How To Build A Leading eLearning Platform In 5 Steps
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Building An eLearning Platform

School closures across 188 countries due to the COVID-19 outbreak made remote learning a necessity. No wonder more people begin to see eLearning software development as an appealing business opportunity and a winning solution, which can meet the growing educational needs of the nations. And EdTech will not be a quickly passing trend. Even when the pandemic dies down, accessible, effective, and flexible education is here to stay. Wondering how to build an eLearning platform that thrives? Keep reading to find out.

Why You Should Build An eLearning App: COVID-19 Comes Into Play

There is surpassing evidence from search engines around the web that notes a rise in the demand for online education. There were four times more searches for such keywords as online learning, eLearning, and Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) in Canada, France, Italy, the UK, and the US just as the lockdown started.

Though a global transition to an online learning environment was painful in many ways, it also uncovered numerous benefits. Some of them are:

  • Flexibility
    With eLearning, you can easily combine work and studies and not be limited to a classroom, city, or even your country.
  • Self-paced learning
    Log in when it’s comfortable for you. Easily go back to previous lectures, steps, or lessons to clarify anything you missed.
  • Time-efficiency
    According to Brandon Hall, eLearning typically requires 40-60% less time investment from a student than learning in a traditional classroom.
  • Control over studies
    Online students learn at the speed comfortable for them, and, according to IBM, can assimilate five times more information in online courses than in traditional courses.
  • High retention rates
    Keeping a student engaged throughout a course is always a problem. However, according to the Research Institute of America, eLearning has actually led to increased student retention rates by 25 to 60%, compared to retention rates of 8 to 10% with traditional learning.

Such benefits of online learning platforms and apps and the growing demand for them are sure to catch the attention of aspiring startups and entrepreneurs. According to Statista, the size of the global eLearning market by 2026 is forecasted to reach 370 billion U.S. dollars, while in 2019 it was estimated at approximately 101 billion U.S. dollars.

With that in mind, let’s explore what it takes to develop a successful eLearning platform in just 5 steps.

How To Build An eLearning Platform

1. Closely Study Your Niche

One of the crucial steps of product development is to find a problem worth solving. Without a problem, your platform will not come into play as a vital solution within the market.

So, before moving ahead, think about the possible value and benefits your product can bring to its future users. You can ask yourself these questions to define a business idea:

  • What challenges have you faced in education?
  • How can you address those challenges?
  • What can be improved in the niche you are working in?/What opportunities do you see in other niches?
  • Who are your competitors and what do they lack?

A great example of seeing challenges in education and solving them with a software solution is Tutor House, a leading eLearning platform in the UK. Its founder, Alex Dyer, a former teacher, came to realize that the traditional approach where there is 1 teacher and 30 students is not that effective because it lacks close collaboration and personalization.

In his opinion, the only real way a student learns is by building reciprocal relationships with teachers during one-on-one classes expertly tailored to meet their needs. His online platform is meant to help students receive top quality and personalized education and grow both academically and personally by connecting them with skilled tutors. Alex Dyer mentions his journey in this interview.

2. Outline A Relevant Solution 

Now, be more specific. Gather your findings and shape them into a ready-to-develop app idea. Think thoroughly about the type of your eLearning platform and its features.

What is the type of eLearning platform?

  • Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)
  • Online tutoring platform
  • Online employee training
  • Video-based eLearning

What are the must-have features needed to satisfy your future users? Here are some ideas:

  • Tracking and reports
  • Evaluation
  • Virtual classroom
  • User-friendly UI/UX design
  • Social learning tools (e.g., group discussions, forums, personal blogs)
  • High-quality learning resources

Also, choose the tech stack. Different important aspects of your platform development depend on it:

  • The budget and time frames
  • The functionality of the platform and its APIs
  • Going for a website or a mobile app—the distribution via Play Store (Android apps) or App Store (iOS apps), or both (cross-platform apps)
  • Further maintenance and updates

After you decide on the crucial requirements for your eLearning platform, you’ll get a clearer picture of what functionality to have, how much budget to spend to bring the platform to life, and what features you can add later. Note all of these down and proceed to the next step.

3. Choose The Right Software Development Partner

The software development process consists of requirements gathering, planning, wireframes creation, development, testing, product release, and further maintenance. The best choice to efficiently cope with all these stages is to hire an experienced tech agency.

Why is it good? They’ll be able to guide you through the whole process and completely cover all your development needs. You can opt for an outsourcing vendor or hire full-time developers. With the first option, the cost will be cheaper without compromising on quality.

But how to choose a tech agency you can rely on? Follow these 3 simple points:

  1. Check out more targeted websites such as Clutch or Upwork, or just a good old Google search.
  2. The must-take strategy is to review the portfolio cases, tech stack, industries the agency specializes in, and their clients’ feedback.
  3. Reach out to tech agencies you like and schedule a call to specify the budget, time frames, number of developers, and so on.

After the call, you’ll be able to single out your future tech partner in eLearning platform development. Sign an NDA and wait no longer to begin shaping your idea.

4. Test Your Idea On Real Users

Market your product to make it known. Think about how you are going to attract your first clients, students, and/or teachers. Your product may be great but if no one knows about it, they will never discover its benefits.

One more important thing you get when you test your product is the first users’ feedback. You’ll understand what works the best for your customers and what can be improved. This valuable information can help you scale up your eLearning platform, make it stand out, and respond to the learners’ needs most efficiently. That brings us to the last step.

5. Get Better

When you start building your product with the core functionality, it creates room for new features and adjustments later in the development process, after getting to know what your customers really need. Successful platform development is always a matter of trying out different ideas and features that can solve specific problems and greatly improve User Experience.

Don’t be afraid to change the roadmap along the way when you see that changes are needed. Especially in the unprecedented times, with COVID-19 on the loose, you have to adapt. Keep your product relevant in a competitive market, try to meet the new needs, and always get better.

Conclusion

With a better understanding of how to build a successful eLearning platform, we can leverage the most of education and technology to bring about winning solutions. So, take a closer look at your niche. What can you do now to meet the rising needs of learners and teachers?

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