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9 reasons why online course registrations will make you happy

Brian Rahill

February 25, 2016

Do you believe in serving your students better, growing your program, and saving money? So do we! That’s why we work diligently to make “impossibly simple” software for online course registrations.

At the same time, we acknowledge that it feels scary to try something new and unfamiliar, especially if you’re not convinced that new means better.

We’ve been thinking a lot about this topic lately, and so we’ve compiled a list of “what’s in it for you.” Whether you use CourseStorm or not, here are 9 reasons why we think you’ll be happy when you switch from paper to online registrations.

1. Online course registrations are more convenient for your students.

Online registrations are more convenient, completed any time of the day or night and from any type of device (mobile phone, tablet, or desktop). Plus, once a learner enters her data (like name, address, and credit card number), the system should retain that info. The next time she comes back, it will be even faster and easier to register for a class.

2. Online course registrations are more convenient for you.

Once a user self-registers for a class, the data is already stored in the system; there’s no need for you to re-enter it. Plus, you should be able to easily print out rosters, attendance sheets, and wait lists. You can also create reports about your classes and users.

3. Course descriptions will be easily accessible and editable.

Online course descriptions meet today’s appetite for fast and easy access to information. People don’t want to wait to get a catalog in the mail; they want on-demand information. (Just like you want to watch “Cupcake Wars” on Netflix when it’s convenient for you.) Find a typo or want to add a new detail to a class description? With an online catalog, you should be able to make changes very quickly and publish them instantly. If you know how to edit a Word document, you can easily update a course description (we don’t believe you should have to overcome a “new technology” to get your work done).

4. Student enrollment will increase.

We know budgets are tight, and any increase in enrollment helps your program. On average, our customers experience a 30% increase in class enrollment in their first year, followed by a sustainable 18% year-over-year increase after that. Why? Because the time saved on student registrations is typically reallocated to serving students better, researching new classes, and promoting programs. (We’ve also noticed that people are more likely to register “then and there” than if they have to call, email, or stop by.)

5. You’ll experience fewer course cancellations.

Once you offer the convenience of online registrations and your student enrollment increases, you won’t need to cancel as many classes. Fewer cancellations means a more vibrant program, happier students, and increased trust (nobody wants to register for a class that always gets canceled). Plus, you won’t need to spend time processing refunds or contacting instructors and students with cancellation announcements.

6. You’ll save money.

Once your classes are online, you can stop printing and mailing full catalogs. Instead, simply create a flyer or a postcard that directs people online for more information. Alternatively, you can create a targeted mail campaign to those users you know are interested in a specific topic (rather than mailing your entire list) or use email instead of paying for postage.

7. You’ll increase security and avoid liability.

Online payments allow for encrypted credit card transactions, which is safer and more secure than having a bunch of checks laying around or credit card numbers written on paper that someone could steal or photograph. By accepting encrypted credit cards online, you’ll never have to handle your students sensitive financial information. This will give your students peace of mind and make your entire program more secure.

8. Making refunds will be easier.

Credit card refunds are a breeze with online registrations. If you need to cancel a class, you can transparently issue a credit to the student’s credit card; you don’t have to bother with holding or mailing back physical checks. Refunds are quick and simple.

9. You’ll accumulate a database of students.

With online registrations, you’ll create a community of data about your learners over time. This data makes it easier to reach out to students in the future with suggestions for interesting classes. For example, you can identify customers—by age, location, or interests—and let them know about new courses that may be of interest to them. Your students will be happier and your community will be better served in the process.

Want to “try before your buy?” CourseStorm offers a free 30-day, no-risk trial that lets you test drive our online course registration software with no commitment. And since we don’t believe in wasting your time, we make it so you can have your classes up and running in a single afternoon. Try our “impossibly simple” online registration software today!

Brian Rahill

Brian is a scientist-turned-education technology executive. He has founded and led technology companies for more than 20 years and uses his analytical mind and experimental approach to spur growth in small and medium businesses and start-ups. He is passionate about using technology to enhance access to lifelong learning.

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