where students can buy. Marketplace platforms are great if you are looking for a side gig, but they usually have high transaction fees to compensate for their distribution and sales platform. Most marketplace platforms allow educators to upload free content too. 

1. Udemy

Udemy is probably the single most popular marketplace course platform in the world with over 50 million registered students and over 50,000 instructors.  Udemy is a great platform for instructors to get their feet wet because creating and uploading courses to the marketplace is super easy. Since the platform handles marketing for you, you can set up a nice stream of passive income if you have good courses and a dedicated following.

As such, Udemy does not give you any marketing tools, aside from how you promote yourself on the platform.  That means Udemy is not for everyone, but it can be a great option for someone looking to make courses casually as a side gig. It has a wide user base too so there is a pretty decent chance of actually making sales.

Cost

Udemy makes all of its money from commissions on courses bought on the platform.  Udemy takes a 50% commission fee on all sales made on the site. You also can’t charge more than $199 for a course, so ultimately, Udemy is probably not a good idea for building a business. 

Best For
  • Interested amateurs looking for a side gig
  • Educators who want to focus solely on making content
  • Those who don’t want to deal with marketing or sales
Pros
  • Extremely easy to get started; just signup and upload your course
  • Wide audience reach
  • Competitive pricing in the marketplace
  • Can list offering is multiple currencies
  • Offers guidance for pricing based on market data
Cons
  • High commission fees
  • Few course customization options
  • It can be hard to break through and gain a following

2. Skillshare

Skillshare is another marketplace course platform designed for individual educators to share their knowledge with the masses. Skillshare has a huge catalog of courses and basically anyone can sign up and start creating content. Like most marketplace platforms, Skillshare gets most of its revenue from commission on course sales. 

Skillshare’s course creation platform is fairly basic and does not have too many customization options. The platform can handle video uploads, images, and text documents, and you can arrange courses by categories and subcategories. The real draw is that the platform handles marketing and distributing courses for you. 

Cost

Skillshare does not have any pricing plans for educators as your payment is based on how many students view your material. Basically, the company calculates how many premium videos were watched during the period and gives payment proportional to how much your content was viewed. It’s a weird pricing structure and there is a chance you won’t make money.

Best For
  • Interested amateurs who want a side stream of income
  • Teachers who just want to focus on making content
  • Funneling customers to your business page
Pros
  • You can get started instantly
  • Wide audience
  • Potential to generate passive income
  • Mobile app is easy to use
  • Quick and effective customer support
  • No cost to upload courses
  • Hundreds of courses on the catalog
Cons
  • No guarantee of payment
  • Can be hard to break into the premium section of courses

3. BitDegree

BitDegree is a relatively new online course platform designed with the goal of making education as widely available as possible. BitDegree has a common marketplace structure and makes most of its revenue off transaction fees. BitDegree lets teachers sign up and create courses on whatever they want. One unique feature is how the platform incorporates gamification to keep students coming back for more. Students can get virtual tokens for completing courses that they can exchange for currencies or for other courses. 

Cost

It does not cost anything to sign up and start creating for BitDegree, but they charge a 50% transaction fee when students buy one of your courses. If they buy it using a special promo code, you can keep 99% of the revenue. BitDegree is currently working on a transaction-free option for teachers who accept cryptocurrency payments. 

Best For
  • Individual educators looking for a side stream of income
  • Businesses needing to train employees
  • Amateurs who are interested in contributing to learning
Pros
  • Gamification is a unique method to retain students
  • Hundreds of courses so you can find a listing for your material
  • Easy to get started and upload courses
  • They will soon introduce cryptocurrency payment options
Cons
  • 50% transaction fee on sales
  • Not a lot of course customization options

4. Open Sesame

Open Sesame is a marketplace course platform that has a catalog of eLearning products from some of the world’s top publishers. Open Sesame was created as a means to help match business employees with suitable training programs for professional development. Open Sesame helps HR and L&D professionals find courses, map them to employee competencies, and sync them with your company’s LMS for a seamless and comprehensive experience. 

For course creators, Open Sesame works like most marketplaces. You upload courses you make and they handle the distribution and sales. Courses on Open Sesame allow for a wide variety of file types. The main problem is that Open Sesame is basically just a marketplace platform. They don’t really give creators any tools for creating custom courses so you have to figure that out on your own. 

Cost 

There are no upfront fees for creating an account with Open Sesame and uploading courses. Open Sesame takes a 40% commission off of sales revenue while creators get 60% of the revenue. So if you price a course for $100 and it sells, you get $60 and Open Sesame gets $40; quite a big chunk if you ask us. 

Best For
  • Professional educators (e.g. law, accounting, etc.)
  • Organizations that need to train a wide range of employees
  • Interested amateurs who want a side stream of income
  • Course creators who don’t want to worry about marketing
Pros
  • No charge to sign up and start uploading courses
  • Marketing, distribution, and sales are handled for your
  • Wide reach and diverse audience
  • Competitive market prices
  • You can make as many or as few products as you wish
  • Allows sellers to create “bundles” of products
Cons
  • 40% commission fee on all sales
  • No real course creation tools
  • Some languages compatibility issues
  • A large portion of the user base are non-English speakers

5. Listenable

Listenable is a bit interesting as far as online course platforms go. Listenable is focused on creating and selling bite-sized audio courses about 5 minutes in length. Instead of a full-scale comprehensive course, Listenable is focused on hosting easily digestible content you can listen to on your lunch break or while on your daily run. Educators can sign up, create their own course, and the platform handles marketing and distribution to listeners. 

Given that Listenable is focused on the marketplace, there are not web-building or marketing tools. They don’t offer creators course building tools either. They handle all that stuff once you upload course materials and an outline. Listenable has a huge catalog of micro-audio courses that range from personal development to psychology and science, so you can definitely find a niche as a course creator for the platform. 

Cost

There are no upfront costs for selling courses on Listenable. Course creators just need to submit their course idea and outline to the company and once they review, it will be put up on the marketplace.  Each quarter, Listenable returns between 30%-50% of their revenue to course creators, the exact amount depends on how many minutes of your videos were watched that quarter. So the more people listen to you, the more you get paid.

Best For
  • Solo educators who want a small side stream of income
  • Interest amateurs who want to make courses just for fun
  • Educators who don’t like messing with video and prefer audio
Pros
  • Easy signup process; submit, review, and get your course published
  • Large library has a diverse audience
  • No need to worry about emails/marketing/distribution efforts
  • Regular payment schedule
  • No upfront costs to publish courses
Cons
  • Obtuse payment structure; there is a chance you make nothing in a quarter
  • No “bundle” sale options
  • No direction over course promotion on the platform

6. Creative Live

Creative Live is another marketplace course platform that offers a wide range of both free and paid courses. Creative Live is focused on courses in 5 categories: photography, art/design, music/audio, crafts, and money/life issues. One thing that is unique about Creative Live is the capacity to host live broadcasts. Creative Live is a marketplace, which means creators set their own prices for products in a competitive market. 

One problem with Creative Live is that not anyone can join and start selling courses. Educators on the platform are handpicked by the company, so you have to apply and go through a whole process to work and sell courses on the platform. As such, it won’t be a viable platform for most to teach on.

Cost

Given that Creative Live handpicks content creators, we are unsure of monetary breakdown, or how much they take as commission from sales. Presumably, they take some amount of the sale price and the rest goes to the creator. Creative Live does not have any info on their website about how payment to creators works. 

Best For
  • Creative professionals (photographers, graphic designers, etc)
  • Educators who want a side stream of income
Pros
  • Awesome gallery and good course distribution
  • Unique niche in courses for artistic topics
  • Well-known educators
Cons
  • Not just anyone can sign up and start making courses
  • Unclear how payment to course creators works
  • Limited selection of topics to teach on

WordPress Plugins

Plugins are not platforms in their own right but are pieces of software that contain groups of functions that can be integrated into a larger platform. WordPress plugins for online courses integrate with WordPress-hosted pages and usually include specific functions for education presentation, distribution, and development. WordPress plugins are useful as they are cheap and often customizable to work with other features of WordPress. 

1. LearnDash

LearnDash is a well-known and popular LMS plugin for WordPress hosted sites. LearnDash is used by several Fortune 500 companies and major universities to help publish their content online.

LearnDash is basically a one-stop plugin that gives your site the capability to create online courses, lessons, quizzes, and assess student progress. LearnDash also has some built-in payment functionality and a sizable library of integrations as well. 

LearnDash lets you create an unlimited amount of courses using the simple drag-and-drop design and you can set special permissions and restrictions on access to certain products. LearnCash has built-in PayPal functionality for payments but also integrates with several third-party payment apps. They recently added the capability of recurring payments instead of just one-time payments. 

Lastly, LearnDash’s reporting tools keep track of individual users’ performance and also includes a few email automations to set up drip schedules, notify students of new courses, and contact students who have not logged in for a while. 

Cost

LearnDash has 3 main plans: Basic ($199/year), Plus ($189/year), and Pro ($369/year). LearnDash charges on an annual basis and each amount gets you a year of support. LearnDash does not offer free trials but they do have a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee. 

Best For
  • Anyone who want to sell courses
  • Those who have a WordPress but need an LMS
  • Businesses of all sizes
  • Solo entrepreneurs and individual educators
Pros
  • Great for virtually all kinds of educators and purposes
  • Seamless integration is fast and efficient
  • Continual stream of updates
  • Unlimited courses and users on all plans
  • Course builder is simple and intuitive
  • Reasonably priced plans
Cons
  • Reporting features are not on the Basic plan
  • Can be difficult to set up
  • Some reported issues with permissions

2. AccessAlly

AccessAlly is a WordPress LMS plugin that is geared towards retaining students and generating high amounts of conversions. AccessAlly has some good marketing/sales features and a unique “gamification” approach to lessons that is meant to keep students engaged. AccessAlly also has powerful membership site features and analytics tools so you can keep track of campaigns. 

Building a membership site with AccessAlly is simple, especially if you are already familiar with WordPress. Courses can include text, images, video, and neat quizzes that can be used to onboard new members. You can select a wide range of payment options for products, and there is a unique “bulk license” feature that allows groups to pursue courses at their own pace. 

The gamification of assignments is also a nice touch. AccessAlly gives “points” to students who complete lessons, which they can then use to unlock other content. You can also set up email automation to occur with certain triggers, like if a student is doing poorly or has not logged in for a while 

Cost

AccessAlly offers 2 individual plans: Essentials ($99/mo) and Pro ($129/mo). They also have a special “in-House Training” package for businesses that starts at $2500/year. You can opt for annual billing to save 10% on individual subscription costs. 

Best For 
  • Businesses who need to train new employees
  • Someone who has a website but needs a separate LMS
  • Those who have a self-hosted WordPress
Pros
  • Strong membership site capabilities
  • Live online teaching capabilities
  • Elegant course creation design
  • Runs very smoothly on WordPress
  • Gamification aspects help retain students
  • Mobile app for mobile learning
  • Built-in eCommerce solutions
Cons
  • Membership site layouts are relatively limited
  • Order forms are fairly weak
  • Updates can cause minor performance issues

3. Course Cats

Course Cats is an LMS plug-in that adds course creation and sales features to your WordPress page. Course Cats stands apart because of the unique approach they take to onboarding. When you sign up for Course Cats, the devs help install the plugin and tweak setting so you can focus on customizing content. Once you publish your first course, it will walk you through how to generate your first sale. 

All of Course Cats’ lesson modules are video-based but can include PDFs, audio files, PPT slides, and other kinds of media formats. Adding a new course is similar to creating a new blog post and the editor lets you arrange course elements through the tab system. Course Cats also allows you to make landing pages, membership integrations, and the devs are constantly working on new updates for the plugin. 

Cost

Course Cats has 2 pricing options, one monthly and one yearly. The monthly plan costs $65/mo and the annual plan costs $497/year. Course Cats also offers a free 30-day trial, and they sometimes offer a 60-day trial as promotional deals. 

Best For
  • Entrepreneurs who want to make and sell courses quickly
  • Educators who specialize in video-driven lessons
  • Those who don’t want to worry about complicated installs
Pros
  • Intuitive and logical course builder
  • Professional installation included
  • Capacity to embed videos from external source
  • Membership integrations
  • New blogging tool was recently introduced
  • Unlimited regular updates
Cons
  • No native video hosting
  • No drag-and-drop editor for courses

4. LifterLMS

LifterLMS is a WordPress plugin that lets you create an online learning portal on your site. The core features of LifterLMS are the learning management tools, but there are premium add-ons for functions like payment, content dripping, assignments, and more. Adding content to a course is mostly the same process as adding content to a regular blog post, but there are many more options for course customization. 

The basic tools for making courses are free, but you have to pay for the payment suite tools. LifterLMS has some good payment processing add-ons including WooCommerce. LifterLMS also integrates with several other platforms like Astra. Another premium add-on opens up membership site capabilities, certificates/achievements, and quizzes/assignments. 

One last unique feature is the “Private areas” which allow you to make personalized rooms for individual students, private chats, and interacting with students privately. Students can also communicate with one another through the social network functions. 

Cost

The basic course tools for LifterLMS are free to download and use without registration. Individual add-ons start at $99/year, though there may periodically be special discounts on select add-ons. LifterLMS also offers bundle features starting as low as $299/year which include several premium add ons. 

Best For
  • WordPress professionals
  • DIY instructors
  • Those who want an LMS they can pick and choose features for
  • Someone looking for a free LMS just for making courses
Pros
  • Basic tools are completely free
  • Flexible add-on pricing structure; you can add only the features you need
  • Simple course builder is like making a blog post
  • Runs smoothly with other extensions and plugins
  • WooCommerce integration is very useful
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • Add-ons can get expensive without bundles
  • Very limited marketing options
  • Some design choices seem outdated (e.g. course listings)

5. Tutor LMS

Tutor LMS is a nifty WordPress plugin oriented around its simplified course creation process and large library of add-ons. One of Tutor LMS’s unique features is that you can create a marketplace and feature course content from other creators. In other words, you can create your own mini-Udemy in WordPress. 

Tutor LMS gives you access to a drag-and-drop course builder, a quiz/assessment creator, video integrations, course certificates, digital downloads, and course reviews. It also includes built-in WooCommerce integrations which make payments easy. The course builder uses a simple drag-and-drop editor that you can use to organize courses by lessons, categories, and modules. 

In the same course builder, you can create custom quizzes/assessments for lessons. The quiz module is pretty awesome and allows for 10 question types. You can also randomize quizzes so every student will get a different set of questions. 

Cost

The basic tools of Tutor LMS are free to download and use without a license. Premium add-ons start at $149/year. 

Best For
  • Individual educators
  • Educational institutions
  • Elearning platforms
  • Those who want to pick and choose LMS features
Pros
  • Core features are free to download and use
  • Flawless integration runs smoothly
  • Excellent quiz capabilities with several question-types
  • Works with most existing paid and free WordPress themes
  • Features WooCommerce and EDD integration
  • Membership site capacity
Cons
  • Add-ons can get expensive quickly
  • No payment options with basic features
  • Support ticket system can be frustrating

Moodle Plugins

Moodle

Moodle is an open-source LMS platform that is made to give educators a single and dynamic system to create a learning environment. Moodle is a popular platform for blended learning and distance education and can be used to manage course catalogs, enrollment, and more. Moodle is a highly flexible and well-suited to multiple eLearning environments due to its large library of community-sourced plugins. 

1. CourseMerchant

CourseMerchant is a useful Moodle plugin that provides a full front end suite for managing courses, shopping carts, checkouts, and enrollments. The front end features are designed to streamline the enrollment and checkout process, so students can spend more time taking lessons. CourseMerchant is a good plugin to get around some of the limitations of Moodle, like its lack of coupons or bundle options. 

CourseMerchant allows you to enroll students with a single click, package multiple offerings into a bundle, has multiple payment gateway support, and can gather student data from registration forms and send it to third-party applications, and create coupons/discount offerings. CourseMerchant is focused on the merchant aspect and can make the selling part of online courses much easier. 

Cost

CourseMerchant does not currently list pricing information on its website and asks customers to contact support to get a quote. 

Best For
  • Educational institutions
  • Moodle-powered sites that need better sales features
  • Solo-entrepreneurs who need a decent payment management suite
Pros
  • Comprehensive administrative management for your courses
  • Allows for auto-enroll upon purchase
  • Package multiple offerings into bundles
  • Can pull data from student registration forms for marketing efforts
  • Creates coupons/discount offerings
Cons
  • Pricing is not transparent
  • No course creation tools

2. LMS Checkout

LMS Checkout, as the name implies, is a payment processing suite that is designed for Moodle powered websites. LMS Checkout specializes in processing e-commerce payments and has integrations for some of the most popular payment gateways. LMS Checkout also allows for course reviews/ratings, coupon codes, social media promotions, and automatic enrollments. All of LMS Checkout’s themes are vibrant and responsively designed for viewing on mobile. 

LMS Checkout by itself is mostly a payment suite but it can be integrated with other platforms like Salesforce to gain analytics and improve marketing efforts. It also has a neat training event function so you can plan live classes, conferences, webinars, and more. 

LMS Checkout also has tax management features, something you don’t normally see in an LMS platform. The ability to make course recommendations is a nice touch too, as well as the social media campaigns you can run. 

Cost

LMS Checkout does not list pricing information on their website. You need to create an account first before you can get quotes on pricing. 

Best For
  • LMS sites that need a better payment suite
  • Educators who want to streamline the payment process
  • Small businesses
Pros
  • Comprehensive payment management suite
  • Tax management features
  • Integrate with popular payment options
  • Can make coupons/discount codes
  • Auto-enrollment upon purchases
Cons
  • Pricing is not transparent
  • No real marketing or analytics features

Enterprise Learning Management Systems

Enterprise Learning Management Systems

Enterprise learning management systems (ELMS) are a particular kind of LMS designed specifically to help companies and corporations maximize the effectiveness and delivery of their training programs. In other words, ELMSs are geared towards helping businesses train employees. ELMSs contain a wide range of tools that enhance the in-house eLearning experience and streamline the delivery of educational content for businesses.

1. Docebo LMS

Docebo LMS is a flexible cloud-based modular LMS that is capable of providing formal and informal learning environments for businesses. Docebo can handle blended learning and allows for an unlimited number of courses and storage with all the bandwidth you need. All of Docebo’s features can be enabled or disabled depending on current needs. Docebo also incorporates gamification aspects to increase learner retention and motivation. Learners receive badges for completing courses which they can then display on the company leaderboards. 

Docebo also has an intuitive interface that makes admin navigation simple. Students will never miss lessons either as the platform can send them automated reminders via social media. Docebo is compatible with over 40 languages, which is much more accessible than some other LMSs. 

Docebo is also noted for its high-quality video hosting. You can upload full-HD videos, but users may have some playback difficulties if their browser can’t handle HD. 

Cost

Docebo’s pricing structure is based on how many users are going to be taking courses every month. There are 2 main plans: Growth ($3.33/user), and Enterprise ($5.00/user). The Growth plan allows up to 300 users and the Enterprise plan allows up to 500 users. You can also contact Docebo about custom prices for larger organizations. 

Best For
  • Large companies and organizations that need to train employees
  • Organizations looking to implement eLearning
  • University organizations
Pros
  • Elegant and fluid interface
  • Incredibly robust features
  • Large library of third party integrations
  • Pricing structure scales
  • Can send reminders via social media
Cons
  • Not as many users as some platforms
  • Some video playback problems

2. Absorb LMS

Absorb LMS is another corporate-focused learning platform that is one of the most functional course platforms out there. Absorb handles the delivery of educational content and incorporates an extensive list of features, like gamification, e-commerce solutions, and more. Absorb is praised for its smooth interface, customization options, and affordable pricing rates. 

The tab-based course catalog is simple to navigate and users can be segmented into lists based on which courses they are enrolled in. All higher-level tabs are housed in one area so you don’t have to first create a shell class before you post content. Admins have access to robust analytics tools related to course completion, failure, and general student competencies. 

Cost

Absorb focuses on small-to-medium businesses. They do not list pricing information on their website and ask you to send contact info to get a quote. 

Best For
  • Small to medium businesses with training needs
  • Mid-size education institutions
Pros
  • Powerful customization options
  • Full admin control of the platform
  • Training and professional installation offered
  • Pricing scales
  • Excellent mobile app with support
  • Optional modules add extra features
Cons
  • Pricing is not immediately transparent
  • Limited applicability; only good for mid-sized offices

3. Instructure LMS

Instructure (also known as Canvas) is an extremely popular LMS that is used by several universities and businesses for educational delivery. Canvas has a super intuitive and user-friendly design and has an open-source API which allows for essentially limitless customization. Canvas’s navigation uses simple contextual menus and tabs and is divided between the main Dashboard, Global navigation, and the sidebar which shows updates. 

Canvas is powerful and flexible. The platform is well organized and has one of the easiest navigation schemes of course platforms we have seen. The course creation tool allows you to import external content, records, and student information, and instructors can send email broadcasts based on enrollment, performance, and more. 

Cost

Canvas does not publically list their prices so we are unable to provide any reliable numbers about plan pricing. Canvas charges a one-time setup fee, annual subscription fee, and final pricing is based on the size of the institution

Best For
  • Colleges, universities, and other post-secondary educational institutions. 
  • Large businesses
Pros
  • Simple navigable interface
  • Open-source API
  • Manges student lists, grades, enrollment, and more
  • Large library of third-party extensions
  • Contextual modules can be activated and deactivated
Cons
  • Pricing is not transparent
  • UI has some odd design choices and buggy features

4. LearnUpon LMS

LearnUpon LMS is scalable ELMS for businesses of all sizes who need a platform for training and education. LearnUpon allows for unlimited learners and only charges you based on how many learners actually use the system. LearnUpon also has some nice eCommerce features and integrates with your company’s eCommerce suite. LearnUpon includes analytics tools for tracking learners’ progress and who is visiting your storefront.

When you sign up, all user admins get a full complimentary training session on how to use the software. LearnUpon can be used for either third-party training or for in house education.  The builder has a huge selection of customization options so you can give your platform a unique look. 

Cost

LearnUpon LMS has three main pricing options: Basic ($599/mo), Essential ($999/mo) and Premium ($1,699/mo). There is also the variable-price Enterprise plan for large companies. 

Best For
  • Medium-to-large businesses that need in-house training
  • Companies that offer third-party training
Pros
  • Highly customizable
  • Good looking interface that is easily navigable
  • Integrates with business eCommerce
  • Analytics and SEO tools
  • Smart Search function searchers whole system for queries
Cons
  • Quiz options are not great
  • Setting up modules can be tedious and difficult

5. Adobe Captivate Prime LMS

Adobe Captivate Prime is a smart and functional adaptive LMS meant for managing end-to-end education for businesses and organizations. Adobe Captivate Prime features auto-assignments, certification training, analytics, student reports, and has a mobile app with touch screen compatibility. Adobe Captivate Prime is compliant with most major file types and allows admins to segment student lists by teams. 

Adobe also includes a virtual classroom module and a fair number of automations to speed up various processes. Adobe incorporates gamification aspects as learners can earn badges as they complete lessons.

Cost 

Plans for Adobe Captivate Prime starts at $4/mo/user. You can also buy off-the-shelf training content for $16 a course per learner per year. Adobe also offers a 45-day trial period with the platform. 

Best For
  • Large organizations
Pros
  • Powerful LMS tools for managing course
  • Plans are competitively priced
  • Virtual classroom capacities
  • Automatically issues assignments
  • Gives automatic recommendations
  • Learning curve is shallow
Cons
  • Assignment modules may have some issues
  • Amount of tools can be overwhelming

6. Talent LMS

Talent LMS is another cloud-based educational delivery platform for corporations. Talent LMS supports the delivery of interactive educational content and also has eCommerce, email, and reporting/analytics tools. The cloud-architecture is reliable and the platform runs smoothly, allowing for a user-friendly experience. Courses can support a wide range of file types and be integrated with graded quizzes and assessments.  

Talent also includes gamification aspects. Students get points for completing lessons and the highest scoring learners are displayed on the leaderboards. Interactive content can be embedded directly into the course editor and you can give students explicit access to course resources through the knowledge libraries applications. 

Cost

Talent LMS has a free-tier plan and 4 pricing options: Starter ($79/mo), Basic ($159/mo), Plus ($329/mo), and Premium ($529/mo). There is also an Enterprise plan for large organizations that has variable pricing. You can get a 20% discount on subscription costs by opting for annual billing. 

Best For
  • Businesses of all sizes
  • Large educational institutions
Pros
  • Extremely user-friendly
  • Wide range of compatible media formats
  • Great customer support
  • Quick and painless configuration
  • Good student engagement features
Cons
  • Users complain about site outages
  • Customer support can be slow to respond

7. SAP Litmos

SAP Litmos is a flexible LMS that is suitable for businesses of all sizes. The generous third-party integration list, lively visual reports, and very reasonable pricing plan are some of the reasons it’s used in thousands of organizations worldwide. SAP Litmos also specializes in selling companies prepackaged content for training. 

SAP Litmos is based on a simple design featuring drop-down menus for navigation. Admins can pick between three page-layouts and customize banners, fonts, colorings, footers, icons, and more. SAP Litmos also can auto-prescribe roles to users as well as manage them manually. SAP Litmos is compatible with several third-party apps such as Dropbox, Crux, Salesforce, Shopify, and more. 

Cost

SAP Litmos pricing plans start at $15 per user for 50-100 users for the Pro + plan and ^4 per user for 150-550 users for the Pro plan. They offer a free 14-day trial. 

Best For
  • Businesses and educational organizations of all sizes 
Pros
  • Very flexible pricing plans
  • Great performance with little issues
  • Creating curricula is logical and straightforward
  • Gamification enhance student engagement
  • Large list of compatible third-party integrations
  • Clear visuals on reports
Cons
  • Some features are co-dependent and can mess each other up
  • Not many automations; lots of manual work

8. Looop

Looop (yes, it’s spelled with 3 “o”s) is a powerful and flexible LMS designed to eliminate common weak points in business education schemes. Looop is a bit interesting as its main feature is how it can give you feedback on how well the platform is faring. The content creation tools are simple and don’t require any technical skills to use, and the unique learning paths are a neat spin on self-directed education. 

Looop also includes analytics tools and interactive features so you can see which kinds of engagements are working and which ones are not. The custom-built APIs make integrations simple and automated campaign features can bridge the gap between the ends of the learning experience. 

Cost

Looop offers 3 main pricing plans: Small Business ($299/mo), Mid Size ($699/mo), and Enterprise ($1,199/mo). There is also the Enterprise Plus option with variable pricing for larger organizations. 

Best For
  • Businesses of all size
  • Businesses that need to analyze critical points in their LMS setups
  • Businesses that want robust feedback on learning efforts
Pros
  • Incredible customer support
  • Custom API protocols for integrations
  • Deep analytics functions
  • INteractive course capabilities
  • “Pathways” allow for easy curriculum creation and self-directed learning
Cons
  • Expensive pricing
  • Quiz/report options could use some work

Conclusion

Online course platforms are the education of the future. The flexibility and range of options that online courses provide is one reason they are so popular. These platforms are just a handful of the online course platforms out there and many more of each type exist. Selling online courses and digital products is a great way to monetize your expertise, and sell knowledge.

Citations
  1. McCue, TJ. “E Learning Climbing To $325 Billion By 2025 UF Canvas Absorb Schoology Moodle.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 31 July 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2018/07/31/e-learning-climbing-to-325-billion-by-2025-uf-canvas-absorb-schoology-moodle/#30c997913b39. []
  2. Zhang, Dongsong. Powering E-Learning In the New Millennium: An Overview of E-Learning and Enabling Technology. https://userpages.umbc.edu/~zhangd/Papers/ISF.pdf. []
  3. United States, Congress, Hobbs, Vicky. RURAL TRUST POLICY BRIEF SERIES ON RURAL EDUCATION, Aug. 2004. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED498192.pdf. []
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Samuel Fletcher
Samuel Fletcher
Samuel is an experienced online business coach with over 10 years of experience. He has a keen interest in knowledge commerce and digital marketing. Samuel strongly believes in dedication, perseverance and commitment.

It's Possible to Make a Living Selling Courses Online.


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