Online education (or e-learning) provides education at a distance without having to be fixed to a traditional classroom.
The best online course platforms are called LMS (Learning Management Systems) and help teachers, tutors, and anyone who has anything of value to share get their message across.
The main problem with finding the best e-learning course platforms is the amount of different software currently available, making this a hard choice.
With so many platforms available, all with different features and price tags, it can be challenging to find the best one to help run your learning management system.
In this article, I will cover some of the most popular e-learning course platforms and give a list of features. This will help you find the best online course platform per your needs. Let's get right into it.
The Best Online Course Platforms Right Now
These are the best online course platforms you can use for your e-learning business.
Best For Increasing Your Knowledge On A Variety Of Topics
Whatever your interests are, you'll be sure to find Skillshare to be a platform that satisfies your need to learn. Skillshare helps people gain knowledge from talented others and provides a community to share one’s skills with the world.
You might also discover new talents or deepen existing passions while exploring a career you love.
Skillshare allows creators to upload and run their courses through their online course platform.
With so much to discover and create, Skillshare's online learning environment allows you to create courses that give people the chance to learn and develop in various areas.
Through Skillshare teams, you can also help your team develop their skills through online courses.
This feature is excellent for business owners that want to ensure that their teams are up to speed with the latest developments in their specific industry.
Skillshare's premium memberships start at $8 monthly or $29.88 yearly, with a free area that gives you access to introductory courses.
In addition, when it comes to Skillshare teams, the Starter plan (made for groups of between 2-19 people in size) comes in at $159 yearly.
There are also these two plans:
Custom prices are offered for these two packages.
Best For Having Everything You Need In One Place
Simplero is a trusted online course platform that provides businesses, coaches, speakers, and other entrepreneurs the tools to turn their expertise into multi-stream incomes.
This platform provides you with all the tools you'll need to start and grow a flourishing online education company in one place.
It's all in one spot, which is excellent for simplifying things instead of having various features all over the place (as tends to happen with other platforms).
Teachers and students go to Simplero to become part of this thriving community full of people who either want to learn a new skill, or happen to be knowledgeable entrepreneurs teaching others valuable skills.
You don't have to worry about juggling several different applications when using a single platform. Concentrating on truly engaging and communicating with your target audience, rather than being distracted by the technology, makes all the difference.
Apart from just building course subscription programs, Simplero takes your online course marketing to the next level, allowing you to spread the word about the content that you’re creating.
There are three different types of Simplero plans. When it comes to annual billing, these are their prices:
Best For Those That Want A Platform Used By Experts
Teachable allows you to share what you know and make a living doing it.
Teachable is the platform you'll want to use if you're interested in growing your own online education business and teaching others what you know.
It's a perfect place for experts to create courses, market their businesses and sell products and services directly from the Teachable platform.
Creating a knowledge business becomes simple with its easy-to-use interface and exquisite design. Create online courses and coaching services or build a successful knowledge firm from your skills and experience.
With more than 100,000 instructors that have already used Teachable to bring their business to the web, this platform easily allows you to set up your online school.
Teachable is designed with flexibility in mind so you can create courses, run webinars and personalize your platform experience for students.
The following pricing plans are available when choosing Teachable:
All of the above are billed annually.
Best For Allowing One-Time Purchases As Part Of Your Course
Podia gives you everything you need to set up your membership site and deliver courses.
Anybody looking to sell digital products will feel at home with Podia's feature-rich solution to help you do just that.
You don't have to choose just one type of digital product - instead, you can sell everything from online courses to digital downloads, software, and even ebooks.
Podia makes it easy to stay in touch with your students and offer them new products and updates.
Some of the options available are unlimited files and videos, upsells, pay-as-you-go plans, quizzes and surveys, and drip materials.
You can also put one-time downloads for sale (such as ebooks, PDFs, etc.), and your students can access them without having to pay a monthly fee.
Create recurring revenue by connecting your members, courses, and other products in one location.
There are three pricing plans available:
All of these plans are paid annually.
Best For Potentially Having Thousands Of Members Interested In Your Content
Udemy courses are offered on a wide variety of subjects, so whether you're looking to jumpstart your career or explore new hobbies, there's something for everyone.
Udemy is home to thousands of courses on every topic imaginable - from development and programming languages like Java, Python and C++, to fitness, yoga and wine tasting, as well as interior design and cooking.
Create your course and reach students 24/7 using Udemy's easy-to-use dashboard.
There's no guesswork involved in creating courses, as you can browse instructor insights and reviews from every student that has taken the course.
Becoming an instructor on Udemy means you get to share your knowledge with the world and earn money while doing it.
Udemy gives you all of the tools you need to create, publish and market your online course.
With Udemy for business, get full access to 6,000+ of Udemy's most in-demand courses for your team.
Take your talents to the next level by learning and developing courses in areas such as digital marketing, graphic design, business, and more.
Udemy Business provides you with a complete set of tools and resources to help you use learning to navigate change and stay ahead in the game. It also helps your team stay on top of the latest developments in your area.
While the regular courses on Udemy depend on the pricing set by the creators, Udemy for business is charged as follows:
Best For Building A Course Using Drag And Drop Functionality
Pathwright allows you to create and sell online courses using a simple drag-and-drop editor.
Pathwright is a revolutionary software that allows you to reinvent education by combining design, learning, and teaching.
You'll be up and running in only three simple actions:
For those looking for simplicity, Pathwright is a platform to check out.
These are the three annual pricing plans being offered on Pathwright right now:
What Are Online Course Platforms?
Online course platforms allow you to create & sell your very own courses.
People have always wanted to learn new things or skills, but finding the right teacher or atmosphere for learning has often been challenging.
Online course platforms bridge the gap between the current place one finds themselves in and where they want to be in terms of skill levels, allowing people to choose their instructors, topics, even specific lessons across different categories.
Individuals can easily pick up new hobbies or skills on their own time, while business professionals can brush up on industry trends as needed.
Benefits Of Using Online Course Platforms
Many benefits are associated with taking an online course instead of spending time and money at college/university, home, or classroom. Let’s have a look at some of the most important ones.
The best online learning platforms are flexible in their schedule, allowing you to pick the best time for your lessons or even completely taking pre-recorded courses at your convenience.
Moreover, since there are no strict schedules or due dates, you can study at your own pace without worrying about falling behind.
Since all of the courses are available 24/7 on these platforms, you can always fit them into your schedule when the time arises.
Variety of Options
Many online learning platforms offer a diverse range of options for taking courses.
Whether you're looking for tutorials in photography, writing, design, or any other topic imaginable, there is sure to be an online course platform out there that has what you need.
You'll find plenty of great courses on business-specific topics like public speaking, creative writing, starting your own eCommerce business, marketing, as well as more creative studies on issues like scuba diving, yoga, and photography.
Sometimes all you need is a quick refresher course, so the ability to pick single lessons or even just a few hours of tutorials will help you quickly catch up on any missed material.
Since online learning platforms allow you to pick your instructor and your price range, you can find courses well within your budget before starting your education.
If you are looking for more advanced courses, you should typically be prepared to spend more money.
With that said, you might be surprised at the high level of professional courses you can get access to on a budget.
Top LMS Features To Consider
Let's now explore some of the necessary features for an online course platform to be considered one of the best.
These days, courses require more than just watching videos or passively taking notes to provide learners with a more interactive experience. Some of the most effective ways to increase interactivity include daily quizzes, challenges, assignments, and forums where instructors answer questions in real-time.
While these aspects may seem like extra work when creating a course, they help keep learners engaged by requiring them to stay on top of their material instead of just relying on lectures or notes alone.
Additionally, having an interactive online course business means that you can take advantage of these tools and strategies for marketing further courses and reaching a wider audience.
It's essential to have an online platform that makes it easy to assess your students' knowledge and provide personalized feedback. Some of these features might include handing out certificates, uploading exams, completing assignments, and having other forms of graded assessments.
The best online learning platforms should also allow you to see your student's progress throughout their course while providing them with a good idea of what they need to do to keep up if they’re falling behind.
Selling online courses is all well and good; however, assessing performance is the key to providing the best value for your students.
With so many people using their smartphones and tablets instead of desktops, any online learning platform you consider must have a robust mobile version. This means that all lessons should be easily accessible on these devices without dealing with awkward or difficult-to-navigate designs.
Additionally, making sure that videos load correctly while removing unnecessary distractions is a good way to improve an LMS's usability on small screens.
The best online course marketplace can provide learners with an immersive and engaging experience no matter where they are viewing these courses from.
With finding any topic on a course platform usually possible, having an advanced search function allows students to dig into more specific categories.
This increases the chances of them finding your course if it’s in a narrow niche. For example, students can filter courses by type and difficulty level, which helps narrow down your options and provide a better chance of finding something that fits your needs. They can also filter down based on sub-categories, which means that you can really place your course in the correct section of the website in question.
Online course creation is a long process, so using a platform with the right search filters in place helps ensure you have the best possible chance of success, both in the short and long term.
As an instruction (or even a student) having a live component to your online course, might make it even more interactive. It can also be helpful to connect with others through live session tools like Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, or even within the course platform itself.
This allows tutors to answer questions in real-time, provide feedback for assignments and keep track of students without any extra difficulty. Plus, since these platforms are much more affordable than meeting in person, they provide learners with an optimal balance between individualized instruction and affordability.
When it comes to live sessions, the best course platform also allows applicants to pick from different video formats and needed support during live sessions to make their experience even better.
Covers All Levels
Since there are people at every skill level, it's essential to provide different online courses for everyone involved . This means having a platform with beginner, intermediate and specialized classes for your students to choose from. To accomplish this, you should look for an LMS that caters to all skill levels while ensuring that each course is easily accessible either by searching or checking the suggested levels based on their titles.For example, if you’re looking for ways to make money online as a beginner, it doesn’t make sense to go for an advanced course. In this case, most of the concepts will probably go over your head. The same logic applies if you’re a more advanced user looking at beginner courses.
An Easy To Use And Friendly User Interface
When you create online courses, you want to make sure that they are accessible to everyone regardless of their technical skills. This means using a platform that is easy to navigate irrespective of what online skill level a student might have.
In addition, having an LMS with drag & drop functionalities makes it easier for users to create modules without prior coding experience while also providing support in various formats, including videos, quizzes, and eBooks.
A Choice Of Pre-Made Themes And Templates To Start From
Sometimes, starting with a blank slate can be overwhelming. This is why the best online course-building platforms come with pre-made themes and templates that you can use to build your content.
This way, it will feel less like you're starting from scratch while at the same time, giving your lessons an instant professional look for beginners and advanced learners.
Without having to deal with tedious technicalities, this allows everyone to create engaging courses right off the bat, which is essential when trying to attract more students.
The user interface of an LMS should make creating courses feel effortless even for people who don't have coding experience, making it possible for anyone to create interactive content in minutes.
Easy Integration With Social Networks
Increase the number of course sales you make by making it easy to share portions of your courses on social media. This makes it easy for people to find your material online.
The best online courses have social media plugins that let potential students learn more about you and access your courses directly at the click of a button.
This allows companies to get new leads, build their brand, and promote new products while also staying connected with their clients.
Having an LMS that helps you create, deliver and track professional online courses is one of the most effective ways to attract students. Not only will it save you money, but it will also allow you to reach more people around the world. That's why finding an online course platform that offers all of these features can be life-changing.
This is true both if you're just starting as a course creator or even if you’re already quite established and just looking for new methods to spread your knowledge.
Understanding what features you are looking for in such a system will make it easier to find the platform that has everything you need to make your content successful.
As a student, finding the right course platform can help you learn anything faster and excel at the right skills.
For all these reasons, you must ensure the platform you choose has the right features to support your needs.