A 4-point Checklist to Build eLearning Website for Non-Techies


eLearning creators are experts in their subject matter. At VdoCipher we interact daily with senior professionals in diverse areas ranging from medicine to law and finance, not to mention instructors teaching for competitive exams.

 

Educators do not need to be web development experts to create fantastic elearning websites. At VdoCipher we do all the heavy lifting, so that educators can easily launch elearning websites that make money.

This guide is written specifically for creators who do not want to get too much bogged down into the logistics of building and managing a video-based website. The following four-point checklist helps us frame how to go about helping our customers build super-successful elearning websites:

  1. The elearning website should deliver a great user experience
  2. Premium content should be restricted to paying subscribers only
  3. Time to launch the site should be minimal
  4. Launching the site should not require any technical knowledge

A features checklist when creating online courses

  1. A good membership management system is a prerequisite: Consider the journey that your user takes to purchase and access your course:

    Whether through social media or through Google search, your students find your website. Impressed by your content, your learners want to pay to get access to premium content. They go to a checkout page, make the payment, and voila, they get access to the premium content.

    The membership system is responsible for ensuring a seamless experience for your users in this process. From pre-purchase (email newsletters, promotional content), to making premium content available to paying users, the membership system is the central feature that controls user experience.

    Content restriction is one of the necessary steps to ensuring that users are motivated to pay for the premium content. Membership management systems fully automate user management, meaning that when you get a 1000 students signing up overnight, each of them would have received an enriching learning experience.

    What then should a membership system do:

    1. Should enable you to effortlessly scale from your first 100 signups to reaching 10,000 plus users
    2. Manage user subscriptions - Selectively allow access to content for certain users based on their subscription settings
    3. Enable dripping of content - This is when you want to make available some content only after a period of time. This strategy makes sense for when your course is structured around a timeline of weekly, fortnightly or monthly modules.
    4. Payment Gateway integration - The integration with the payment gateway should be smooth and frictionless, so that students have to take minimal steps in paying for subscription. You really don’t want your students to drop-off in going from one page to the next when making the payment. Single-step checkouts are the gold standard when it comes to optimizing your elearning site for conversion.

     

  2. Learning Management Systems help you to create courses effortlessly. LMS abstract away the complexities in building a course, providing the course creator with the necessary tools to seamlessly build elearning courses.

    With an LMS you can structure your course into modules and sub-modules. A module can act as a unit, with lessons, quizzes and videos. LMS make it easy for educators to track how learners are doing in the course through usage and performance analytics. These help course creators improve the content, to iterate and deliver a great learning experience.

  3. Video Streaming Service - Videos are what distinguish online courses from textbooks. The interactive nature of videos encourage active learning, and add a human element to the learning process outside the classroom. The twin priorities of content protection and great user experience are most relevant in video streaming:
      1. Videos should not be downloadable - Videos are the most important content for most educators. The security of the videos is therefore paramount. VdoCipher offers DRM encryption, ensuring that premium video content cannot be downloaded.

        Videos should not be downloadable

      1. Customization - VdoCipher offers multiple player themes and, and enables users to customize player color according to requirement
      2. Multi-device playback - VdoCipher provides SDKs for iOS and Android, and a fully-customizable HTML5 player for browser streaming on desktops, helping you stream premium content on all user devices
      3. Detailed Usage Analytics - Insights into how your viewers watch your content help you refine your content to better appeal to viewers

        Detailed Usage Analytics

    1. Add quizzes and form-capture in the videos - Quizzes can be added inside of videos to make video-based learning more interactive

The solutions

The solutions

The modular approach - WordPress

WordPress is a free Content Management System that powers over 25% of all websites on the internet. While the CMS itself is quite basic, its primary attraction is the diverse range of plugins and themes that can add limitless functionalities to your website. The free nature of the CMS contributes to its popularity, while the rich ecosystem of themes and plugins enable website creators to build full-fledged websites with minimal effort.

The important thing to note about WordPress is that it is a modular solution, meaning that as a website creator you need to configure separate solutions for membership management, course creation and for video streaming.

Popular membership systems for WordPress are WP eMember, Members by Justin Tadlock, and Memberful. We have reviewed WP eMember on our website here.

The most recommended and top-used LMS systems for WordPress are LifterLMS, Sensei, Learndash. We have written a detailed review of Sensei LMS. We have also written about the most popular free learning management systems.

You can protect your premium video content using VdoCipher plugin. Our plugin does the heavy-lifting of making API calls to receive secure OTPs, making sure that you just have to install the plugin and add one-line embed code to start streaming premium content on your WordPress website.

A modular solution has its share of pros and cons. While you can build a website with the best plugins for each functionality, each of them require you to make additional effort to integrate with your website. Add to that the initial steps of purchasing a domain and wiring the domain name and databases, and non-tech-savvy users find themselves intimidated by the sheer complexity of setting up a basic website. More often than not website developers have to take help from professional WordPress developers to configure their website.

While maintaining the WordPress site is often very easy, the one-time effort required in setting up a WordPress website often dissuades course creators from launching an elearning website. It was this insight that motivated us to build a platform to supercharge our users journey from experts to educators.

Integrated approach - VdoCipher Course Builder Platform

With an integrated approach you do not have to worry about the logistics of creating courses. We are building a course video platform, and would love to hear user insights on what their particular requirements from an elearning website builder are. You can sign up for a beta trial on platform here.

About the Author
Author: Editorial TeamWebsite: http://edtechreview.in
EdTechReview (ETR) is a community of and for everyone involved in education technology to connect and collaborate both online and offline to discover, learn, utilize and share about the best ways technology can improve learning, teaching, and leading in the 21st century.
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