Online learning platforms are in high demand. Given the educational affordability and accessibility that they provide, this comes as no surprise. Analysts suspect that by 2025, the E-learning market will experience a 200% increase in its revenue. With the rise in popularity, the industry has also been actively evolving to accommodate the changing demands of consumers. As a consequence, we now have the model of the online live academy, which is the new hot topic in the E-learning industry.
What is an online live academy?
We are all familiar with schools - educational institutions where students learn about a variety of things under one roof. An online live academy is not much different. The only difference: these academies are online, where an LMS (learning management system) hosts them. What is an LMS you may ask? They are softwares applications that are responsible for administering, developing, and hosting educational courses among other things. Teachfloor is one such LMS that provides the facility of developing an online live academy.
The live academies are perfect for educational creators looking to start their personal brand or even for schools who are trying to transition to online teaching amidst the ongoing pandemic. Not only that, but corporations can also take advantage of this technology to train their employees. The possibilities with this model are endless.
Why Launch an online live academy?
A common question that creators have is why should they create their academy instead of individual courses. The idea of creating and launching an entire academy alongside course(s) development sure seems like a lot of work. However, this is not entirely true. As a matter of fact, creators who have been developing and selling their online courses separately have already done 90% of the job. All that is left, is to develop a brand identity and your academy is up and running. Simple!
Not convinced? Here, I have listed some top reasons to help you understand why starting your academy as a creator is a must.
Make your E-learning brand
As a creator, your only goal is not just to create and sell courses. It is also to successfully run your business. Remember, every creator is also an entrepreneur. Therefore, you must also think like one. And, for any business brand identity is crucial. It determines how customers will perceive you and your products (in this case, your courses). With the help of platforms such as Teachfloor, you can publish all your courses in one place, under a single brand which you will have the absolute freedom to create.
Become a multi-tasker
One of the top advantages of running an academy is the ease with which a creator can accomplish all their tasks. A majority of LMS that host online academies come integrated with various applications like Zoom, automated emails, etc. You can create your courses, launch them, market them. and manage your customers all from a single platform, Do you know what this means? No extra spending on purchasing separate softwares to run your course business.
Work alongside multiple creators
Hands down! This is a great feature that Teachfloor provides. If you are somebody who enjoys working collaboratively then this is perfect for you. With this, you can add other instructors to your academy where they can share their courses as well. Such a feature helps spice things up and creates variety in your course collection. As a result, you can tap into audiences which you previously may have missed. At the same time, you can also steer other instructors' viewers towards your courses through collaborations.
Train your employees under one space
As said above in the article, lots of organizations and corporations use online learning platforms nowadays to train their employees. Apparently, 42% of organizations have experienced income increase after introducing E-learning in the workspace. Academies make this process much easier and efficient by enabling these organizations to create or outsource course creation for training programs. So, in just one place they can educate trainees on various topics.
Fosters a healthy community
These live academies use various educational and communication techniques to provide learners with a quality learning experience. These include blending asynchronous (recorded lectures) and synchronous learning (live cohort-based sessions). Not only does it diversifies the learning experience but also allows students and instructors to interact in real-time and gain first-hand guidance from each other. In this digital age, such cohort live sessions can help bridge distances and help overcome the feeling of loneliness.
Steps to launch an online live academy
1. Create a brand identity
This is the first and probably the most basic step in developing an online academy. Before embarking on any project, one must pinpoint what it is about, what it should look like, its primary goals, etc. This step largely concerns itself with the visual aspect of your course business. It is here, you determine your course niche, the color scheme, brand logo, and course page. In case you are not well versed in the art of design, you can always seek the help of professionals, However, with Teachfloor, that won't be necessary as it provides the course page for creators where students can sign up and instructors can link all their courses.
2. Select a suitable online live academy LMS
Like butter to toast, LMS is your online academy's best friend. And you must choose the one which checks all your requirements. Thanks to breakthroughs in technology, now there are a whole lot of brilliant LMS options to choose from. Like, LearnWorlds, Thinkific, and Teachfloor to name a few. Often, having too many options also creates confusion. A good tip to avoid that is to create a list of the features that you need to operate your course website. Then tally it with the features provided by these LMS platforms and see which one fits perfectly.
3. Create your first online course
Once you have selected your host LMS and come up with a solid branding for your business, the next phase is course development. Here's a detailed guide that might interest you 👉🏽: Best Strategies to Build and Launch a Cohort-Based Course. Following are some fundamentals for course development.
- Develop course curriculum: No course can be launched without a curriculum. It acts as the blueprint as to what the course will cover and which materials it will make use of.
- Choose a student strength: By determining a student strength, you are essentially scaling your course i.e. determining the outreach of your course. Ideally for cohort-based courses, a general idea is to keep the participant number intimate. This allows for better communications and doesn't end up taxing the instructors' health.
- Pick a learning methodology: An impactful course is one with an effective learning methodology. Depending on your topic and your audience type, you will need to figure out if you should opt for entirely live, mixed, or recorded courses. For learning assistance, you can also add E-books, tutorial videos, and invite guest speakers as well. With Teachfloor, collaborations and live cohorts are made easy with features such as Zoom integration and a multi-instructor facility.
- Schedule your course sessions: With the help of Teachfloor's calendar integration and automated emails, instructors can easily plan their live sessions and inform the students in a timely and hassle-free manner.
4. Connect with learners
To establish a good brand value, you must treat your customers as your peers. Make sure to attend to their problems, connect with them from time to time, and build a healthy relationship. Because customers of today are marketeers for your course tomorrow. By enabling communication amongst your community you will be able to better reach out to them. Features like Peer review, discussion forums, and emails can help boost your connectivity with your learners.
5. Choose pricing options
Pricing can be quite a challenge, especially if numbers aren't your strongest suit. To save you the trouble, we have just the guide that will assist you from A to Z in determining the right price for your course(s). Check 👉🏽: How to Strategize Pricing for Your Cohort-Based Courses. Once done, you will also need to check the payment plan for your LMS. Depending on your budget, you can choose between two payment plans offered by Teachfloor. You can either opt for monthly or annual billing and go for Pro or Business plans.
6. Keep track of numbers
To run a successful online live academy, you will need to be mindful of the competition. And to do that, you will need to keep an eye out for the numbers. With the help of an integrated analytics dashboard and student performance report features, Teachfloor users can stay informed regarding their course and academy's performance. Moreover, these features also help in collecting and sorting important data for your use.
7. Market your online live academy
Marketing is an essential step for any business be it online or offline. After you are done with all the technical and developmental aspects of your online academy, you will have to spread the word out in the world to attract potential buyers. To stand out amongst your competitors, make sure to give amazing discounts and bundle offers. People love free stuff 😉. There are many options by which one can market their online academy, namely:
- Email marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Guest blogs
- Pay-per-click ads
- Social media marketing
8. Beta-launch your online live academy
The final step in launching your academy is to test run it for any potential glitches and lapses. Beta-launch is a method by which the software is tested out with demo participants to gauge the success of the product and fill in any gaps. It can provide you with some important business insights regarding your online live academy without having to take any major risks.
In this article, we covered the concept of the online live academy in detail - from its definition to its benefits, and most importantly, how to launch your own online academy. There is no doubt that the model of the online academy is surely filling in the gap left by traditional schools. This growing market has immense potential and it will be unfair on course creators if they do not take advantage of this new E-learning technique. With the help of Teachfloor, over 3000 people from more than 50 countries have launched their online live academies successfully. So, what is stopping you?