More and more people are using the convenience of online education since there is a wide space for possibilities by learning everything you need at a click. No wonder why there is a huge demand for different kinds of eLearning software. Statista reveals that the online learning market value is tended to grow to 243 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.
To stand out from a lot of other software for online education, it’s crucial to ensure that the idea is unique. But, besides that, if you decide to dive into this market, and create your online learning platform, take a look at the guide below. Here we gathered the top-priority things you need to consider while developing your eLearning software.
Why You Should Create an Online Learning Platform?
Before you begin developing your solution, it’s critical to understand the advantages and disadvantages of online education, as well as current trends in this market. Let’s sort out all aspects of such platforms.
- High engagement. Comparing to classroom studying, online education shows a better engagement level from learners, because it is more convenient for them to use, and it involves wider interaction suited for more students.
- Time efficiency. With online learning, it is easier to schedule a day. Lectures are more flexible online because they are usually not live-streaming. That is why the productivity of the learners increases since not everyone is more workable in the morning (when most classroom lessons happen).
- Cost reduction. It is now easier to take a course in a university far away from home, so it creates a possibility for studying in other countries from the abroad teachers. Besides, learners should not need to pay for housing and transit.
- Solution for different categories of people. Different people have different requirements. It’s related to each part of the learning process. Online studying allows learners to choose a speed of conducting courses, a time, a material to focus on, a lecturer, and so on.
- Lack of real-time communication. Face-to-face interactions influence the quality of perceived information. Lack of such communication may decrease the satisfaction of learners and their material knowledge.
- Over-reliance on technology. Leaving technology as an intermediary between learners and lecturers in all processes could affect the accuracy of assessment and overall studying processes.
- The necessity of self-control. Time flexibility could move from advantages to disadvantages for those, who have time management issues. Without a proper scheduled plan for a week, a course might be left without a learner’s attendance.
And now, when you acknowledged all possible minuses and pluses of the eLearning software for your target – we can move to the steps, that will lead your idea to being successful.
1. Decide on the Idea
Picking up the idea may be the most difficult part of the startup since there is a variety of possible options. You can either choose to create some common online learning platform and compete with such Edtech giants as Udemy and Coursera or develop something new to fill up the empty niche. In both cases, the first thing you should do is to consider alternatives. So let’s dive in and outlook some of them:
LMS for schools
The most common sort of online learning platform is the learning management system. This is an eLearning software that allows for the creation and distribution of eLearning content. A simple commercial LMS for schools offers the essential features for creating, delivering, and hosting online courses. Learning management systems provide a diverse range of features. Basic features include facilities for storing and managing courses, as well as assessing students’ progress.
The majority of LMS for schools are web-based and can be customized to meet the demands of any educational institution or business that offers student or employee training. The customization may include gamification of courses, time limits and costs setup, adding compliance rules, and many others.
Employees’ onboarding and training platforms
Platforms for onboarding new and training existing employees are highly popular nowadays. Since the majority of companies preferred to stay remote after COVID-19, such platforms allow employers to keep team development ongoing even without face-to-face control. It enables business owners and managers to see if all employees are on the same page and have the necessary skills. Individual learning programs may be created based on each worker’s job, experience, and preferred learning rate. Moreover, there could be also team-building programs implemented or even certifications of professional development.
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are large-scale, open-access online learning courses featuring interactive material. MOOCs were created with the goal of making a complete university course available to everyone. MOOCs were created to democratize access to high-quality educational content from leading universities and make it available to learners all over the world. Learning takes place mostly through video, with clearly defined learning objectives and exams leading to a certificate of completion. These courses can be taken for free or for a cost. In most situations, the payment methods are determined by the sort of certificate that will be issued when the courses are completed.
Udemy and Coursera are some of the most well-known providers of high-quality, where internationally recognized courses taught by experienced teachers.
Online tutoring platforms
Students and tutors, the two sides of the studying process, can interact online with the help of Online Tutoring Platforms. Such tech intermediaries cover up all the possible collaboration between learners and lecturers with its features. It includes a search panel to make them connect, a space for video conferencing and other types of communication, a dashboard to monitor each other time flexibility and work/assessment progress.
Payment methods on Online Tutoring Platforms may differ: it could be a fee per hour that the tutors set up by themselves, or trial period, or a freemium model. But you can also combine some of them to create a strong structure of payment options.
Tools for eLearning
Online education is impossible without various tools that may simplify the learning process as well as go hand in hand with the majority of tasks from tutors. Such online tools include proofreading and paraphrasing tools, plagiarism inspectors, spell checkers, and so on. Usually, the development of tools for online education facilitation involves Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. New capabilities for these apps will undoubtedly be introduced as a result of technological advancements. Even without it, there are plenty of concepts that students and anyone seeking knowledge could find beneficial.
2. Pick up SaaS Pricing Models
Determining the way how you will earn money from the platform is one of the first things you should do when developing your idea. To not put your investment to waste – write a business plan, where you will estimate expenses and profits. When you decide on the sum you should earn from the eLearning software, you can choose which SaaS pricing models would fit you more.
- Flat rate pricing. Flat rate pricing is the most basic form of the SaaS pricing model: you have one specific product, one specific set of features, and one specific price. For the eLearning software, it could be a precise rate for each course or lesson with a tutor.
- Freemium model. It means offering a free-to-use product that is complemented by extra premium packages included in the freemium model. The free version of the platform consists of some limits for necessary features, encouraging users to buy the premium account. In online education, certificates or personal training courses may be included in the premium features.
- Tiered pricing. It enables businesses to provide a diversity of “packages” with varying combinations of features at different pricing points. The average number of packages available could be any, but low, middle, and high price ranges are frequently represented.
- Pay As You Go model. This pricing method closely links the cost of a SaaS product to its usage: if you use more of the service, your bill will go up; if you use less of the service, your bill will go down. So whether the user wants to see just 1 lesson, or visit the whole course, the price would vary depending on that.
- Per feature pricing. It categorizes multiple price groups based on the functionality included in each one, with more expensive packages including a wider range of features. For example, advanced assessment of the homework with detailed comments on improvements.
- Trial period. Customers may begin using your product for free, and as long as they are able to profit from it throughout the trial period, there is a significant incentive for them to upgrade after the trial period expires. The trial period may be the time needed to conduct one course, or just a lesson, or overall it could a day/week/month, etc.
Establishing SaaS pricing models you should ensure that you provided users with convenient payment methods. To do so, just integrate payment API into your eLearning software. The most common payment API is Stripe, but there is also ApplePay and Apple Wallet, which could be also easy to apply.
How to deploy a Payment Gateway – Payment API Practical Use [Stripe, Apple Wallet, and ApplePay (PayFort API)]
3. Create a Structure
The core of nearly any eLearning software consists of a number of features. They may be classified into three categories: learner, lecturer, and admin. Write an in-depth structure of the platform, thinking through all interactions between users. Building an MVP with only the most essential features is a fantastic approach to validate the utility of your product with real-world consumers.
Students’ interface includes:
- Search, category, and filter options allow looking for specific keywords and courses that are separated into many categories depending on the subject, pricing, and competence level.
- Recommendations display appropriate courses depending on those in which the student is currently enrolled.
- Payment page for a transparent and safe way to monitor transactions and payment history.
- Profile page to show personal preferences and to create more convenient communication between users.
- Courses dashboard for progress and enrollment administration.
Teachers’ interface includes:
- A page for course creation and update to upload learning materials and create tests.
- Dashboard with students’ progress for monitoring learners’ results, their marks, and progress.
- Profile page for creating trust in the lecturer.
- Site for financial operations, where lecturers can administrate their wage per class/student.
Admin’s interface includes:
- The feature to add, edit and remove users or courses.
- Statistics reports
- The possibility to manage push notifications and other functions related to the platform.
4. Add Real-Time Communication (CPaaS)
Comparing to offline classroom studying, online learning platforms lack real-time communication. This could influence the quality of knowledge and the time spent on material examination. That is why integrate real-time engagement will benefit your online learning platform, as well as decrease costs and eliminate the requirement for backend infrastructure development.
The easiest solution is CPaaS (Communication Platform as a Service). CPaaS is a cloud-based technology that seeks to make it easier for organizations to incorporate communication features into their apps. These cloud communication systems are capable of processing audio and video conversations, text messages, and assisting in the creation of online and mobile chats and call centers, among other things. CPaaS API enables you to completely overhaul your communication stack and connect selected communication channels with your existing applications.
How to integrate CPaaS into an application [WebRTC, Twilio, Jitsi, BigBlueButton outlook]
5. Insert Push Notifications
Online education necessitates complete contact between student and instructor. To accomplish so, your online learning platform must have push alerts that cover all potential study stages as well as advertising. Various examinations, virtual classrooms, tasks, and tutoring are all part of online education. All of this should serve as a wake-up call.
Surely, you need to build a structure of push notifications, to not overwhelm users with too much attention. This is why you need to pick relevant and useful types of push notifications. The options are wide: from deadline reminders to action boosters like review requests or training motivation. So, to ensure that your learners stay on track with the training programs, and get all the needed information about ongoing processes – send them push notifications.
Constantly rising demand is a great chance for firms to develop their own solutions. Keep in mind that in today’s highly competitive market, your offering must both fulfill the expectations of users and provide a learning experience. Examine your market in further detail. What can you do to meet the demands of students and teachers?
We are here to help you anytime. Contact us, and together, we can develop a bespoke solution to establish it as an edTech market leader.