Online courses are certainly a great digital business opportunity to invest if you want to earn money using your knowledge. Among many other factors to be considered before taking your project off the ground, choosing the ideal EAD platform for your course is essential to succeed in this digital entrepreneurship format.
Are you entering the world of online course creation and still don’t know what the ideal platform to host your content is? So, read this article and learn how to choose.
Currently, 70% of the Brazilian population has access to the internet, which is the equivalent of 126.9 million people. Among these users, 48% have already used some type of online service, that is, they already know how the sector works and are more likely to take a course through the Distance Learning (EAD) method.
The market for online courses is booming. In 2019 alone, Distance Learning (EAD) had more than 1.5 million students. According to the 2018 Distance Learning Census, the largest age group of students who opted for distance learning courses is between 26 and 40 years old, corresponding to 76.3% of the total distance learning students. This market is one of the most profitable on the internet today and is ready for digital entrepreneurship.
Trends for 2020 in the Distance Learning (EaD) market include Microlearning, used in corporate training; nano learning, another short-term learning method; and live broadcasts – or webinars.
To learn more about digital market trends, you can access the Brazil 2020 Digital Business Panorama, made by Herospark and made available free of charge.
What is an EAD platform?
An EAD platform is nothing more than a website where there is an entire infrastructure created for you to host your online course. In it, you send video lessons, customize the layout, open comment sessions, among other features that depend on the platform you choose. It is the most used format for distance education, generating communication between students, teachers and tutors during the course.
How does an EAD platform work?
As mentioned earlier, an EAD platform provides all the resources necessary for hosting, managing and selling an online course, whether it is for any segment.
To enter one of these platforms, simply register on the one you choose, both free and paid, and customize your course according to the market niche and target audience you want to reach. In some cases, it is possible to use integrated with other tools and technologies.
What does an EAD platform need to have?
The main points to consider before entering an EAD platform are:
Always remember that you cannot spend more than you earn. Assess which platform has the features you need and fits your budget. See if the payment is made by monthly fee or profit margin and, of course, check the reliability of the platform.
There are platforms that claim to be free, but they charge for hosting. This means it may be free, but the number of files you can add to the course and the size of video lessons are limited.
In every platform, it is essential that tools are offered so that course management is done in one place. This includes enrollment management, online classes, reports, payment and financial information, among other things. This will facilitate the process of monitoring and administering the course, in addition to being safer than using a free space with functionalities in other external interfaces.
The customization of your course must be done according to the chosen segment and the target audience that must be reached. A highly customizable platform creates the identity of your classes and makes them easily recognizable.
Currently, the notebook is already fully replaceable for a smartphone. Data from Agência Brasil revealed that, in 2018, 98.1% of people were already accessing the internet using their cell phones. Probably, most of their students chose to attend their classes with this feature because of the possibility of using it anywhere. Therefore, choose a platform that supports the mobile format of your online course.
Give preference to a platform where there is the possibility of posting other types of content, in addition to video lessons. A quality online course, along with video classes, also sends infoproducts, ebooks, complementary exercises, podcasts, as well as a members’ area where students can ask questions.
When a system crashes, the more time goes by without a solution, the more your course loses credibility and the more money you lose. The ideal platform needs to resolve technical issues as quickly as possible, providing a complete solution for any unforeseen issues that may happen to your online course.
Gamification is a very attractive and dynamic way of learning. The demand for this method in which the student receives points and rewards as they learn is very high and an EAD platform with this functionality should be considered.
Gamification uses game mechanisms and dynamics in order to engage and motivate people to continue following classes and earning points.
A platform that helps you create quality content must also always take into account a good user experience. Gamification is already a way to provide a more complete and unique experience, for example.
On the other hand, having an interface with functionalities that are easy to be managed and used in a fluid and intuitive way is also essential for the use of the course itself to be good.
A payment function on the platform itself, for example, facilitates the experience of those who will join your course even before classes start, conveys confidence and helps the administrator himself in controlling data and finances.
Examples of EAD platform
Now that you know what it takes to consider an ODL platform as the ideal one for your online course, check out some of the main paid platforms available on the internet?
HeroSpark owns the two leading EAD platforms on the market, Eadbox and Edools. Learn more about them:
EadBox is a complete and intuitive platform. It is used for virtual training, online courses, brand control, among many other features. It serves companies such as Heineken, Electrolux, WiseUp and its purpose is to facilitate access to education through an easy and simple system. Its differentials are:
- Live broadcasts;
- Diversified content;
- Mobile version;
- Customizable online course portal;
- Customized support;
One of the biggest names in the field of EAD platforms, Edools has already served companies such as Instituto Embelleze, Resultados Digitais and PlayStation. The platform has over 2 million students and is 100% customizable. These are its advantages:
- Customization capability;
- Gamification system;
- Discussion forums for students;
- Customized support.
Other examples of EAD platforms
Apollo is a very user-friendly platform, both for the producer and for the student, but basic in terms of tools. Its features are:
- Automatically generated certificates;
- Automated and programmable course delivery;
- Courses arranged in one place.
In addition, it makes it possible to generate webinars, interactive forums and also helps in managing comments, which may contain questions and notes from students of the online course.
Samba Play is an EAD platform for video content production on the internet. Here are some of its advantages:
- Fully customizable;
- Focus on online videos;
- Credit card billing;
- It delivers classes according to the user’s internet speed.
Its focus on varied templates and customization capability is a differentiator since the look of a brand is of great importance to build a strong identity in the media and increase the credibility of the online course producer.
EAD Plataforma offers a simple and intuitive learning experience, easy for students and teachers to use, but also with basic functionalities. Its main features are:
- Live classes;
- Subscription with Recurrence — the student can take multiple courses with a single subscription;
- Student management;
- Multiple teachers.
Why NOT choose a free EAD platform?
It is important to know that because these EAD platforms are free, they have lower performance and, consequently, less functionality. Thus, when opting for one of them, the cheap can be more expensive than a paid platform.
You should NOT choose a free platform because:
- Customization is complicated, so you would have to hire an IT staff to customize your course layout to meet your needs;
- After the course is published, its structure cannot be changed;
- Student management and communication tools are not efficient.
There is a great diversity of platforms, for different needs and with varied values. The investment will be something interesting to offer a quality service, making distance education more satisfactory and engaging more and more adepts.
See how simple it is to publish a course online on HeroSpark:
EAD Platform and Members Area
An EAD platform is a paid space that centralizes the entire organization of the course, where content, exercises and assessments are made available. It is responsible for being the means to manage both the communicative part and the learning part between professors and students in the course.
A member’s area, on the other hand, consists of a more simplified form, based on a site with user control. It relies on several external tools adapted according to the functionality you need it to be offered.
This provides an exclusive learner area for those who are enrolled in your online course. It allows the exchange of important information between customers, who can access the area through a login and password.
As much as the EAD platform presents a practical integration of tools, for those who are at the beginning of the project’s development, the investment in a members’ area can be more interesting and advantageous. It often doesn’t even require a monthly subscription contract and even allows for an experimentation and testing phase that will be very useful in deciding how the online course you will offer will work.
To better exemplify how a member’s area works and put your course into practise with a safe, stable and practical area, come and meet SparkMembers!
This member area is complete and allows students to consume the content in a simple and unique way. It facilitates the EaD process and can automatically generate online course certificates, personalized and customized with the template chosen for the graduates.
Learn more about the universe of online courses
Choosing an EAD platform is not an easy task. Weigh all the issues raised in the text, see what platform needs of your course meet, research user reports and you will be ready to make your choice.
If you still don’t know where to start your online course, know that HeroSpark has a complete solution for you!
SparkStart will help your online course come out of the paper. With it, it is possible to obtain the necessary knowledge to structure your business in digital entrepreneurship and make your infoproduct sales much more structured and prepared for a successful consolidation.