A learning system based on formalised teaching but with the help of electronic resources is known as E-learning. While teaching can be based in or out of the classrooms, the use of computers and the Internet forms the major component of E-learning. E-learning can also be termed as a network enabled transfer of skills and knowledge, and the delivery of education is made to a large number of recipients at the same or different times. Earlier, it was not accepted wholeheartedly as it was assumed that this system lacked the human element required in learning. But with time the notion is changing and E-learning is getting popular for it’s convenience and omnipresence.
- About (Teachable and Thinkific)
Teachable (formerly “Fedora”) is a for-profit educational technology company based in New York that offers a social online learning platform designed to deliver massive open online courses (MOOCs).
People who want to teach courses on Teachable can use the service for free, or sign up for a paid plan to use additional pedagogical and e-commerce tools.
Thinkific is an all-in-one learning management system that promises to give you “everything you need to easily create, market, and sell your own online courses.”
Their main page touts the following features to get you up and running your course:
- Build your brand and grow your audience
- Start selling immediately
- Create compelling content
- A platform that grows with you
- Design customization
- Scale your business
They have a tiered pricing structure, including a Starter plan that doesn’t have a monthly fee like the higher tiers, but instead has a higher transaction fee of 10%.
- Product Features (Feature Comparisons)
|Create courses with multiple content types||YES||YES|
|Bulk import course content||YES||YES|
|Easily add externally hosted content & apps||YES||NO|
|Full hosting of video & other files||YES||YES|
|Course attachments & downloads||YES||YES|
SALES & MARKETING:
|Free, Paid, Subscription||YES||YES|
|Site Wide Coupons & Promotions||YES||YES|
|Upsells & Bundles||YES||YES|
|Advanced Marketing Integrations (ie: Mixpanel, Zapier, Segment.io etc.)||YES||YES|
|Sales Widget (sell off-platform)||YES||NO|
DESIGN & CUSTOMIZATION
|Setup hidden & private courses||YES||NO|
|Custom branding (colors, logo & site images)||YES||YES|
|Drag and drop visual editor||YES||YES|
|Full access to HTML/CSS with export/import capabilities||YES||NO|
|Fully managed customer signup / purchase / enrollment process||YES||YES|
|Order tracking, conversion, and retargeting pixel support||YES||YES|
|Enterprise tier features (SSO, White Label, Account Manager, Content Creation Services, etc.)||YES||NO|
- Pricing (Plan Comparison)
Teachable collects and pays the VAT if you use their Teachable Gateway payment setup (the one where you, as course creator, are paid on the 1st of the month).
Thinkific does not have this ability. There is a rather complicated and pricey integration that, honestly, I’m not sure I would trust after looking into it.
|Unlimited Courses, students & bandwidth||YES||YES|
|Enterprise plans & professional services available||YES||YES|
|Instant access to your funds||YES||NO|
|0% Transaction Fee Option||0% fees at $99/mo||0% fees at $99/mo|
|Standard Packages||$0 – 279/mo||$0 – 299/mo|
- Data and Insights
- Support and Resources
Both Teachable and Thinkific offer great customer support. If you had asked me about customer service in 2016, I could have easily said that Thinkific’s customer support is better and fast compared to that of Teachable. However, Teachable has significantly improved it’s customer service in the past 1 year and it’s as good as Thinkific.
|Course Delivery & Student Engagement||TEACHABLE||THINKIFIC|
|Teachable offers unlimited courses, students and bandwidth on any of their plans.||Thinkific too offers unlimited courses, students and bandwidth on any of their plans.|
|Supported Content Types||You can add Video, Audio, Text, PDF, Multimedia, Quizzes etc.||You can add Video, Audio, Text, PDF, Multimedia, Quizzes etc.|
|No inbuilt support for surveys. You can use a free solution like Google Forms to gather feedback.||Thinkific has an inbuilt survey element to collect feedback.|
|Has native capability to create basic quizzes. Plus you can use a specialized quizzing solution like ProProfs or Quiz-Maker to create advanced quizzes/exams and integrate it with your Teachable courses.||Thinkific allows you to create basic quizzes and advanced question banks. It also offers integration with Brillium (starts from $49/mo) on Advanced Plan ($299/mo). And you can always use solutions like ProProfs and Quiz-Maker.|
|Content Upload||Allows bulk upload and to import the files from Google Drive/Dropbox.||Allows bulk upload but doesn’t allow bulk upload via Google Drive/Dropbox.|
|Course Player/Course Area||Teachable’s course area looks more professional, provides better student experience and can be further customized with some basic coding.||Thinkific’s course area isn’t as good from student experience perspective and it’s not easy to customize it as well.|
|Student Discussions||Teachable has an inbuilt commenting system that can be embedded in individual lectures.||Thinkific has an inbuilt discussion system plus it also integrates with Disqus. The major drawback is that there is no way to embed discussions in individual lectures.|
|Groups||Teachable doesn’t have a direct way to group students and manage them. However, you can use their coupons feature to enroll multiple users in a course and manage them.||Thinkific has this feature called ‘Groups’ that allows you to easily bulk sell your courses and manage the students and track their progress.|
|Certificate of Completion||Teachable doesn’t have inbuilt capability to issue certificates. In order to do that, you will need to use a solution like Google Slides, Webmerge or Accredible.||On Business Plan & above, Thinkific allows you to issue certificates of completion using Accredible(cost of Accredible is part of the Thinkific plan)|
|Content Drip||You can drip content on $39/mo & above plans and drip will start either relative to student enrolment or on a fixed date.||You can drip content on $49/mo & above plans and you can start dripping it either relative to student enrollment or on a specific date.|
|You can send automated drip emails to students based on drip schedule.||You can’t send drip notifications via Thinkific. You will need to do it using your email service provider.|
|iOS App||Teachable has an iOS App (no Android App) where you can make your courses available.||Thinkific doesn’t have a mobile App at this point.|
|Course Analytics||Basic course analytics on all plans. Advanced analytics available on $99/mo plan & above.||Detailed course analytics on all plans.|
While Thinkific has better survey & quiz capabilities, overall Teachable does a better job at course delivery & engagement. Teachable’s course player and course area looks much more professional and is better designed from a user experience perspective. Teachable also offers an iOS app for the students to take the courses.
- User Feedbacks and Recommendations
TEACHING & STUDENT EXPERIENCE:
|Built in student discussions||YES||YES|
|Automated welcome & completion emails||YES||NO|
|Student progress reporting||YES||YES|
Teachable over Thinkific?
- More Powerful Drag & Drop Page Builder
- Highly Optimized 1-Step Checkout Process
- 1-Click Upsells
- Better Students Discussion Capability
- Has an iOS App
Thinkific over Teachable?
- Powerful Site Themes
- More Powerful Quiz Elements
- Inbuilt support for course reviews
- Final Verdict
If you budget and timeline are not a concern for you in launching your first course, I would say you should sign-up for both and see which one feels better to you.
I and my team research various e-learning platforms and can help you choose the right toolkit to get you started. I am just a mail away, so reach out to me if you want to tap into the power of online learning business. mail: [email protected]