When I write blog posts for Web Courseworks, I’m typically focused on the philosophy and design of adult education, and for good reason: there are many special educational considerations for adult learners, and I want to design curricula that best meets their needs. Part of addressing those considerations is picking the right tools for my learners.
While it’s important to pay attention to curriculum design, it’s also important to consider the tools my learners will use to buy access to those courses. If nobody enrolls in the courses I designed, all the work I put into my courses will have been for naught. This is why I consider e-commerce systems to be a significant component of the adult e-learning experience.
E-commerce systems can be deceptively simple from a learner perspective. When an e-commerce system works well, the process looks something like this for learners:
1. Browse or search for courses from course catalogue
2. Add desired courses to cart
3. Check out
4. Access course content
It should be easy to set up such a straightforward system, right?
At best, bad e-commerce systems can be frustrating or confusing for learners. At worst, bad e-commerce systems can discourage learners from ever enrolling into a course. Associations understandably want to avoid these pitfalls.
There are several e-commerce systems that are better or worse fits for associations that desire to sell their courses online. For your reference, I have compiled a list of e-commerce system features that are especially useful for association online learning. This list is not particular to any e-commerce system, so you should weigh how important each feature will be to your particular association because it’s unlikely that one e-commerce system will have all of these features.
Download our free e-commerce checklist to see if your e-commerce platform is fitting your needs: