Ready to get started with creating your first course? Awesome, glad to have you on board! This article is a guide to using the Thinkific Course Builder to create your first course.
In this article:
Creating a Course (Video Overview)
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Create a New Course
You can get started right away creating a new course:
- Go to Manage Learning Content
- Select Courses
- Select + New Course on the top right
We have various course templates to choose from to help you get started! Note that these are just a guideline, and everything can be completely customized once you start working on the course. Each of the course templates, aside from the Blank Course, contains a set of lessons assembled with learning best practices in mind. There is an instructional lesson at the very beginning of each template to help you make the best use of these.
If you are not sure which template to choose, you can read more about our different templates or simply start with a Blank course to begin adding your own content! To choose a template:
- Select Choose on your desired template
- Name your course (This can always be changed later)
- Select Create Course
Adding Your Content
Content can be added to your course lesson by lesson or in bulk using our Bulk Importer.
If you already have video, audio and/or PDF content created, you can head straight to the Bulk Importer tab of the Course Builder to upload all of your content at once! Learn how to use the Bulk Importer.
Adding Individual Lessons
To start adding lessons to your course, you'll need to first create a new chapter! You can think of chapters as containers that hold one or more lessons.
How to Add a New Chapter
- Make sure you are in the Curriculum tab
- On the left-hand side, click Add Chapter
- Name the Chapter title field as desired
- Click Save
Once you have created a chapter, you can start adding lessons to your course! Before walking through these steps, you will want to decide which lesson types to include in your course. You can check out our various lesson type here: Thinkific Lesson Types
How to Add a New Lesson
- Make sure you are in the Curriculum tab
- On the left-hand side, click Add Lesson
- Select the desired Lesson Type
- Name the Lesson Title as desired
- Add your content
- Click Save
Adding Lessons from Another Course (Optional)
If you already have a course created with content you would like added to your existing course, you have the option to copy content to your course.
The Settings tab of the Course Builder is where you can go to add basic details for your course including:
This is where you can update your course name and URL that will appear on your course card as well as set your instructor. Your course card appears in various places like your All Courses page and checkout.
Course image & description
Your Course image will appear on your course cards and Course description will appear on your checkout pages and in different areas depending on your theme. Learn how to customize your course image & description HERE.
Course Player appearance
The Course Player is the learning environment where students will be interacting with your content. You can customize the look of Course Player to match your branding. Check out The Thinkific Course Player and Individual Course Player Appearance Customizations.
Course progress & completion
This includes some optional settings that you might like to customize. Available options will be dependent on your current Thinkific plan:
- Video lesson autoplay - Video lessons will autoplay and also automatically progress to the following lesson upon completion
- Video completion percentage required - Video lessons will be marked complete when a student reaches your desired completion percentage
- Chapter completion messages - By default there is a popup enable when students complete a chapter. This can be disabled.
- Completion certificates - Issue a certificate when your students reach 100% completion of your course
- Custom completion page - Customize the page students see when they reach 100% completion of your course. This is optional and you can always preview your course as a student to see what the default completion page looks like.
You can include custom code on your course landing page here. This is not required. A common scenario to use this field is if you plan on using an external sales page to promote your course.
Admin & revenue partners
Use SEO to define what your landing pages will look like to search engines and social media.
Update Your Landing Page
Final Steps Before Publication
Once you've added some content and carefully crafted your course landing page, you're just about ready to put your course out there!
Here's a checklist for the final steps before publication:
- Check lessons with warnings - Make sure that you don't see any red warnings of missing content in the Curriculum tab
- Uncheck Draft on all the chapters and lessons you want to available to your students - Even if your course is published, the Draft setting will keep content hidden until this setting is removed
- Set up a payment integration - Don't forget to link to Stripe and/or PayPal to accept payments
- Set your pricing - Add the pricing for your course in the Pricing tab
- Take a run through of your course as a student - Preview your course as a student to spot if there's anything you've missed
- Customize your site name and URL - If you still have the default URL for your Thinkific site, you can customize this before sharing with your audience!
- Customize your site home page - You can add branding to your site and home page. If this is your only course and you would prefer your course landing page is the only page visible when visitors come to your site, you can add a home page redirect to your course landing page.
Other optional customizations:
- Set a drip schedule for your course - Manage when content will be available to your students
- Add a Free Preview - Create a Free Preview of your course to generate leads
- Enable discussions - Add a discussion component to your course
- Customize your site notifications - Customize the emails students will receive when they sign up for your course
Need a little extra help creating or setting up your course? We have a wonderful team of experienced freelancers available to give you a hand! Check out our Experts Marketplace.