How to Choose the Right Course Platform (And Why You Might Not Need One At All)

How to Choose the Right Course Platform (And Why You Might Not Need One At All)

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Publish Date
May 4, 2022
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When you’re starting an online course, you sooner or later face the “tech questions.”
How will you enroll your students, keep track of their details, and share your content with them?
That’s what a course platform does (often also called an LMS – learning management system).
Now, how do you pick the right platform? The main question that will drive that decision is:
Is your course going to be self-paced or cohort-based?
  • Self-paced: Students watch videos or read content on their own time.
  • Cohort-based: There’s a clear start and end date to your course and you’ll deliver the content live.
There are course platforms that are better suited to support one or the other.
Self-paced courses are best served by Teachable, Podia, or Kajabi, while cohort-based courses can now rely on the new players on the block, Maven and Disco.
BUT before you jump to any of these platforms, I challenge you to think through this:
Do you even need a dedicated course platform?
If you’re just getting started and testing the waters, signing up for a course platform can be overkill.
You can easily host a workshop on Zoom and take registration via Luma. Or you can package up your lessons into an email course delivered via your email service provider (e.g., ConvertKit). First, leverage the tools you already use.
And even if you’re already running a course, you don’t necessarily need a course platform. Instead, focus on finding the right community platform: a place where your students can interact.
For example, courses like Ship 30 for 30, Minimum Viable Video, or the Keystone Accelerator successfully use Circle to share their content and build their community in one place.