As mentioned in this post, there are five major components of building your own online course. In this post, we’re going to build on that idea and teach you the five most important components involved in choosing a platform through which to offer the courses you’ve worked so hard to create.
As security and data loss prevention experts have pointed out: “Now more than ever, your data is on the move—whether it’s on a laptop, flash drive, or moving across physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructures. At any point along the way, your financial data, customer information, intellectual property, or trade secrets could be lost or stolen.”
This is why it is vitally important that whichever platform you choose has top-notch security in place to keep your files, information and your users’ files and information safe from prying eyes and thieves. It is also important that your platform be able to guarantee this security from multiple fronts: cloud, mobile, etc.
PRO TIP: Make sure the platform you choose manages security themselves instead of farming it out to a third party service. The more steps between your platform and your security, the more chances there are for problems.
In addition to being able to trust your company’s security measures, you should also trust that your platform will take care of you and your users. It is important that, if a problem does come up, that you and the platform are able to solve it quickly and as close to your user’s expectations as possible. Beyond that, you want to be able to talk to people who know what they are talking about. A company that hires third-party customer service reps who only have scripts in front of them aren’t worth your time or money. You want to be able to make one phone call to get the help you need and you want the person who answers the phone to do better than “have you tried turning it off and back on again?”
Here’s the bad news: anybody can fake having a great reputation on the surface level. Here’s the good news: most of those faked reputations can be unravelled with a few clicks of your mouse. In addition to the usual places to check out a company: Yelp, Amazon, Google Reviews, etc. try to track down as many independent reviews as possible. Take a few minutes to run the company’s name through the BBB and the Secretary of State’s office for whatever state in which the company has been registered.
While you’re researching the platform’s reputation, one detail you’ll want to keep a sharp eye out for is expertise. You should only work with companies whose teams are experts in the field of eLearning and platform development. Always check to make sure you’re not working with an MLM company affiliate or someone who might simply have purchased resale rights to the software they’re peddling.
Like with a credit history, the shorter your company’s history the more wary you need to be. A brand new company may have, in fact, invented the world’s greatest eLearning platform. But no platform is perfect and the newer the company, the less likely it will be that they will have A) worked out all of the bugs and B) know how to adapt to users’ needs.
A company that has been around for a while will have had to update their software at least a few times. They’ll know how to incorporate customer feedback and they are less likely to suddenly shutter their company and disappear because initial sales weren’t as great as expected.
If you want the course you’ve developed to be successful, you need to make sure you offer it through the right platform. These tips should help you find the platform that best meets your needs.