When creating a new course, Thinkific offers several templates to help you organize your ideas and convert your expert knowledge into marketable courses.
Building a course can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know just where to start. Before you dive into this article, we recommend taking a look at our Thinkific Blog's 'Getting Started' section. The blog features dozens of great articles on important topics like Creating a Successful Online Course, Writing Learning Outcomes, How to Design Engaging Content, and more!
To begin learning about the various types of Course Templates, follow the links below.
In this article:
What is a Course Template?
A Course template is a preset outline that has been assembled with learning best practices in mind. These templates have been designed to help you build out the structure of the lessons you add to them.
There is an instructional lesson at the very beginning of each template to help you make the best use of them. When picking a course template, it is important to remember that these are just a guideline - while you are creating your course, templates can be completely customized. Chapters and lessons can be added, deleted, and rearranged as desired!
The following templates are available when creating a new course:
Exactly what it sounds like, this template lets you upload your content and build your course to match your specific curriculum needs. There is no preset outline or structure to this template - everything is entirely customizable!
You can start with this template by adding chapters and lessons to your courses; or, if you've already created course material elsewhere that you want to pull into your new course, use our Bulk Importer to transfer material over.
This template is designed to help you build a free or low-cost course to help you build your audience. A mini-course can be thought of as a lead magnet or a lead qualifier that helps attract students who might be interested in a larger course down the road.
If you're just starting to build a following, a mini-course is a valuable resource that can get your target audience excited about enrolling. Typically, these are low-risk online courses, meaning they don't cost much and require only a small amount of time to learn with.
Students who enjoy this course and want to learn more are more likely to enroll in another course like your Flagship course!
This template is designed to help you build your premium online course. A flagship course can be thought of as the product you're known for as a course creator. It is a valuable and prestigious source of education for your target audience.
A flagship course is best for course creators who want to produce a clear-cut and more expensive resource for their area of expertise. Flagship courses are typically bundled with bonuses like other courses, extra services like coaching, or with physical products. They can have multiple price points and comprehensive brands all to themselves.
Students for this course have likely seen other, smaller, knowledge products (e.g. mini-courses, ebooks, blog posts, podcasts) and are committing to a larger, more robust educational experience because they trust your expertise and are looking for a transformation in their lives.
This template is designed to help you build a pre-sell course quickly. A pre-sell course is an unfinished product used to validate interest in a course topic.
Pre-selling is a technique used to achieve market validation for a course topic. This means getting interest in the form of sign-ups or revenue before actually creating content or delivering your already created content.
You can save time and money by finding proof that your online course has a group of people willing to enroll in it before actually making the course. For more on pre-selling, check out our Guide to Pre-Selling.
Membership Resource Library
This template is designed to help you build a library of files or other resources to be included in a membership bundle. Typically, along with online courses, a resource library is offered as a bonus or perk as a part of a membership subscription offer.
Membership sites that include access to a resource library use the library as a repository for useful information, tools, or other resources that aid students in learning and practicing what you're teaching. This is great to include in an existing Bundle offer.
This template is designed to help you build a way for your webinar attendees to watch, or re-watch, a webinar that you've presented. This isn't an online course, but a way to host and deliver a webinar replay to your audience for free or after proceeding through a secure checkout.
After delivering a webinar, attendees typically hear your pitch and evaluate the offer. Watching a webinar replay helps attendees review the pitch and offer, and delivers the pitch to anyone who missed the live presentation.
Once you have selected your template, it's time to start adding your material! If you've selected a blank template, you will need to first add Chapters and Lessons.
While you are building out your course, if you have lessons that are works in progress, you can make use of the draft feature to keep them private. You can also make use of the draft feature to hide template lessons that you might not use now but want to come back to later.
For a step by step outline of what else you can do within the Course Builder, check out our Create a Course article!