Tovi eLearning. One year in.
Some of the things I have taken away from the first year's experience.
It’s been a year since I soft-launched my eLearning platform, Tovi, onto the market. I thought that as the first blog of 2022, I’d review some of the things I have either learned or had reiterated to me over the course of the past twelve months. eLearning has been a big thing in peoples’ minds in this age of covid with many individuals and companies wanting to get into the market whilst face-to-face activities were somewhat curtailed.
When I designed Tovi back in 2020 the primary goal was ease of use – ease of use for owners in creating courses and ease of use for students in taking courses. That has remained the guiding principle of the system and indeed is the thing that I most regularly get complimented about by owners of the platform. With such ease of use, I was surprised then when I found a small percentage of the owners that have taken months to get courses into the system and ready to go. Of course, life gets in the way and priorities change, but one important factor I make sure is considered by each new adopter of the Tovi system is; are their courses ready to be put online? For the majority of owners with content good to go, they have sailed through to the stage where they are selling their courses online and having Tovi work for them. And that of course means profiting on their investment.
This has shown me what I already was fairly sure was the case – Tovi is not a platform to get if one is dipping one’s toe into the world of online courses for the first time. Tovi users are ideally experienced and comfortable with training both in-person and via live webinars. That means that the stumbling block of course content creation is reduced massively. In order to help with that stumbling block for the less experienced, whether using Tovi or not, I’ll be creating a blog that shows you how to get together the elements needed for a course and make something that students not only enjoy taking but also learn from.
Equally, I have seen a few of my owners create great courses and then struggle to market them. If I put my hand on my heart, I have been this kind of creator myself in the past; doing the bits I loved - in my case writing novels, making movies – then once they were created getting excited about the next project rather than doing the less enjoyable marketing graft that was needed to get my stuff out there. Fortunately, through having the chance to work with great producers and publishers, I realised that the best way to cover this side of things is to get people in who do love that part of the game!
Now Tovi is primarily an eLearning platform for course creation and taking courses with some extra marketing elements in there as an added bonus – namely an affiliate scheme and discount codes. Whilst both of those are extremely useful in getting courses out there, they were not designed to be a complete marketing scheme – that is out of the system’s remit. Again – for experienced training companies using Tovi they already have an established successful method of marketing their services – Tovi is simply a different medium to deliver those services. But from seeing a minority flounder slightly, I have come to realise that a useful list of experts that users of the Tovi Platform can turn to for specific expert advice would be useful. Again, watch this space for a future blog to deliver just that.
Where my eyes have opened slightly this last year has been the reasons that people are creating courses. Whilst I have a number of owners now who have created courses as sell-to-individual-or-company, money-generating remote products, I was surprised to see the number of courses created not to generate money but to save time. A few Tovi sites are owned and run by trainers who use the online courses to bring their students up to speed before a live training session or course – teaching the basics via remote course so that ‘on the day’ no time is spent explaining stuff to students that are not as advanced as their contemporaries.
Indeed, one particular owner springs to mind, who I plan to profile in a future blog. That owner who works in the mediation space runs a very successful online course that takes the student through a mock mediation ready to begin the actual training in his live face to face courses run throughout the United Kingdom. And of course, using courses to save time, particularly with rinse and repeat repetitive training may not directly create profit, but the saving of time gives you the opportunity to use that time in other more profitable ways.
And the last thing that, whenever it comes up gives me a wry smile, is the fact that users – in this case, students – may not always be telling the absolute, complete and utter truth when it comes to troubleshooting a website issue. This is always the case with complex websites where there’s a member area that clever stuff happens in. I can’t tell you the number of times in the past 20 years I have heard, "Yes I checked my spam, oh wait – there it is!" or, "Yes I am sure I am putting in the right email and password. Oh, that’s odd – it’s just worked!" and so on. These are inevitable and rather than being in any way nefarious are simply a bi-product of busy people with too many other factors to enable single-minded concentration.
But the thing that I always advise to remember is that as soon as one is the owner of a website with users, one will need to look after a small percentage of those users more than one imagined. Fortunately for Tovi users, my support extends to directly helping their students as well as them to the extent that all support queries are direct Cc’d to me as well as going to the owner. Coupled with the fact that there is a cut-off point of 100 Tovi platforms at which point no more will be made available for purchase, means I am always able to have personal relationships with and fully support the owners of each and every copy of Tovi.
Now next time, I’ll be blogging about all the additional features that have been added to Tovi version two, which by the time you read this blog, will already be the current production version. Keep an eye out for that and in the meantime – enjoy your January.