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Teaching isn’t restricted to classrooms and blackboards with the dozens of students that can fit in the room—and online education doesn’t have to be simple, 10 minute YouTube videos and blog posts, either. You just need a learning management system (or LMS) designed for an online classroom.
Many popular LMS software, including Blackboard and Moodle which you might be familiar with from university, are designed for educational institutions where the online content is merely supplemental to the in-person education. If you want to build a fully online course, though—and especially if you want to sell the course outside of a degree or course program—then you need a tool designed for the ways people study today. And for that, Teachable is a great option.
Building a course in Teachable is much like publishing content on a blog—only here, you’ll publish a set of content together and sell it as a course. And if you’ve got a lot to teach, you can share it all in one Teachable account. Start by creating a School, where each school has its own website address, design, and courses. You can contribute content to courses at multiple schools, if you want, and see all the schools where you’re enrolled in classes as well.
Then add a Course where, just as in a real-world course, you’ll include enough content to teach a full series on one topic. Course pages let you add details about the course and teacher, include branding including an overview video and background image, and set how the course page will look in online search. Click Save after customizing each section to keep your changes. Then, click the _Add curriculum_tab in the bottom, and add Sections to organize your content and Lectures to share sets of content for each lesson you want to teach.
Add a new Lecture, and Teachable will prompt you by default to upload a video, audio recording, PDF, or other file (which your students can view online or download if you enable the option). For most courses, that’s the first thing you’ll want to add at the top of the page so students can watch your lecture and follow along with presentations and course materials. Or, you can click the Add Text tab to add detailed lecture notes and lesson details with a blog-like rich text editor where you can format text and include images. You can even add multiple files and text sections, then click the three-line button on the left top of each section to rearrange them as an easy way to break up lengthy lectures into shorter videos and accompanying text. And at the end, you can add a self-grading quiz (depending on your Teachable plan) to test your students’ knowledge, and enable comments to get feedback from students and let them share their ideas.
Repeat that for every lecture included in your course, make sure everything’s arranged in the order you want, and that’s the core of making a course. And if you’re teaching for free, you’re done—select Free as the pricing option, then publish your course. If you want to sell your course, though, Teachable’s final options are a bit more like an eCommerce tool than what you might expect in an LMS. You can set if your course is a subscription or one-time purchase, add a price, and connect your Stripe or PayPal account to get paid. You can then customize your sales, checkout, and thank you pages, and add coupon codes for discounts. Have multiple courses? You can bundle them together and sell a set of content, too.
Teachable also gives you a new way to teach your course: through email. You’ve already broken the course down into lectures, and perhaps chopped those down into smaller videos and text sections than you’d normally teach at once in a traditional school. You can now turn those into drip emails to send the course content to students over time so they can learn a bit at a time from their inboxes. You can segment students based on what they’ve watched already, and use focused emails to help ensure everyone finishes the course.
If you want a new way to teach—or just a simple way to share the educational content you already have online—Teachable makes teaching online as easy as blogging. It’s not as customizable as a custom website would be, but makes it far easier to bundle your content together into a course and make sure students get the most out of it.