The Complete Guide Towards Developing A Custom eLearning Platform — TekRevol
Digitalization has led to the creation of eLearning platforms. People around the world are leveraging these platforms to learn at home. According to a study, the global eLearning market is predicted to be worth $325 Billion in 2025.
Also, eLearning has given rise to the possibility of learning anything at one’s leisure and off-course who can neglect the cost-effectiveness of this program. I mean, IBM saved around $200 Million after opting for eLearning.
Seeing the incredible stats mentioned above and considering the importance of eLearning — we can pretty much assume that the eLearning industry is booming.
Plus, considering the fact that due to the pandemic, several schools and universities have been shut down, the world is supporting eLearning.
Several businesses are pursuing the idea of developing a custom eLearning site or app. Because the eLearning market is booming, the idea would translate into revenue in a short time.
Moreover, according to research by Coursera, online courses tend to provide more practical knowledge and develop skills compared to traditional education.
This effectiveness further solidified the credibility of online courses. Today, recruiters and HR managers are taking online certifications more seriously.
If you are interested in developing an eLearning platform and want to share your or other’s skills to further improve the economy, benefit the new generation, and generate revenue, you’ve come to the right place.
In this blog, we’re going to explore what eLearning is and how you can develop an eLearning app, the best eLearning applications out there are using, and much more.
Also, I’ll tell you some ways to make money out of your eLearning app, which is always the prime objective of any entrepreneur. So, without any further ado, let’s begin with…
What is eLearning?
Leveraging digital technologies to access education over the internet is what eLearning generally means. However, eLearning today is also referred to as online learning or internet learning.
Moreover, you can not consider courses stored on DVDs or CDs to be a part of eLearning. And this includes televisions and videotapes too. The courses delivered by eLearning platforms today are totally digital. Some of them also offer live classes in which sometimes the user can also interact with the program in terms of electronically raising a hand to answer a question.
In contrast, another eLearning course may be prerecorded, and the student may have to go through a quiz by the end of the lecture to complete a semester.
The Incredible Benefits Of custom eLearning
There is certainly no limit to the benefits of custom eLearning. From improving a business’s performance by improving employee’s knowledge — the eLearning empowering programs have benefitted several people globally.
Nowadays, companies have allowed their employees to learn and improve their skills by leveraging eLearning programs. These eLearning programs are being hosted by industry experts, so, obviously, there is a lot a person can learn and specialize in from such custom eLearning programs.
Considering the extremely tough schedule people have today, it is getting difficult to take some time out of the casual routing to learn something conventionally.
This is exactly where eLearning programs give the users flexibility and accessibility to the people so that they can learn at their own pace. Several custom eLearning applications allow you to choose subjects according to your career path or job description.
You can also select the time and pace at which you want to learn. Plus, you can improve your skills by learning from the best industry professionals. Unlike in the traditional educational system where you have to go through word of mouth to believe if a course, certification, or degree is credible, eLearning courses have reviews to measure if the eLearning is worth opting for or not.
After hearing the benefits and learning about eLearning’s untapped potential, we can pretty much presume that the industry is booming and it will prosper in the near future.
However, if you’re interested but unsure where to begin or which type of custom eLearning solution you want to provide to your audience, below are some examples of eLearning development platforms and their types for you to understand.
Types Of eLearning Applications
· Educational Apps
These types of platforms/apps offer educational courses on various different kinds of subjects. Several platforms provide certifications, with Coursera being the most recognized among them. Moreover, an astonishing 49% of the students have opted for an online course.
· Language Learning Apps
Gone are the days when people used to find language tutors to learn a specific language. Today, you have Duolingo!
This app enables the user to learn any language easily and conveniently. With numerous native speakers available on the platform, you can easily learn a new language for just a few dollars a month.
Also, you can improve your grammar and talk to native speakers too.
· Brain Training Apps
One of the marvels of custom eLearning development is brain training applications. These applications boost a person’s memory and IQ.
With regular training, the user can improve their skills, hone their focus, reduce stress and strain, and learn some extremely helpful techniques. One amazing example of these kinds of apps is Lumosity.
Now that you know the most popular type of custom eLearning development platforms, it is time I tell you about the features that your eLearning Application must-have.
Examples Of eLearning Apps
Generally, there are two types of eLearning platforms: Internal training software and external training tools.
· Internal Training Software:
These kinds of software are created for in-house purposes. They are used by an organization to train employees and boost their performance. It is vital to mention here that between 2001 and 2017, the popularity of Internal training software increased by 900%.
· External Training Tools:
Perhaps the most popular form of eLearning development, the external training tools, was designed to globally entertain many audiences. Some examples of such platforms can be HubSpot, Coursera, and Udemy.
Must-Have Features Of An eLearning App
Functionality for the end-user should provide them with an ability to control the app, appearance, and personal preferences.
Let’s investigate the key features that you should consider for custom eLearning development.
The first and foremost screen on which your user will come will be the registration page. So, it is quite important to integrate this feature into your app. Moreover, on this page, you can ask the user about his email, phone number and if he doesn’t want to create a profile on your app, give him the option of signing in with Facebook or Google.
Let your users create their own profile in your custom eLearning platform. Let them add their personal information, set up notification settings, and schedule their classes. This feature will give your audience the advantage of staying up to date with the selected courses and completion percentage.
· Custom eLearning Course Development
The main motive behind developing an eLearning app is the learning curve and the advantage it gives to the audience. So, in this essential step, you have to identify your custom eLearning development platform’s ultimate goal. How do you want the user to access the educational material you have? What type of content will you create to attract your audience.? And which type of audience do you want to be interested in your eLearning platform.
· Select The Medium
75% of the audience is more interested in learning through video than reading or listening to audio. So, this essential feature is integrated with my recommendation that if you want to select the medium of conveying the lecture or course online, go for a combination of video and audio.
Make sure that your custom eLearning solution provides users with an amazing user experience and interesting lectures.
· Search Option
It is always crucial to have a robust searching facility in any custom eLearning development so that the user can find the information easily and quickly. However, I would suggest that you go beyond the mere search feasibility by providing your users with something more engaging.
I recommend you build a library and simplify the courses by grouping similar ones so that the user can find courses related to a specific industry, topic, or even authors.
· Providing Additional Resources
This functionality would make sure that the user never goes to some other place for any additional information. By providing them all the resources and links to external topics, you can provide your users with a complete picture of the subject or course he is about to opt for.
· Creating Communities
Let’s say 10 out of 100 students took a course on content marketing on your app. They loved it, but the only options they have to express their love are through reviews or ratings.
I recommend that you create communities or groups. This approach would help your students get connected together on a specific topic. You’ll get more conversions because your users would be collaborating on tasks, helping each other out by discussing your course (by the way, that’s free marketing). Eventually, your audience will act like your app’s brand ambassadors.
· Chats & Feedback Functionality
Over the years, we all have heard the phrase that “communication is the key,” here, by integrating a chatting and feedback functionality to your app, you improve communication among your audience.
The student to teacher, teacher to a class, or student to student, an integrated messaging option will enable your audience to understand each other more effectively.
· Q/A Forum/Section
Reddit and Quora are some fine examples of how a forum or Q/A section can provide immense feasibility to the audience by allowing users to solve problems and find answers quickly. Just imagine the tremendous feasibility you would offer your users if you integrate such functionality into your app.
· Assignments and Objectives
Assignments, objectives, or tasks are an important part of the custom eLearning course development. They give the user a way to test what they’ve learned and provide them with a responsibility that showcases your values and beliefs about how serious you are with your eLearning application. So, it is vital to include a dedicated section to review its objectives, tasks, and assignments. Also, you can set up an automatic assessment system.
· Quiz Section
This feature will enable your users to take quizzes to test themselves on the knowledge they’ve attained by opting for the courses. Quizzes and tests were always an integral part of the education system, and by digitalizing the process, you would be providing an amazing user experience to your users.
A calendar would keep your users updated on the deadlines and tests they have to take. You can also integrate functionality that enables your users to see upcoming webinars and important lectures that they can enroll in.
· Payment Integration
Not all the in your custom eLearning application would be available for free, right? So, to make things easier and smooth, make sure that you integrate a popular payment gateway. Include options like credit cards, Payoneer, PayPal, google play, etc.
· Push Notifications
Push notifications are a great way to keep your users coming back to your eLearning application for more. A push notification will give your users an instant message of what they’re missing when they’re not on your application. This will increase customer retention and boost your engagement level.
Pro-Tip: Remind them of the assignment, webinar, courses, or lecture deadlines.
· Reporting & Progress Analytics
Reporting and progress analytics will give you users the facility of tracking their productivity and learning pace. Incorporate these stats in the form of charts and percentages to compare their productivity with other users who are at the same level. This approach will persuade your users to perform even better to surpass their competition, hence boosting your engagement value.
So, now that you know the core functionalities that your eLearning application must have let’s me tell you about the process of developing an eLearning platform.
Custom eLearning Development Process
· Streamline Objectives & Constraints
The first step in developing a custom eLearning solution is to streamline the processes and implementations. My recommendation would be to start focusing on the bigger picture right from the start.
A clearly written program will help you finalize the essential objectives and provide the stakeholders with a concise statement of expectations. The feedback you’ll receive from the stakeholders in response to your report will shape your best course of action.
Also, eLearning development is a complex process, and substantial changes after getting most of the things processed can be complicated. However, by starting right with the objectives — you’ll minimize the risk of changes later in the process.
While streamlining your custom eLearning development approach, you can keep the following points in check:
- What will your custom eLearning application accomplish?
- What will be the gain from your custom eLearning solution?
- How can you measure the success of your custom eLearning program?
- Identify the objectives.
- How much budget is required?
- What are the deadlines?
Having a clear idea in mind with the above queries answered, you’ll have a complete understanding of your marketing needs and processes.
· The Educational Culture
With the objectives and concerns all streamline, you now have to focus on the audience’s educational culture that you’re targeting. Your app should showcase your brand’s core values and mission so you can integrate your eLearning modules with messages that are conveying powerful meanings.
Creating a value proposition that thoroughly defines why you’re doing what you are doing is crucial. Moreover, even though it feels right to make an eLearning application like Udemy or Coursera, you need to stand out to win in today’s highly competitive market.
So, bring something new to the table, try to devise a new strategy to stand out from the competition. In my perspective, the best way would be to identify the marketing gaps and your audience’s key concerns and address them in your app.
· Identifying Your Audience’s Needs
You need to identify your targeted audience and their prime concerns. Think about the key aspects that they focus on when opting for an eLearning application. Take, for example, the following points to determine if you’re on the right track:
- Identify the knowledge gaps in your audience.
- How can you capitalize on the opportunities?
- Consider the demographics and technical abilities of the audience.
- Integrate a motivation factor in your app to help the audience opt for learning.
- Make the content easy and understandable.
- Identify the medium through which the content will be delivered.
- Would your audience prefer micro-learning segments or prefer an extender learning time-away?
Moreover, to stand out from the crowd and engage your audience further, I recommend you gamify the learning experience. Introduce a custom eLearning design where the users can compete with each other in terms of knowledge and course completions.
By aligning your eLearning application’s content and design according to the audience’s needs, you’ll gain immense engagement in the digital world. Also, your expectations from your custom eLearning development should be based on the learner’s experience.
· Create & Distribute Valuable Content
Where custom eLearning development is a great idea, it won’t be successful without great content. So, now you need to focus on your content. For, e.g., Coursera and Udemy are offering courses affiliated with well-reputable institutions like Harvard and Cambridge. So, decide which type of content you’re going to create for your platform.
I recommend you brainstorm a cluster of topics and sort them all out into a concise unit of studies. Also, focusing on the topics and subtopics that need to be taught in order to bridge the learning deficit would help you a lot here.
· Creating & Integrating A Custom eLearning Design
With all the above work streamlined, now you have to focus on designing your custom eLearning application. Learning from your audience’s interaction experience on other similar platforms will enable you to create the content and design that will act as an entry point for your audience.
I would suggest that including real-life scenarios, interactions, and visuals will increase user engagement by several folds. Using animation videos to deliver messages and enhance learning will be a plus point. Know this, the deliverance of content is critical for the success of your custom eLearning development module.
Providing a smooth user experience to your users and ensuring an uncluttered user interface through which the users can instantly find whatever they need is the key here.
· Custom eLearning Development
Next, stop eLearning application development. This approach includes different ways, like some companies tend to create the MDP (minimum desirable product) first before making a final version of the app. During this phase, you need to check the application for quality, content, navigation, and functionality.
Focusing on this process will ensure the creation of an eLearning application or website offering a seamless user experience.
Moreover, some crucial elements you can focus on here are the design elements, interaction points, assessments, animated objects, and audio or video narrations. Make sure you test your eLearning module on different platforms, i.e., Mobile devices, desktop, or tablets.
After developing and designing your eLearning application, you should increase the overall app quality. The app quality testing method goes a long way. It deserves a blog of its own, so Luckily, Tekrevol has already written some “Tips To Increase Overall Mobile Quality” for you. Be sure to check it out.
· Marketing & Launch
The most well-known eLearning platforms out there were once a startup. With good marketing strategies and proper audience targeting, they became one of the most credible information sources.
You should adopt and implement the same approach. Several companies tend to overlook their marketing and launch stage, so marketing objectives, goals, and expectations are not met.
However, the best way to market and launch your eLearning application would be to create excitement and anticipation among your audience about your eLearning platform. Educate them about your product and why and how it differentiates from its competitors. You can use the following channels for marketing your custom eLearning development effectively:
- Paid Promotions/Ads.
- Social Media Marketing.
- Influencer Outreach/Marketing
- Content Marketing.
- Email Marketing.
Also, for those who want to effectively market their eLearning application, Tekrevol has a great blog on “How To Market Your Mobile App.” This blog will teach you all about marketing your application and will surely enable your app to surpass its competition.
Now you know all the key elements of a custom eLearning development application. The process may be complex and comprising of different stages, but it is surely worth it. So, now that we’ve got most of the development part out of the way, let me tell you about some more functionalities, tech stack, best practices, and the cost of getting an eLearning application development.
Gamifying The User’s eLearning App’s Experience
Everybody loves an interactive and immersive app that delivers incredible and credible knowledge while making the overall process entertaining and not boring.
Gamifying the overall custom eLearning design will multiply your user engagement by several folds. Your users will be more motivated to learn from your app because it will contain levels and challenges for them to try their best to accomplish and surpass.
So, to ensure that your user keeps engaged in your eLearning application, you must integrate the following elements in the Custom eLearning design and development of your app:
· Design and Integrate Your App’s Own Currency
One way to gamify your app’s learning experience is by introducing inn app currency for your users.
The currency should be added to the user’s account in exchange for the additional lectures and information material he buys. However, make sure the logic behind the earning of the currency makes sense to the user.
· Challenges And Levels
Give your audience a way to challenge themselves and others. Create levels that increase according to the courses completed. You can also include titles like a beginner, advance, professional, and expert (just an idea).
· Achievement Badges
The badges on your app should be challenge-based. For example, if a user continues using your app to learn for 12 days and timely submits his tasks and assignments, he’ll get a badge.
· Celebrate The User’s Success
Once the user completes a certification or course, integrate a feature that celebrates his completion in the form of cheering sounds, supportive mascots, and the option to share it with other users.
· A Top Achievers Board
This feature will specially cater to those who are learning at their full pace while attracting those who have a highly competitive nature to surpass them. A top achiever’s board will motivate your users to be actively involved in the educational process to achieve more and get listed on the top achiever’s board.
Leveraging Revolutionary Functionalities For Your Customer eLearning Development
Integrating an offline mode will help your users to download their preferred educational material and save it on their mobile phones for accessing later on.
Augmented reality will only enhance your user’s learning experience by allowing them to visit a historical place, location, or environment by simply sitting at home.
Your users will live in the moment; not only will they read, but they’ll feel the learning process by diving into the processes virtually.
This state-of-the-art technology will help your audience learn by creating a customized learning pace and plan.
The Technology Stack Used By The Most Popular eLearning Platforms
Let’s explore the most well-known and reputable platforms and the technology stack they’re utilizing to deliver their audience the perfect user experience.
Coursera has 30 million users. Coursera is available on three platforms. They have a website, and they have an android and IOS app. Coursera offers its audience with courses from the best industry professionals and reputable institutions. The courses are available in videos and audio lectures, and the user can also take quizzes and tests.
Khan Academy has a user base of 100 million, and they have an android and IOS app and a website. This eLearning platform also offers online courses to students. KhanAcademy stands out for short lessons, video lectures, online tests, and expert teachers.
Lumosity has over 75 million users, and they have an android and IOS app and a website. This eLearning platform improves the user’s memory, attention, and speed of processing. The gamification of learning experience that Lumosity provides is created by over 100 researchers and scientists to make sure it is highly effective.
The Tech Stack You Need To Build A Custom eLearning Application
Now that you are familiar with the development, design, and conceptualization of a custom eLearning application. Let me tell you about the technology stack that you’ll be needing to build an eLearning app.
Note: The following are third party integrations that will give your app added functionalities and feasibilities.
- For Mailing services: Gmail, Firebase Cloud Messaging, Fast-Mail, or Mail-Gun.
- Push Notifications: Twilio, Plivo, Sinch, or Nexmo.
- Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, or Viber.
- Payments: Google Play, Apple Pay, Stripe, or PayPal.
- Content Management: Google Docs, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
- Task Management: Trello, Asana, or Jira.
- Analytical Tools: Google Analytics, Flurry, or Fire-Base.
For App Development, you can use the following technology stack:
Android: Java, Kotlin.
IOS: Swift, Objective-C.
Android: Android Studio, Android Developer Tools.
IOS: Apple XCode.
Android: Android SDK.
IOS: IOS SDK, Cocoa Touch.
With the technology stack above, you can create your own custom eLearning application; however, the best way to get an app developed is by hiring a professional app development firm. This option would be time-saving, cost-effective compared to hiring freelancers or an entire team, and it would be efficient.
How Much Would It Cost To Create An Custom eLearning Solution?
The golden question that keeps nearly every digital entrepreneur wondering is about the eLearning development cost. Below is a great representation of the costs of different types of apps.
Image Source: BuildFire
There are numerous researches out there, but none come close to breaking down and explaining the process step by step, like Tekrevol’s “How Much Does It Cost to Make An App?” does. Read our blog as it highlights all the fairs that you may come across while getting your app developed by professionals.
Moreover, several other types of research are written by the industry’s top professionals that accumulate the cost of making an app so, you can check out other sources too.
There is no doubt that the mobile app development industry is booming both from consumer and business perspectives, and to really stand out in the highly competitive landscape of today, you’ll be needing a revolutionary and well-recognized app development company.
Originally published at https://www.tekrevol.com on December 11, 2020.