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Whether you are curious about learning new skill sets online or looking to create your own online course, here is an overview of the in-and-outs of eLearning. Dive into all you need to know about online learning, and why you should make this your New Year’s resolution. 

How does that saying go… new year new me? Now that the year 2024 is finally at our doorstep, it’s time to welcome it with open arms! A motivated mindset is key to embracing the full potential that a new year brings, which means that yes, we are still ringing in the New Year with those cheesy resolutions to keep us accountable and productive when working to reach our goals.

We are here to steer you away from those redundant resolutions by bringing to your attention a goal that will actually produce results and get you one step closer towards where you want to be next year – which is why your New Year’s resolution should be to try online learning. 

The world of online learning is a stepping stone to a plethora of future career prospects and therefore new revenue streams, allowing you to step outside your comfort zone by trying new things you may have not realized were a possibility. Whether you simply want to expand your knowledge, teach others via online platforms, or design your own course, this blog provides a comprehensive overview of why you should add online learning to your 2024 New Year’s resolutions. 

Continue reading or skip ahead: 

Now, let’s dive into all the things that online learning has to offer!

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What is online learning? 

Online learning, also referred to as eLearning, is a rapidly growing industry where instruction and knowledge are shared through multimedia internet platforms and applications. 

The demand for online learning has skyrocketed – it is expected to reach over $185 billion in 2024, with an annual growth rate of 8.61% worldwide. This is no surprise considering online learning is the fastest-growing market in the education industry, with a whopping 900% growth rate globally since the year 2000.

This booming industry has changed the way that information can be accessed and shared, equipping learners and creators with easily accessible tools to help reach their goals. There are tons of benefits of using technology to your advantage to help accelerate your learning and access new business endeavors, which we’ll explore later on. 

Types of online learning 

There are many different ways which you can learn or teach online, and there is no one right way to approach learning online. 

Part of your New Year’s resolution could be to explore a specific type of online learning – such as taking an asynchronous class on how to sew or exploring gamification techniques when building your own online coding course – focusing on a specific area of interest will help you go more in-depth with your learning. 

Here are some examples of the various ways you can learn or teach online: 

  • Asynchronous online learning – Self-paced learning environment where learners can access the course material and complete assignments at any time and from any place in the world. 
  • Synchronous online learning – Interactive and live teaching style that mimics in-person instruction, and uses real-time classmate participation and active discussions to facilitate learning goals, regardless of location. 
  • Mobile learning (M learning) – The use of mobile technology like smartphones for educational purposes, where students can learn on-the-go through videos, podcasts and bite-sized lessons from anywhere at any time. 
  • Gamification – Involves the use of game elements in the learning process, such as leaderboards, point systems, and rewards to create an immersive and engaging learning environment.
  • Microlearning – Mini lessons that consist of bite-sized, digestible short-form content that can be consumed within 5 and 10 minutes with the goal of grasping core learning concepts. 

If you are looking to create your own course, you can incorporate a variety of these different online learning styles into your course based on what is best for your students’ learning needs. 

What are the benefits of online learning?

There is a reason that online learning has grown so fast in popularity, making it a lead contender in the learning space – it’s because there are numerous benefits that eLearning provides. Online learning aids students, educators, and facilitators in providing quality content with added convenience. 

Technology in education has not only increased efficiency, it has also made possible the ability to adapt content to different learning styles and more effectively engage learners. Utilizing technological advancements in the realm of education offers a range of benefits, from encouraging continuous learning to offering personalized learning paths. It helps make learning more accessible and engaging for students. 

Here are some of the top benefits of online learning

  • Promotes inclusion and accessibility – Anyone with access to a stable internet connection can reap the benefits of online learning, no matter what time zone or where they are in the world.  
  • Flexibility and convenience – Learning online allows you the flexibility to learn whenever works for you, and it caters to individuals who juggle various responsibilities. As well, teaching online allows you to tailor your work schedule to your lifestyle. Whether you’re seeking a full-time career, part-time employment, or a supplementary source of income, online teaching can accommodate your needs. 
  • Cost-efficiency and affordability – It can be expensive to move or travel for your education. Learning online reduces these barriers, and also aids course instructors in cutting down their costs through the use of digital learning tools. 
  • Customization options and learner autonomy – Helps students and educators cater the learning experience to their unique needs. For learners with disabilities or learning delays, this can go a long way towards helping them feel more included. Instructors also have the freedom to focus on more specific attributes of the learning process. 
  • Trackability of progress – Online learning allows you to stay on top of your goals and it provides various metrics and reporting for success. This is useful for both students and educators to track their learning or teaching progress. 

Related: What is Social Learning? (Why & How To Use It)

How to create your own online course 

As previously mentioned, the online course creation industry is a lucrative one – which is why now is the best time to start thinking about sharing your knowledge by building your very own online course. 

It may seem overwhelming to start, but in reality if you are an expert in a niche area, you could very well excel at creating an online course for others to benefit from. 

Follow these 10 steps to create a successful online course

  1. Choose a niche course topic that you specialize in 
  2. Ensure that there is a high market demand for your course idea
  3. Create compelling learning outcomes and objectives 
  4. Plan and structure an outline for your course that will leave learners satisfied 
  5. Determine effective and engaging delivery methods for each lesson
  6. Choose a reliable online platform to host your course 
  7. Decide how you want to share content in your online course 
  8. Establish your pricing structure
  9. Look at competitors in your field for a unique marketing perspective 
  10. Continue building your online learning community

Following these steps will give you a solid base for creating and setting up your online course, helping you promote your valuable skills for the world to learn from. 

The best course creation platforms for online learning 

One of those ten steps we mentioned was choosing a reliable online platform to host your online course, which is arguably the most important step when building an online course from the ground up. Your hosting platform can make-or-break your business as an online course creator, so it’s important to choose wisely. 

If you want to steadily grow your business teaching online, make sure that you look for a platform that can accommodate your needs both now and in the future – including things like synchronous and asynchronous classes and student communication. The platform you choose will be the home-base for all your operations. 

The best online course platforms ensure that both educators and students benefit from an online learning environment. Listed below are a few reliable online course platforms that offer a range of platform features and more. 

Key takeaways of the best online course platforms:

Platform Takeaways 
  1. Thinkific
Key features:

  • Website builder with professionally designed themes
  • Drag and drop course builder
  • Community-building platform that you can scale 
  • Mobile app support
  • Easy to navigate 
  • 24/7 support
  1. Kajabi
Key features:

  • Creator community 
  • Marketing tools like content templates, email campaigns, and funnels
  • Ability to create podcasts and coaching programs
  • Host live webinars 
  1. Podia
Key features:

  • Create unlimited courses 
  • Native video hosting 
  • Pre-sell and bundle courses 
  • Dedicated community features
  • Basic integrations available with optional coding for unavailable integrations 
  1. Teachable
Key features:

  • No-code platform 
  • Sell online courses, digital downloads, or coaching services 
  • Easy-to-use email marketing features
  • Automate tasks 
  • Support programs for learners 
  1. The Leap
Key features: 

  • Create short-form educational products
  • AI-powered product and builder with templates 
  • Promote, sell, and capture leads using link-in-bio storefront
  • Easy to set up and sell
  • Video creation features 
  • Built-in community features


Related: The Top 10 Online Learning Platforms for 2024

Online courses you should check out 

For those of you who are more keen with learning online instead of teaching and building an online course, we also got you covered. If you are looking to expand your interests, we have listed some unique creators that offer online courses for a wide range of niche areas.  

These courses also come with a success story behind their inception, with each creator utilizing the Thinkific course creation platform to build and scale their online business.  

  1. The Wealth Stream Academy

The Wealth Stream Academy is a place for aspiring entrepreneurs and wealth builders to learn how to get to the next level in their business and finances. As a previous work as a personal finance strategist, George Pitts teaches people how to turn their knowledge into profits through digital products. The courses offered help those struggling with imposter syndrome, and give people the tools they need to shift their mindset. 

  1. Holistic Ear Training for Busy People

Hans Indigo Spencer created the course Holistic Ear Training for Busy People, which is designed to help people play music by ear. This course is grounded in musical theory, and allows you to learn effective techniques to identify chords and melodies in real time so that you can relax and enjoy making music.

  1. Faye Smith Academy 

Faye Smith Academy is a course for aspiring or experienced hair and makeup artists, led by the well-established hair and makeup artist herself, Faye Smith. This course offers customizable one-on-one in-person and virtual education, as well as in-person group hands-on workshops and watch-and-learn seminars that take place in Vancouver, Canada. 

  1. Vintage Sewing School

Evelyn Wood offers a niche course for those looking to add a skill under their belt through Vintage Sewing School. With over 1,000 members across the globe, this online course and guides equip you with the necessary tools you need to sew anything that your heart desires.  

  1. Ears Made Easy 

Ears Made Easy by provides an especially niche online course on how to troubleshoot ear problems for nurses and doctors. Created by Theresa O’Leary, the ear nurse consultant, she believes that medical professionals need to focus more on intricacies of the ear. 

This ultra-niche specialty allowed Theresa to earn $15K during her first launch, with never having been online before. Her success story proves that with knowledge and passion, along with the right resources and tools, you can turn your dreams into a reality. 

Related: The Ultimate Online Course Launch Checklist (Free Guide + Templates)

Key takeaways 

Coming up with a New Year’s resolution may be easy, but sticking to it can sometimes be challenging. Which is why choosing to try online learning as your resolution can solve the latter, as there are so many ways to immerse yourself in online learning that you’ll be more than occupied for the entire year! 

The world of online learning has a lot to offer – especially if you are looking for a side-hustle or a full-time gig as a course creator. Online learning is trending upwards, and reports don’t predict this stopping or slowing down.  

Whether you are looking to learn a new skill or wanting to share your expertise with the world through creating your own course, the opportunities with online learning are endless. 

Ready to dive into the world of online learning? Try Thinkific today.