Getting your students through the door isn’t the end of your growth journey as a course creator. To keep growing your business with online learning, it’s important to constantly improve your student’s experience with your online academy and continue to provide value through your courses.
Constantly updating and improving the content and the experience that you offer your students in your online academy is key to keeping your audience engaged with your business and motivated to keep coming back to learn from you.
Taking your online academy to the next level doesn’t have to be a time-consuming project that takes weeks or months to be rolled out. In fact, there are several simple strategies that you can start leveraging right away that are quick and easy to implement to help improve your student experience, and show huge value to your customer base!
By consistently iterating your site and courses, you not only show your students that you are an engaged course creator, but you also show them that you are consistently adding value to your course offerings, which can help increase your retention and conversion rates.
Five steps to improve your online academy
1. Make use of the Thinkific App Store
Apps bring advanced functionality and features into your courses, sales, marketing and business operations, and are easy to integrate with your existing course site. Incorporating apps into your online course site is a great way to provide your students with a dynamic and engaging online learning experience that is specifically tailored to meet their learning needs. Below are a few apps that have been making headway amongst Thinkific’s most successful creators. You can search these apps on the Thinkific App Store and install them onto a Thinkific account with just a few clicks.
PowerUp Pass: Built to improve your student experience and increase sales, this pass contains a multitude of apps that can be purchased individually or as a bundle depending on your needs. The apps included are:
- Bulk Sell: Volume Sales, Simplified. The Bulk Sell checkout by Thinkific Labs makes selling multiple course seats to a single buyer easier – for you and your customers.
- Expiring Courses Saver: Increase your sales and retention rates with student dashboard widgets to remind your students about upcoming course expiries.
- Promos Kit: High converting sales and promotion widgets to showcase your offers: countdown timers, sticky bars, gamified popups, deals sliders, bundle stacks and more!
- plaYEAH!: Create personalized pop-ups and customize your course player to increase completion and engagement.
- Sidenav: PowerUp your student dashboard or all courses page with Sidenav — a richer navigation experience using categories and subcategories
- Flix: Transform your student dashboard into a binge-worthy streaming experience.
- Ding: Deliver smart, personalized notifications to keep your students excited about the latest updates to your learning content.
- Omnisearch: This app makes it effortless for your students to find precise information inside your course materials.
- Wobo: This app enables you to design and build on-brand, interactive workbooks that engage and retain students.
Integrating apps with Thinkific is simple and a surefire way to significantly improve and personalize your student’s experience with your online academy. Depending on your goals, you will find different apps in the Thinkific App Store to help you with areas of your business such as:
- Selling & Conversion
- Email & Marketing
- Learning Experience
- Site Design
- Engagement & Assessment
- Connections & Social
- Business Operations
Pro tip: Remember to check in on the Thinkific App Store often to stay up to date with new app releases. You never know which new apps will be most helpful for you and your business, so get creative and don’t be afraid of experimenting!
2. Connect your students with Communities
Leveraging Thinkific’s Community feature is one of the quickest and most effective ways to elevate your online academy by connecting your students with one another.
In fact, multiple studies have shown that the best educational experiences are often the ones where students get to exchange ideas and interact with their peers, colleagues, and instructors.
Within Thinkific, a Community can be created for all students on your site. Communities can also be Course or Group specific, allowing you to tailor content and update as needed.
Related: How to build an online community
Providing your students with a space in which they can interact with one another not only provides them with a sense of community, but can also give you insights as a course creator into what to develop or improve upon next. Pay attention to the questions asked and comments made within communities to gather information and insights to develop new course offerings, quickly identify knowledge gaps, and most importantly, interact with your students on a more personal level.
3. Expand your reach by updating your language settings
With online learning increasing in popularity around the world it is likely that you have students visiting your site that speak a language other than your site’s default language. A quick win for you that greatly enhances your students’ experiences is to give those students the ability to override your default language if they have a language preference.
To enable this feature:
By making this simple change to your course site, you will be ready to welcome students from all around the globe!
4. Guide your students in the right direction with onboarding documentation
Oftentimes, course creators get so caught up in creating amazing course content for their students they forget to add basic onboarding documentation to their course. Including onboarding documentation on your course site can help you set expectations for the course, answer course specific questions, and provide directions and details on how students can get the most value out of your course offerings. If your business is primarily B2B this onboarding documentation could include elements such as:
- Instructions for granting course access to a large number of students
- Guidelines for setting up group analyst permissions
- A calendar of any key events the business needs to be aware of. Ie, In person training, Live Lessons with Zoom, or any other key milestones.
On the other hand, if your business is primarily B2C, your onboarding documentation could include elements such as:
- Materials, subscriptions, or resources that will be needed during your course
- Instructions for your students on how they can ask questions or engage with the instructor
- A calendar of any key events the students need to be aware of. Ie, In person training, Live Lessons with Zoom, quizzes/exams/assignments, or any other key milestones.
By onboarding your students right after they enrol in one of your courses, you are guiding them in the right direction and increasing the likelihood that they will complete your course and receive the results they were hoping for. Setting your students up for success will ensure that they keep coming back to learn from you, and will help you grow your business long term.
5. Increase student success with an FAQ section
Creating a FAQ section on your course site is not only a great way to create a valuable resource for your students, it can ultimately be a long term win for you as a course creator. Having a well written FAQ section on your site can help reduce the amount of support questions you receive from students giving you more time back to spend focusing on creating valuable content for your students.
Pro tip: To quickly build an FAQ section on your site you can leverage Thinkific Site Builder’s Custom Page. Once you have created a custom page using the site builder, you can use the following knowledge base article as a jumping off point to address commonly asked questions by students taking an online course: Troubleshooting Guide for Student Issues
By implementing these quick and easy strategies to your online academy, you will have made significant improvements to your student’s experience that will guide them toward success with your courses, motivating them to come back to learn more from you.
Are you ready to elevate your online academy and take your business to its next level of growth?
With Thinkific Plus, you can build, design, market, and host dynamic and engaging online courses that are easily accessible to your customers. Thinkific Plus is a scalable platform that is simple to maintain, seamlessly integrates with your existing software, and is customizable for your brand needs. Schedule a call to try it for free.