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Online E-learning with Coursmos

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Posted 28th June 2014 at 10:25 AM by imarkedy

Continuing the series on Internet based tutoring; we now review online e-learning with Coursmos. Coursmos offers learning videos in what they call ‘bite size pieces’. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means each lesson, although total length may be 10 minutes are more, is broken down into several segments which supposedly results in higher retention rates. This is hardly a new concept as most online learning platforms practice this. Since Coursmos is relatively new, I would venture a guess they received the bite size concept from another Internet learning site; Curious.com.

There are a few things online tutors should understand about Coursmos;

1. At present, most of their tutors offer courses free of charge. There are 8-12 who charge a fee but their student count is paltry to say the least.
2. Coursmos has, to date, received two rounds of funding as reported by TechCrunch; round 1 netted $150K while the latest was approximately $500k.
3. This company is grassroots and instructors probably won’t realize any earnings for another two or three years and only IF Coursmos lasts that long.

None of this is, necessarily, a bad thing. As with any industry which is relatively new, some companies will survive while most won’t. Coursmos recently announced it has around 70K lessons taught by more than 6K instructors. We’ve looked around the site and believe both numbers are greatly exaggerated. The bulk of course offerings are currently available free which means instructors earn no revenue. As we said about another online learning website at Curious, we now warn concerning Coursmos; instructors with the ‘get rich quick’ mindset are destined for disappointment.

As of this writing, we are earning little (although some) revenue at Curious.com and, of course, doing much better on Udemy as online instructors. However, the bulk of our course production and branding efforts (for offsite sale funnels) are geared toward Curious. This strategy makes no sense, right?Why not put more effort into the cash generating machine at Udemy?

The reasons are as follows;

1. Curious, from an investment capital standpoint, is just as well funded as the ‘U’ yet offers more opportunities for growth because they are still a very young company.
2. Udemy, a long time ago, selected its’ ‘pet instructors’. These instructors enjoy financial and promotional support while the other 99% (SBDC TV included) are viewed as ‘outsiders’ and couldn’t possibly hope to receive as much backing. That is, unless you are someone famous such as Jack Welch who teaches a course on the site.
3. Curious.com, as did Udemy some years ago, gives everyone an equal shot at becoming high earning instructors. Those who are selected as featured instructors early will enjoy substantial income long term.

More reasons could be added but the ‘tie which binds’ all the above is that Curious, still in its infancy, offers huge revenue opportunities over the longer term. What has this to do with Coursmos? Although their funding is only a fraction of the other two, Coursmos is also an ‘e-learning infant’ which presents unique opportunities for brand building at little to no cost! When reviewing their website, it is obvious Coursmos copied best practices from both Udemy and Curious but there is nothing wrong with doing so. It is much less expensive ‘walking in the steps’ of a pioneer than to become one. This strategy isn’t limited to Coursmos either; Udemy built their brand, with certain tweaks, based on the crème de le crème of all e-learning providers; Lynda.com.

We aren’t, however, suggesting abandonment of other tutoring efforts in favor of Coursmos. How well these websites perform is always a result of how significant (or not) their financial backing is. Curious and Udemy.com have substantial funding, received in multiple rounds yet as does Coursmos, offered most early courses free. Unfortunately, Coursmos has no such backing so we can’t quite see their path to profitability (how they will scale). That doesn’t mean, however, this isn’t a possibility!

At present, here is immediate value offered by Coursmos;

1. Free website to build your brand
2. Quick upload and deployment of courses
3. Backlink opportunities for your website
4. Assisting Coursmos with building quality content which may result, at some point, in earnings

More than any other reason, offering training videos with Coursmos will assist with an important brand building practice; content multiplication. Key to successful marketing and branding is exerting overwhelming force on competitors. This occurs in one of the following ways; large capital (seed) investment or utilizing as many free marketing opportunities as possible. Although Coursmos has raised $650K in financial backing, for an online learning website, this isn’t enough and certainly well short of what it’ll require to scale.

Securing investment capital brings many problems and speaking from experience, much of your vision will have to be altered once third party investors are involved. However and although it will take much longer, closing funding gaps and keeping a vision intact requires spreading your sales message as far and wide as possible with little expense.

Here is what that means (but not limited to);

1. Offering the same course(s) on as many e-learning websites as possible
2. Understanding the unique nature of each platform and adjusting message according to need
3. Producing quality video tutorials
4. Using each site to further your website and company goals. As with working for and employer; one must accept themselves as expendable and never put more development effort into someone else’s company than their own.
5. Redirect traffic away from e-learning websites onto your own

We’d suggest checking out Coursmos and quickly developing, at minimum, a presence and see where things go from there.


B.D. Dale
2,000 Online Classes


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