How do I know which lesson type is best for my course topic?

It's one thing to decide on a winning course topic, but deciding how to deliver that course can be equally intimidating. Choosing a lesson type can be a little daunting if you haven't produced training or teaching material before.

Determining which kind of lesson type you need is easier when you consider the following:

  • If you are going to teach something in person, how would you do it? Are you demonstrating how to do something? Are you evaluating other's work? Are you giving directions?

  • How do your students want to learn? Try to determine your student's learning style.

  • Do you need group participation or interaction to teach something? What kind of social element is there to your lesson?

With the above in mind, here is a quick guide to choosing Thinkific's lessons types:

Video Lessons - More Info

From basic 'talking head' explainer videos to animations, combining compelling audio and visual teaching is a great way to leave a lasting impression on students. Even if you aren't demonstrating something in a video lesson, students are far more engaged with a lesson when it is being presented by a real live human being.

Shoot whole courses and cut it up into several

Narrated Presentations More Info

Take a presentation you've already made or prepare a few engaging slides in Powerpoint or Keynote and upload them to your course site. If you regularly teach by presenting, you might have a whole online course ready to go!

Use Thinkific's voice over recorder to add your lecture or explanation over each slide.

Audio Lessons More Info

Perfect for learning on the go, audio lessons are great if you know your students are mobile or great multi-taskers. Just like podcasts and audio books, audio courses are extremely versatile when it comes to where your students want to learn.

Remember to always keep your lessons short and sweet (2 - 7 minutes is perfect).

Text Lessons More Info

If you're teaching something where reading comprehension is key to learning or your course topic is traditionally text based like coding or math, then text lessons should be your go-to lesson type. 

The text lesson editor can also handle all sorts of embedded multimedia like images, embedded video players, and more!

Downloadable Lessons More Info

When you need to distribute something to your students, the Downloads lesson type is ideal. You can have students download worksheets, guides, a course syllabus, videos, and more!

Remember to try and keep anything that can be read or watched online in the course player through its corresponding lesson type to keep your students engaged with your course.

PDF Lessons More Info

If you have course content that belongs in a PDF file and not a text lesson, this lesson type will handle displaying it in the course player. 

This is useful for not breaking the online student experience, or if you're worried that your students cannot open PDF files.

Disqus Lessons More Info

Adding a social element to your course is a fantastic way to engage students in learning. Disqus forums allow for continued course conversation without much moderation.

Active student forums can also be counted on to help answer course related questions for you.

Quiz Lessons More Info

You can add engaging quizzes to your courses to help students make sure they understand course content before proceeding. These 'formative assessments' help reinforce what you're teaching.

Quizzes are also useful to determine if your course is teaching its content effectively.

Survey Lessons More Info

If you want to incorporate some avenues for feedback between you and your students, surveys are a great way to do this. You can add single answer, multiple choice, rating, scale, or free text questions to a survey.

Putting a survey at the end of your course asking how you did is a great way to collect feedback and improve your course over time.

Exam Lessons More Info

Our quiz builder is perfect for most instructors' needs in terms of testing their students, but for more robust examination-type features we do also offer an integration with Brillium as part of the Advanced plan.

Brillium exams are a great way to test for certifications you offer. 

Multimedia Lessons More Info

If you want to include a great resource into your course, but not send students outside of the course player to see it, you can likely add it to a multimedia lesson. This lesson type can display almost anything in the course player for you.

That includes websites, webinar tools, surveys, appointment booking tools, and more!


I hope this helps! And if you have any additional questions, just let us know below.

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