More than 1.9 million children and students in 150 countries all around the globe couldn’t return to their classrooms due to the COVID pandemic, UNESCO reports.

All the burden has fallen on parents’ shoulders, who have to combine constant control over kids with their work and household chores.

Will the situation change in 2021? Not likely. Therefore, it’s necessary to focus on projects that will help to adapt to current conditions.

Online learning is one of the most important fields. It’s vital to create platforms, capable of connecting those who need knowledge with those who can share it. It may look like reinventing the wheel, but in fact, this niche is very far from being overflowing.

Developing a platform for online learning is our niche and we have our proven point of view of whether it makes sense to create marketplaces for online tutoring (spoiler alert – it does). Let make it clear, what platform for online learning is the best and which steps to take from the idea to launching a great app.

  • Key things about online learning
  • State and prospects of the market
  • How does a useful and convenient platform for online tutoring look like
  • How to develop a platform for online learning
  • To sum up

What is online learning?

Wikipedia defines this process as the interaction between a teacher and a student/students who use digital connecting services and are temporarily or permanently located in different places.

These services can be:

  • Educational platforms that hire teachers. All that tutor needs in this case are: proficiency, enthusiasm and good internet connection. Working materials, management, marketing and all kinds of support are provided.
  • Marketplaces. Here you are on your own. You can create your account, post the information about yourself, your skills, achievements and opportunities, find students and earn money.
  • Video chat platforms. This is where we’ll find our most beloved Zoom and all similar products. 
  • A mix of everything above.

Why does developing a learning marketplace make sense?

The online education market is going to be one of the most promising next year. By 2026 it is expected to earn +/- $ 375 billion in profits and 178 million of them will be on-demand personal training.

Still have any doubts whether creating an educational app makes sense? Keep on reading then.

  • Generations Y and Z absolutely and undoubtedly prefer online learning. If millennials call it rather an option, Zs can’t imagine themselves in the “classroom-desk-textbook-notebook” cycle.
    There also are schools in many countries that don’t have all the necessary materials in their libraries, so students need to look for information or even the whole courses by themselves.
  • It’s hard to imagine an interview without questions about finished online courses, isn’t it? It’s not only a way to figure out whether the applicant has all essential skills, but also a personality test. Because when you have a chance to improve while staying in your bedroom, then why wouldn’t you do that?
  • Your residence can’t be an obstacle to learning or teaching. It’s not a problem to find a tutor/student in a big city, but for small towns, villages and suburbs it can be quite a challenge. With a good internet and an account on a tutor marketplace, you can be a teacher even on a desert island.
  • Will we get back to the pre-COVID era? Unlikely. The changes caused by the global pandemic are enormous and things can’t just roll back to 2019. Adapting to a new reality is a priority for all businesses.

    Ned Renzi, the investor in the giant online learning platform Paper, notes that the demand for online tutoring services is huge nowadays, and there are not enough digital resources to meet that demand. It is worth noting that Mr. Renzi has no illusions about the returning of the world education system to the pre-quarantine state.

CEO of the online education platform Chegg Dan Rosenschweig in his financial report for the first quarter of 2020 reveals data about his company income: the revenue was 131.6 million dollars, which means a 35% increase.

  • Stay at Home as a new life philosophy. Schools and universities that don’t have their own distance learning tools need to work on their creation or using available marketplaces. For many colleges and universities a distant studying is going to be a new normal for a few next years.
  • Many countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, have banned offline tutoring services to prevent spreading of the virus. Such restrictions are actual till the end of a pandemic. While this end is ghostly, we can’t have high hopes that something will change soon.
  • Borders are blurred and your location isn’t so important anymore.  You can work with students from any country or finish a course in a university you could only dream about.
  • State authorities not only recommend, but insist on using digital tools for distance learning. There are good chances to get financial support from the government.

All of the above should not leave even the slightest doubt that working on a platform for online learning makes sense. So let’s take a look at what this platform should look like.

The main characteristics of the platform

If you are thinking about creating a platform for online learning, but don’t know who Joanna Kaminski is, be sure to check out a couple of videos in her blog. If it won’t be useful, it will definitely lighten your mood.

Joanna says that among the large number of educational programs and platforms for hosting these programs, it’s still difficult to find one that would meet all the needs and expectations of both the tutor and the student. The vast majority of platforms are made for connecting them. Afterwards, they discuss the details in a chosen messenger or by phone, go to Skype or Zoom for a lesson then use another app to pay. And then they schedule the next lesson in Google Calendar or in a notebook.

According to Joanna (and we totally agree with her), it would be great to have services that would bring in one all these needs. The person will always go from where it’s ok, to where it’s better. And then they will still look for the best.

Based on the analysis of some services, users feedback, and our own experience we concluded, that a good tutoring platform offers:

  • Quick registration, perfectly – with social media profiles, and easy log in.
  • Comfortable search with filters.
  • Built-in messenger.
  • Scheduling via a built-in calendar or sync with a Google Calendar.
  • Editing a schedule: changing the time, cancelling, etc.
  • Safe and fast payment, receiving a check, having several payment options: for the entire course / for each lesson separately / etc.
  • Gaining a rating, leaving feedback and recommendations.

 

How to develop an online learning platform: a step-by-step guide

It’s clear now that there is a demand and we know which platform will satisfy this demand. The last question is how to do it.

  • To develop and successfully launch a well designed and useful platform takes time and resources. In addition, the release never means that the work is done. There always is something that needs to be added, fixed or deleted. Therefore, focus on the MVP. To do this, you need to choose the most important and necessary features and work on them.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of design, the new Google algorithms for 2021 are very UX-oriented. Therefore, even if you want to save on something or someone, it should not be a designer. Development takes place in parallel with the tracking of SEO trends and their prompt application. Creative graphics, animation and usability – three pillars upon which the design of your site rests.
  • With a clear understanding of what you want to get as the final result, find a team of skilled developers. You can always use ready-for-use solutions, but they won’t be suitable for a complex project with advanced functionality, unique features and integrated software.

In the following iterations feel free to have all the fun and add / remove / change the functionality.

To Sum Up

Last few years – a golden time for online learning marketplaces. Teaching platforms that connect teachers and students, allow them to plan and conduct lessons, get feedback and monetize their knowledge are essential nowadays. And it’s not only about money, but it’s also about creating something that can be helpful for millions of people and make a significant impact on their lives.