It started simply enough. A few men, Aaron Skonnard, Keith Brown, Fritz Onion, and Bill Williams, in a modest community in Farmington, Utah, created Pluralsight. It then went from being a classroom training company that involved sending an instructor to a business event to a full online education platform for enterprise users.
Today, the for-profit, Pluralsight develops and distributes educational content to enterprise users around the world, providing skills assessment modules to gauge a user’s skillset.
Through a subscription business model, students only have to pay a small monthly fee to participate in the highly engaging, interactive video sessions. The company pays its course instructors a royalty, based on how often their videos are watched and interacted with. For example, in 2013, Scott Allen, a course instructor in software development, became the first of its instructors to make over $1 million in royalties.
When Pluralsight was first founded, its four founders each contributed $5,000 each. For the first nine years, the company and its founders received no external sources of funding. Since then, the company has received millions of dollars in funding and recently filed for initiate public offering.
Pluralsight’s success has unleashed a wave of innovation across the online education sector – from college students to the non-formal education or online vocational training sector.
While Pluralsight’s focus has been on creating and offering high quality video content on a host of subjects, there are other competitors out there that have the same if not better functionalities and features for instructors.
With the rise of companies like Udemy rocking big-box online education marketplaces or academies, is it time Pluralsight authors go elsewhere?
What are the best Pluralsight alternatives?
Even if you don’t have an audience yet, check out these three platforms to get started teaching online:
Udemy offers more than 25,000 courses in every category you can possibly imagine. The best part is, it is the largest online education marketplace ou there. You get to set your own price, come up with your own curriculum and if you elect to market your course, you keep most of the profit. If Udemy markets for you and brings in people, you keep 50 percent of the profits. That said, because it is the largest platform available, your course can easily get lost in the trenches. An average instructor makes $5,000 on Udemy.
Plantoost is an online learning and teaching community. Not only can you take some amazing courses for free, you can also become an instructor on the platform and earn side income based on you are an expert in or passionate about. Do you have expertise in sketching, gaming or web development? Plantoost may very well be the one platform for you. It is a growing community with a growing number of students. A recent update on their site mentioned a Pro program in the works, allowing teachers to have their own domain and manage their own school.
Skillshare is another online learning community for anyone who want to learn from online educational videos. The non-accredited classes offered on their platform, are available through subscription, where instructors make their money. The majority of classes focus on completing a project rather than lecturing. Some of the popular categories on their platform are creative arts, sketching, lifestyle, and self-development.
To sum up
Whatever its future, the fact that technology is changing the way education is delivered, and received, cannot be disputed. Nor can the fact that these platforms are democratizing education in a way the world has not seen for a long time. For the millions, if not billions, of aspiring students all over the world, teaching and learning has never been that easy.
So now that you have the tools, it’s time to start making it a reality!