Managing time zones is especially important if you’re dealing with deadlines or scheduling events related to your courses. It’s also essential to ensure that everyone sees notifications simultaneously—whether they’re related to announcements, updates, or other features within the course itself.
Time zones can be a tricky thing when it comes to managing your online course with Thinkific. Many users are located worldwide, so understanding if you can change someone’s time zone, is important for running your online business properly.
I’m an expert in Thinkific and have extensive experience with the platform. In this article, I will discuss managing time zones in Thinkific and provide tips and best practices.
The Thinkific Platform and Time Zones
As an experienced user of Thinkific, I am familiar with how the platform handles time zones. Generally, Thinkific stores all dates and times in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). No matter where a user is located worldwide, their time zone will be converted to UTC for any activities within the course.
Thinkific uses UTC for a few reasons. Firstly, it ensures accuracy across time zones. Keeping everyone on the same page helps prevent confusion when setting deadlines or scheduling events related to courses. Secondly, it simplifies things from a development perspective, as there are fewer moving parts to consider when setting up your online business.
Although Thinkific allows users to set their local time zone preferences within their account settings, this does not affect anything related to course activity, such as deadlines or schedules. All dates and times must still be stored in UTC for consistency and accuracy across all users, regardless of location.
Can You Change Your Time Zone in Thinkific?
Unfortunately, Thinkific does not allow changing a user’s time zone. All of its features are designed to work with the UTC format, so the user must do any changes to the time zone manually. You can only set global defaults that will apply to everyone but cannot be changed unless you do it all yourself.
How Can This Affect Course Enrollment and Completion?
This lack of control over time zones can affect how users enroll and complete your courses and their overall experience. For example, suppose a course has deadlines or specific start/end times for activities based on the instructor’s local time zone. Students in different locations may have difficulty meeting these requirements in that case.
Tips for Managing Time Zone Differences
There are some best practices you should consider when managing time zones in Thinkific to ensure that everyone’s experience is fair and equitable!
- When setting up courses and activities within them, always include specific instructions on adjusting their local time zones accordingly.
- Avoid setting deadlines for activities that rely on individual students’ time zones as much as possible. Instead, focus on absolute dates/times that everyone can refer to easily.
- Consider offering multiple language versions of your course material to accommodate users from different countries with different cultural expectations around timing and deadlines.
- Lastly, ensure your support team is aware of any potential issues related to international students or those in remote areas where changing their local time zone might be more difficult for them than others closer.
There are some limitations when using Thinkific’s time zone functionality. For example, you cannot change someone’s time zone on the platform without manually entering each field individually.
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Managing Time Zones in Thinkific
Tips for Instructors to Minimize Time Zone Confusion
One of the biggest challenges when managing time zones in Thinkific is minimizing confusion for instructors. Here are a few tips that can help!
Use tools like Google Calendar or Calendly to schedule events across multiple time zones. These tools make it easy to set up events that automatically adjust when sharing them with individuals in different locations worldwide.
Utilize notifications within Thinkific to know when someone has enrolled in your course from another time zone. Doing so helps ensure that everyone gets timely reminders about upcoming activities or changes related to your course material, regardless of location.
Suggestions for Managing Course Schedules Across Multiple Time Zones
Another challenge in managing time zones within Thinkific is handling course schedules across multiple locations simultaneously.
When possible, try to schedule events at times that work well for all of your students regardless of their location – e.g., 11 am ET/8 am PT/4 pm GMT/5 pm CET, etc. This practice reduces potential confusion over what “your local” means relative to each student’s area – ensuring everyone starts and ends on the same page (or screen).
Create a global schedule where all students know exactly when each session begins and ends, regardless of location. This helps eliminate misunderstandings regarding start times due to differences between places like New York vs. London vs. Tokyo.
Include the corresponding UTC offset when scheduling online classes via Zoom or other platforms. Hence, there’s no confusion over which exact ” local ” version is referenced during class sessions (e.g., Eastern Standard Time +5 hours).
Ways To Communicate Effectively With Students In Different Time Zones
Finally, here are some tips for communication with students who may be located in different parts of the world.
Send emails at least 24 hours before an event occurs so that all participants have ample notice about upcoming activities regardless of location. It allows them sufficient preparation time before joining class sessions if need be.
Automate reminders about upcoming events through email campaigns. Doing so ensures all participants get notified according to their local timestamps, even if they miss out on important updates due to an unexpected change in plans etc.
Finally, leverage communication platforms like Slack or Discord, where members can join conversations at any given hour without worrying about potential cultural differences or language barriers due to discrepancies between countries or regions.
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Managing Time Zones in Thinkific: Conclusion
To recap, here are the main points discussed in this article:
- Always use your local time zone as the default setting when creating courses and scheduling activities. This eliminates any potential confusion over which time zone you’re operating from.
- Utilize tools such as Google Calendar or Calendly to schedule events across multiple time zones. Doing so makes it easy to set up events that automatically adjust when sharing them with individuals in different locations worldwide.
- When possible, try to schedule events at times that work well for all of your students regardless of their location—ensuring everyone starts and ends on the same page (or screen).
- Send emails at least 24 hours before an event takes place so that all participants have ample notice about upcoming activities regardless of their location—this allows them sufficient preparation time before joining class sessions if need be.
- Automate reminders about upcoming events through email campaigns if possible—this ensures all participants get notified according to their local timestamps even if they miss out on important updates due to an unexpected change in plans etc.
Managing time zones can be a tricky thing when it comes to running your online course with Thinkific. However, by following these tips and best practices, you can ensure that everyone receives notifications simultaneously and minimize any confusion surrounding course schedules across multiple locations.
It is important for instructors using Thinkific to be mindful of the various time zones represented within their courses so they can properly manage their online business without disruptions or misunderstandings between students around the world.