There are alternatives to traditional education — eLearning apps and websites like Coursera that help students get the same level of knowledge as they get offline. Learners are craving for online education, so it seems like developing a custom eLearning platform is profitable. We’re here to tell you
✔️ why the eLearning market is growing,
✔️ how to develop such a platform,
✔️ how much it costs,
✔️ which features are crucial for an educational app, and
✔️ how to stand out from competitors.
E-learning platforms get a large share of digital marketFirst of all, let us show you some juicy statistics on online education platforms. According to Statista, educational apps take the third place in the top of most popular App Store categories. Online courses are even more popular than shopping and delivery apps.
Statistics on online education platforms.Of course, the popularity of educational apps didn’t start with the pandemic — people used Duolingo and Edmodo long before the coronavirus appeared. But since it did, many schools and universities were forced to go online. Even Princeton and Cornell universities moved their finals online due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 among students. The educational market wasn’t ready for the pandemic — if universities had an alternative to traditional education, they would face fewer problems.
Although some students are still concerned about the level of online education, Coursera’s research shows that 84 percent of career-focused learners who completed courses reported career benefits, and 93 percent of education seekers reported educational benefits.
At Brivian, we think that custom eLearning development can solve the problems of colleges and help educational businesses increase their profit. The question is how to create such a platform.
Website builders vs. professional developmentIt can be hard for entrepreneurs to decide which way to go: custom eLearning development or website builders. Professional web and mobile app development requires a team of specialists, several months and a budget of $20.000-$100.00 — for some people it looks like too much effort. There are services like Wix that allow people to create websites easily, without coding and spending a lot of money. So, for many people, it seems like the perfect solution to start an online business.
However, remember that usually with the cheapest and easiest solutions, you get products of poor quality. Let’s look at the pluses and minuses of this approach on the example of Wix.
Wix provides you with 900+ templates from different categories that you can modify to your needs, there’s no need to be a professional designer. The disadvantage is that the designs are not custom, your platform will look like many other platforms built with Wix.
Website templates on Wix.Plus, it’s not automatically mobile-responsive. It means that every time you change something on your website, you’ll need to adjust the changes to the mobile version manually. You also can’t switch templates once you choose one, so you need to think twice before you do it.
Wix mobile editor.Another good thing about Wix is that you don’t need to know programming languages to create features. Wix has an App Market with typical features that you can add to your platform: blog, chat, events, gallery and so on. The minus is that some features are available only for paid accounts, and you can’t create custom features. Moreover, you can buy the premium features only for one website, you can’t use them on all of your sites.
Additional features you can purchase on Wix.One of the main reasons why we don’t recommend using website builders is that you can’t export your website. If your business starts to grow and you want to move your website to other technologies, it’s not possible. Your website will depend on the commercial success of the chosen builder. If their business shuts down or they will delete important features, you will basically need to recreate your website from scratch.
Using website builders for eLearning platform development can suit those who need a simple website where students can look at their schedules and assigned homework. If you plan to enter the online education market and gradually upgrade your product, you definitely need professional web or mobile app development. Custom design and features can be costly, but they’re worth it — you’ll get a high-quality product and be its only owner.
Features for custom eLearning solutionsBefore you start eLearning platform development, you need to come up with the feature list. There are different types of educational applications, from language learning apps to online universities, and they have different sets of features. But let’s talk about features that are crucial for every educational app.
Sign-in and profileThese two are basic features that any custom eLearning solution must have. Make sure that your sign-in is fast and simple, make it possible for users to sign in via social media accounts.
Login page at Coursera website.Profiles are important because they let you store the users’ data. This way, they will be able to access their courses from different devices and will easily come back to your app if they need to reinstall it.
Courses and learning materialsThe information that you provide to users must be reliable. Invite experts to create courses and make them useful and easy to understand. If you give the users the education level they need, they won’t leave your app. You can provide courses for beginners, and different courses for learners with average and high skills. Courses can include media files like images, videos, audios, and more.
Video player on Udemy.Users don’t like it when videos freeze or load too slowly, so make sure that your media player is optimized and works fast.
SearchMake it possible for users to search for lessons and materials. You can add a search bar to search by keywords, organize lessons in categories, and add filters so that users can navigate your platform easily.
Search bar and categories on Skillshare.
ChatsChats are important for educational apps since users need to communicate. Teachers need to talk with students or with the whole class, classmates to talk with each other, and even with the tech support. Make it possible for users to attach files so that they can exchange learning materials.
Video callsIf your app supposes live communication, you need a video calling feature. It can be webinars, lectures, group collaborations and one on one conversations with teachers.
CalendarA calendar will help students see their studying schedule, remind them about the need to submit assignments and book consultations with teachers. Teachers also can use a calendar to assign tasks to students and set deadlines.
Push notificationsUse notifications to remind users about deadlines, planned lectures, assignments, and so on. But don’t go overboard with notifications — let users choose when they want to get them, and which of them are unwanted.
This is how Duolingo sends notifications to users.
AchievementsUsers need to be able to track their progress. It’s hard to move forward if you can’t see what you achieved. Collect the statistics in the users’ profiles and show them reports on their results. This way, you’ll encourage them to learn more and use your platform more. Gamification can also help you to increase user engagement.
Gamified achievements in Duolingo.
E-learning development processFirst of all, you need to define your niche. There are 3 main types of custom eLearning solutions:
- Platforms for online courses — platforms where mentors can place their courses and learners can go through them. Such platforms are Coursera, Udemy, Khan Academy.
- Platforms for schools and colleges — such services help teachers to organize assignments and lessons, and communicate with students. Edmodo, ClassDojo, and Google Classroom work this way.
- Apps for developing certain skills — these apps help users learn languages, train memory, and more. Duolingo helps users with language learning. Brilliant is for those who want to catch up on maths, and with Mimo users can learn to program.
The next step in the eLearning development process is to find a reliable contractor. You can build your own team of developers, testers and designers if you have enough resources. Hiring is a long and complicated process, not to mention that you’ll also need to maintain an office space with computers for every employee and pay wages. If you’re only starting your business and don’t have an in-house web or mobile app development team, turning to an outsourcing partner is a reasonable solution. At Brivian, we can develop custom applications for any purpose.
When you request us for custom eLearning development, we take care of your project from idea to release. We start with discussing your idea and defining the project scope — at this stage you get a precise estimate of eLearning development cost. Then we create the UI/UX design of your educational platform, making it not only beautiful but also comfortable to use. We break the development and testing cycle down into 2-week sprints. At the end of each sprint, you will see the intermediate results. When all features are developed, we release the product and provide technical support after the release.
E-learning development costThe eLearning development cost depends on the complexity of your project: how many features you need, which technologies we will use, and how many specialists the development team will need. Also, developing such platforms can require different third-party integrations, like for payments, mailing services, push notifications, and more — it also affects the eLearning development cost.
On average, if you plan to develop a web application, an MVP version will take 3-4 months and cost from $45.000. For mobile app development, there are two ways. We can develop one cross platform app that will work on iOS and Android but will have fewer native functions — it will take 2-3 months and cost $30.000. Or we can use native languages to develop two separate apps specifically for each operating system — it will take 3-4 months and cost $45.000.
If you’re interested in elearning platform development and want a more accurate cost estimation, fill in the form below and we will discuss your idea.