Some of the best online learning platforms include Coursera, Skillshare, Udemy, Codecademy, Edx, Pluralsight, Future Learn and Moodle.
Apart from online learning platforms, we also have online course platforms like LearnWorlds, Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi and Podia.
Those, are leading a fast growing elearning industry, especially after the advent of Covid-19. An unbreakable piece of evidence is the increasing number of people becoming interested in online learning for both learning and teaching purposes – either to learn a new skill or teach online.
Luckily there are many online learning and course platforms that offer the opportunity to learn or create, and sell online courses.
For online instructors, trainers, and aspiring edupreneurs this is awesome news. But the struggle of choosing the best online learning platform out of the many options out there is real.
To help make this process easier, we came up with a list of the top online learning platforms analyzed by type and category that you can use to offer high-quality learning experiences.
Relation to a Learning Management System?
An online course platform is a type of learning management system (LMS) that online instructors can use to create, host, deliver and sell online courses. An LMS is the higher category usually used by enterprises for employee training and onboarding or by academic institutions to support teaching, but the whole category can sometimes include course platforms or even WordPress plugins being used by SMEs to create & sell online courses.
Unlike online learning platforms, course platforms are cloud-hosted software that allows instructors to create online classes or individual lessons uploading education material that they have created using text, image, video, PDF files, and audio.
In essence, individuals or SMEs can use a course platform to create their own course marketplace instead of offering their courses in a popular course marketplace like Udemy, Edx, MagnetBrains or SKillshare. This way, they can keep all the revenue and user data that otherwise will have no control over.
Online Learning Platforms VS Online Course Platforms
An online learning platform emphasizes and presents the learner’s perspective whereas an online course platform takes the perspective of the online instructor/ teacher.
The two names are often used interchangeably, and the real differences come from the person using the definition and the context of the conversation. From a students’ perspective, a learning platform is a place to find educational content, search and buy courses or whole educational programs. While, from an educator’s perspective, it is the place to deliver knowledge.
Online learning platforms are often used to identify marketplaces for courses or education like Coursera, Udemy, and Lynda, while course platforms usually refer to the software used to create a learning environment such as LearnWorlds, Thinkific or Teachable.
Using an online learning platform takes off a lot of the hard work of building an audience, marketing, and sales, on the other hand, you lose control over pricing, user data, and branding.
While using an online course platform, you have greater flexibility and freedom in managing your learning resources. Also, you get to have a say in the design and look of the entire website that hosts your online courses and the course in itself – how it is presented as well as promoted.
What you are going to choose essentially comes down to your own requirements.
Our Choice of the Top Course Platform: LearnWorlds
If you choose to go with a standalone course platform, you will need to look into more specific requirements found in a learning management system. This is because there are many types of LMSs and each one specializes in a certain category or serves a specific purpose better than others.
For entrepreneurs, course creators, training organizations, and SMEs, a course platform offer an all-in-one solution that fits your requirements.
LearnWorlds comes with eCommerce features, course authoring, and website building capabilities right out of the box. And, it’s the platform our team has been developing and nurturing for the past 7 years, with thousands of customers in 80+ countries around the world trusting it to deliver online learning!
Whether you are looking for an internal training solution or simply to create, market, and sell your online courses or train your customers, we offer the best possible solution you need at an affordable price.
Start your 30-day free trial with LearnWorlds today!
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Disclaimer: Positions below are arbitrary and do not indicate any preference. Numbering is used to show the number of platforms and further differentiate one from the other.
Best Online Learning Platforms
As we go over each learning platform, we analyze their advantages and disadvantages to help you decide whether it fits your requirements or not.
As we mentioned before, learning platforms are more suitable for learners looking to find a subject to study. They have a huge library of courses and learning paths.
Some of them accept individual instructors to teach with varied conditions to approve the content. If you don’t want to launch a course under your own website, this is the second-best way to do it. Each has its own requirements for instructors to upload their material and how they monetize the content.
We have however included pros, cons, and information for both students and instructors looking into these platforms.
Platform #1: LinkedIn Learning (Lynda)
A screenshot showing a part of LinkedIn Learning’s website.
LinkedIn Learning which was formerly Lynda.com, is an educational platform that offers professional courses on business, technology-related and creative fields in the format of video lessons. The platform comes as a premium service for LinkedIn users and offers more than 16,000 courses in 7 languages and focuses on helping individuals invest in their professional development.