In a year full of problems, online course creation was a popular solution.
As the global pandemic forced many businesses to shut down or restructure, resourceful new creators turned to online courses as a solution to some of the business problems that the pandemic created.
We were proud that during this chaotic year Thinkific enabled so many entrepreneurs and small business owners to respond, retool, and continue to meet the needs of their community. On our part, we worked hard to meet this growing demand and your evolving needs, and to provide you with powerful new features and product improvements to help grow your business during this challenging time.
Here’s a recap of what we released this year.
New ways to engage
Keeping your students engaged in uncertain times is critical. This year, we introduced several new features that help you create compelling learning experiences for your students— to keep them engaged and connected.
Community – A Thinkific Community is a place outside of your courses where you can foster conversations with (and between) your students, keeping them engaged, and create value for your students beyond the content itself.
Several improvements were made to our communities feature this year, and it’s now easier than ever to manage conversations, segment your students, and save time and effort.
Live Lessons – Live Lessons with Zoom allows you to create a more engaging way to educate your audience. You can provide your students with group sessions and host live webinars.
Thousands of course creators are finding that live lessons bring a personal touch to their courses, and help balance out their evergreen content. 2020 showed us just how important human interaction is and live lessons are a great way to achieve it.
New Intercom Integration – Intercom is an app that helps course creators manage conversations with their students and prospects, bringing student data right into the live chat or email thread.
For creators with a lot of students and prospects, this integration helps them to save time while improving the quality and personalization of their direct messages.
Managing at scale
With online courses surging in popularity this year, many course creators saw a flood of new students. At the same time, new course creators with large audiences also joined the platform.
We introduced several features and improvements to help you manage your students and courses at scale.
Custom Fields Improvements – Custom Fields help creators organize large audiences. They are additional fields you can either bulk import or add to your sign up form, such as company name, location, or whatever else you want.
You can now reorder these fields however you’d like and select a prioritized list for the country dropdown.
Course Filters – For creators with large course libraries, the courses filter helps to quickly find the course you need, or streamline your workflow when editing multiple courses. Along with searching courses by name, you can now filter by Status, Pricing, Instructors and Categories.
Make Bundles Private – Private bundles are ideal for cases when you want your bundle landing page to be public for marketing or informational purposes but don’t want students to be able to enroll in the course directly. When a bundle is set to Private, the Thinkific checkout is completely blocked, which means that you have full control over enrollments.
New Quiz & Survey Reporting by Student – Quizzes are a great way to measure your students’ understanding of your course content, and Surveys can help you collect additional information or feedback. The Quiz & Survey tab within an individual student’s profile allows you to gain a deeper understanding of a particular student’s overall performance across all courses they’re enrolled in.
It includes an overview of Quizzes they have completed as well as submitted Surveys. For an in-depth view of question responses, you also have the option of exporting the results as a CSV.
Ease of use
As creators and students adapt to new schedules, priorities and lifestyles, one thing remains more true than ever: tools need to be easy to use. We launched the following improvements in the name of efficiency.
Migrate Between Themes – For your website and landing pages, you can now easily transfer all your content over to a new theme. Did you start working on Empire and decide you prefer the look of Vogue or Vision instead? No problem, just install the new theme and transfer!
Improved Preview as Student – You now have three options to view your course content, giving you a clearer picture of your students’ experience:
- Preview current lesson: View the lesson that you currently have selected in the Course Builder.
- Preview all course lessons: This will show you all of your lessons in sequence, including drafts.
- Preview course as an enrolled student: View all courses in sequence, just as a student would experience your course.
Thinkific Certificates – Thinkific Certificates lets you reward and motivate your students by celebrating and providing proof of their course completion.
Choose from different certificate styles, or take control and add your own background image. Automatically prefill details like student name, completion and expiry dates, and any custom fields. Plus add your logo to make it your own!
Selling more with engagement tools
New Typeform Integration – With the Typeform integration, you can easily create personalized and interactive forms to collect student’ reviews and feedback. Whether it’s for a mid-course check-in or a review upon course completion, the Typeform integration makes it easy to capture feedback with beautiful and user-friendly forms.
eWebinar Integration – Webinars are a great way to sell online courses. They let you bring the benefits of what you teach to life and give people a chance to get to know you before signing up. With the eWebinar Thinkific integration, you can now create eWebinars to sell your Thinkific courses.
Affiliate Management Improvements – If you’re using Affiliates, you now have more flexibility in how you manage your affiliate marketing program with updates like course exclusion, and an affiliates filter in User Reports.
To 2021 and Beyond
Looking ahead to this year, we’ll be introducing many new tools (both made by us and our partners) to help your content stand out in the ever-growing online learning space. Big areas of focus for us in 2021 include:
- Unmatchable student experiences — giving you the tools to create incredible student experiences that you’re excited to share, and that your students can’t help but tell their friends about.
- Connection & community — building community into the core of the learning experience so you can provide your audience with truly engaging online courses.
- Selling & checkout — continuing to evolve and innovate the selling and checkout experiences to increase your conversions and ability to sell to different audiences.
- A growing ecosystem of tools — continuing to be the platform that allows you to connect all your favourite tools together and giving you even more options for how to customize, save your time, and extend your offering.
We’re excited to see how course creators continue to grow and innovate in 2021, and we’re here with you every step of the way!