Are you wondering how to create a professional e-learning platform and stand out from the competition? What should you pay attention to when building this kind of platform? And what functionalities are worth implementing to attract users?
If you want answers to these questions, you are in the right place! The popularity of all forms of online learning and the need for such solutions is growing. We have prepared a comprehensive article including pro tips on what you should consider when building your tool. Keep reading!
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What E-Learning Platforms Are and How the Trend Is Growing
E-learning platforms are solutions that allow you to improve your skills via the internet. Although educational technology is being constantly developed, we can observe some rapid growth since the COVID-19 outbreak. The current situation has forced millions of people all over the world to move their professional and educational lives online. All educational platforms that enable users to take lessons, training, courses, and various types of consultations have become more important in our lives than ever before.
Investing in education technology can help millions of businesses stay competitive in today’s market. E-learning platforms are great tools for schools, training companies, professionals offering courses, and other educational institutions.
Let’s look at some powerful statistics—they show significant numbers when it comes to forecasting the future of e-learning. First, let’s focus on a graph generated by Google Trends. You can see a significant increase in the popularity of the search term “e-learning” over the years, especially during the pandemic. It shows that the educational market has great potential and building an e-learning platform may be a good idea. Although it is dominated by leaders such as Udemy, there is still room in the market for those who want to create new solutions.
Second, let’s move on to reports and surveys. According to Forbes, the global market is expected to be worth around $325 billion by 2025. In comparison, the statistics from 2014 showed that the industry was worth $165.36 billion. Additionally, a survey conducted by Small Business Trends shows that almost 77% of American companies used e-learning solutions in 2017, but 98% of respondents plan to use those solutions in the coming years. More and more companies are seeing the unquestionable financial benefits of implementing such systems—in 2019, e-learning increased the income of American organizations by 42% (source: TechJury).
As you can see, the numbers say everything—e-learning is booming. (It’s worth mentioning that most of these studies were conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, so we will probably get some updates soon).
Five Advantages of E-Learning Platforms
One of the reasons why e-learning platforms are becoming so popular is the convenience they offer. Still, a well-crafted e-learning platform has many other advantages. Here a five of them:
- E-learning platforms are a good solution for every age group. They can be used by children and teenagers, as well as adults.
- They allow users to improve their skills and share knowledge on any topic (languages, science, and humanities, creative and technical).
- They ensure access to education from any location and for any group of people.
- They bring savings—there is no need to rent a place to conduct classes.
- They provide useful functionalities depending on the platform. For example, some offer access to a knowledge base or progress tracking.
How to Build an E-Learning Platform: What You Need to Know Before You Start
Before you decide to create an e-learning platform, remember that many factors affect the success of your product. Before you start thinking about the development process, look at your idea from a wide perspective and adjust all your activities to suit your target group.
In the beginning, you should identify your users’ needs and carefully select functionalities that will allow them to use your platform intuitively and effectively. Do you want to target your product at schools, companies, or individual people? By analyzing your target audience and its size, you can predict what type of platform and functionalities will be the most suitable.
What else should you do at the very beginning of your journey?
Here are some ideas:
- Prepare business model and a product development strategy. Before starting the development process, consider the overall strategy for your platform, including how you will monetize, promote, and develop it in the future.
- Analyze the competition. A market review is a good way to familiarize yourself with the available e-learning solutions and treat them as a benchmark for your platform. What’s more, it can help you gather new ideas and consider what you can do to make your product a hit.
- Decide what solutions you should use to build your system. You can create an e-learning platform from scratch, but you can also choose ready-made open-source solutions, such as Moodle or Cocorico (each has its pros and cons. If you’d like to learn more, let us know!) Remember that you will probably need some system integrations because some functionalities (for example, chats) are rarely created from scratch.
- Overcome some challenges. One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when creating a successful e-learning platform is maintaining user engagement. You can implement various interactive functionalities to increase users’ motivation and activity, but what works best? Implement some interesting challenges in your platform or use gamification to make a difference.
Building E-Learning Platforms: Six Key Functionalities
Most professional e-learning platforms are equipped with a number of functionalities that allow users easy and efficient access to learning. Of course, these functionalities may differ depending on the platform. You’ll need to adjust them to suit your strategy and target group. Take a look at some examples below.
Let’s start with basic functionality. A good audio-video system that allows for two-way communication between the teacher and the student is a must-have when it comes to building an e-learning platform.
Two-way communication using an interactive whiteboard is an important functionality from both the teachers’ and students’ points of view. It allows them to share important definitions, create notes, and do exercises during class.
All kinds of notifications are more than welcome. Students should be regularly informed about any changes in their courses. For example, students could be sent reminders before each class.
This functionality allows users to collect basic materials about the studied topic. It is very useful when they want to review the material and be up to date with all educational resources.
An e-learning platform should be equipped with a chat for ongoing communication between the users (asking questions, talking, etc.).
If your e-learning platform includes a number of courses, users should have intuitive access to each of them. A dashboard with a clear view and intuitive UX design helps users use the product effectively. Users should have the option to join a chosen course, check all the necessary course information, and start it from the point they left off.
We’ve mentioned just a few functionalities to consider when building an e-learning platform. Keep in mind that there are many more options, and the best way to choose the right ones is to carefully analyze your needs and target audience.
Turn Your Idea into Reality: Start Working on Your Platform Now
When you have an initial idea for an e-learning platform, the next step is finding the right IT partner to build a dedicated solution for you. This decision requires knowledge and wide experience in building e-learning platforms to ensure that the final product meets your needs.
We have experience in developing such projects for both the American and Polish markets. Our Polish application is currently the leading solution on the market. It is used by thousands of students and many public institutions.
The platform we created for a startup in the US is a revolutionary system aimed at helping people in difficult life situations. The platform offers users personalized development paths and provides courses and challenges motivating them to change their lives for the better. Find out more about this project by reading our case study.
Do you want to build a successful e-learning platform? Contact us and get a free quote! We are more than happy to talk about your product vision and answer any questions you may have.