Nowadays, accessing valuable data and learning information is easier than ever before, and many companies are adopting new digital innovations to help their businesses thrive. E-Learning is a form of disseminating information across the world by using electronic technologies to show educational curriculums. It differs from a traditional classroom because a student can have access to a course just by having an online connection.
Today people of all genders use benefits of e-learning opportunities. Data provided by Statista, describes the share of UK individuals who are involved in these services by gender and age.
Many people are turning to e-Learning course development because it offers so many advantages compared to the traditional classroom. According to Statista, there has been a steady increase in the number of people buying e-Learning material from 2011-2018 in the UK. This trend is not limited to the UK, but also popular in other countries. Here are some numbers, which showcase the prediction concerning worldwide growth of the e-learning market.
The main reason for this is that more and more people are finding out about the benefits of these courses and want to learn online. Some of the main advantages of e-Learning include:
- A flexible schedule - you choose when to learn in a way that fits your availability
- The ability to study anywhere you’d like
- A wide variety of courses to choose from
- No need to commute to far places
Apart from how convenient online learning is, some people also use this type of learning because of the reduced cost compared to traditional classes. The cheaper price does not mean lower quality. Users expect to receive the same quality of education as they would anywhere else.
Moreover, it allows students a wider array of options to advance in a career. E-Learning is cheap and accessible and helps to improve technical skills. The mere fact that online education is on the rise shows that more e-Learning software development is required. Now people are willing to spend on online education more than ever.
However, some still have concerns and here are most frequent of them:
So, how do you create a custom e-Learning development software?
Types of e-Learning Platforms
Before you start working on your e-Learning application, you need to have an idea of what a competent e-Learning platform consists of. An e-Learning platform is a set of online services that enhance how education is delivered to students. There are several types of e-Learning platforms. Each of these platforms has a different set of functions, thus they can be applied for different courses or programs. These include:
Open-source learning platforms
An open-source platform has the basic functionalities that are required for developing and hosting an online course. The best feature of open source platforms is that they can be used for custom e-Learning development software. Example of this type of platforms is Moodle, ATutor, and Eliademy.
Massive open online coursework providers
These are created for a large group of users. The main goal is to offer services for a particular field of study, with universities being the service provider in most cases. One of the examples is the Udacity platform created by two professors from Stanford, and offering students to pass the online certification.
Content management systems for e-Learning
Integrating third-party plugins and adding necessary components to some of the existing content management systems you can create an e-learning website of any complexity, and easily generate and manage the content within your platform. E.g., such CMSs like Drupal, PHPNuke and CoreMedia CMS belong to this category.
Web conferencing software
This type of software gives users the ability to hold conference calls online, including educational purposes like lectures, group discussions, or other forms of remote teaching. It is the best option when it comes to tutoring online. Skype for business, ClickMeeting, and Livestorm attribute to such type of software.
So, how do you select what online learning platform to create? The process of building a platform can be difficult in itself, but before anything is started it is important to choose the right path to take. Planning is very crucial when it comes to creating any type of software.
Apart from the main goal of designing the learning software, you should also look at how much time you are willing to spend on your work. Another major constraint when it comes to choosing the type of online learning platform is the resources you are willing to invest.
Typical e-Learning Platform Features
When you are creating your e-Learning development platform, there are some standard features that you will need to include. These features will provide you with an essential foundation from which you can focus on making your platform stand out. The most important features are listed below.
The first step for a learning website is to set up a system that allows users to sign up. This is the same idea as admission to an educational institution. In this case, profile creation is the first step in an online admissions process. Without this, students won't have access to online courses. After creating an account, users can then log into a learning management system (LMS) where they will be provided with the syllabus, learning material, and contacts of tutors.
LMS Dashboards (reports and analytics)
An LMS is an administrative feature of the learning software. It is important for documentation, analytics, and reporting for online educational facilities. The rise of learning management systems is due to an increase in the number of people opting for online education. You can customize an LMS to suit the need of your users. This is about what your particular users need to know, and what information will better help them learn and feel a part of your community.
Content management helps you to provide the content that will be of use to people using your learning website. Content can be improved by:
- Structuring content into small groups
- Making modules of no more than 10 pages
- Including interactive activities
- Adding images or videos
Managing users and courses
Student Management Systems (SMS) are important because they allow tracking and recording of all student-related activities. This includes storing test scores, attendance, and the number of examinations written. The best function of an SMS is that it helps tutors to identify the weaknesses of students so that improvements can be made.
An LMS should integrate email notifications. Scheduled email notification reporting will also make an e-Learning software more useful. Notification features allow teachers to monitor the learning activities of students. This includes interactions on a course or performance on tests. Notifications will also let service providers know when students comment on course pages.
Authentication/registration via email or social media
The very first user interaction with your platform will happen at the stage of the registration. Avoid multiple registration steps and give your users the possibility of fast authentication via email or popular social media. Thus, the duration and complexity of registration will be minimized, and within a minute, the user will get an access to other benefits of the platform.
Recent research has shown that there is a rise in the number of employees using mobile learning in company training. Thus, all online learning platforms should be mobile-friendly. This allows users to access a software from any mobile device, making your content even more accessible and convenient than before.
Tests and assessments
Assessment tools are essential for any learning software. Just like students in a face-to-face classroom receive tests and feedback from their teacher, students using an online program need some form of exam or test to evaluate their knowledge.
E-Learning certification is a way for employees to showcase their achievements. This way they can showcase the effort they put into learning to employers and potential clients, much like a degree certificate would signify a person’s credentials gained from their studies. Your online learning software should be able to provide certificates once a course has been completed. Make sure that you offer valid certifications.
A learning software should provide a smooth UI (User Interface) for both users and service providers. The instructor must be able to add a payment option with ease. The user shouldn’t have any trouble answering questions or finding their way around basic functions. Also, it is necessary to provide a secure system so that sensitive information is kept private. A live chat can be effective in providing fast support.
For your e-Learning website to reach more people, it should have language localization to adapt to other languages and cultures.The linguistic and cultural context of a local language should be put into consideration when translating an e-Learning website. Some ideas and values that seem like basic knowledge in one country might be rarely talked about or understood in another.
Online learning can cause users to feel disconnected at times, which can lead to poor performance. To avoid this problem, make sure you add a feature that allows you to gain fast feedback. In this way, students can have interactions with teachers which makes learning more interesting. Feedback can act as a report on user satisfaction. On the other hand, when a student is unable to get adequate feedback, they can become frustrated and give up on the course altogether.
Easy-to-use filtered course searching
A good online learning platform should be easy to use. This includes giving students the opportunity to filter their search for the course they want depending on their field of interest. Navigation should be smooth and it should be easy to find courses. This is especially important once you have a high volume and variety of courses as prospective users can become overwhelmed and end up not finding what might have been the perfect course for them.
Summing up, we mentioned the basic features to pay attention to when building an e-Learning platform. However, each set of features must be defined depending on the particular functionality and intention of the chosen type of platform.
You should conduct diligent research on how to create an e-Learning website before getting too far into the process as there might be other features you need that were not mentioned on the list, which would be defined depending on the specification of your project.
How to Create e-Learning Platform
Now that you know more about e-Learning features, you can proceed with building the platform. To better learn how to create an e-Learning platform, here are some important steps:
Define the idea
The first step is to decide on the type of e-Learning platform that you want to create. This will help you to come up with a blueprint of what the entire software should look like. It also permits you to establish the functionality that will be needed in your online learning platform. The more detailed you can make the foundational idea, the smoother every following step will go.
Select the critical features for the platform
Once you know the essential idea of what you are building you can select what individual features you want to include in the learning platform. Make sure you include the most important features that will enhance the functionality of a learning software. Also, make sure that users will have no troubles when it comes to navigating a learning website, so functions must work together in a logical organization.
Create a mind map
A mind map is a way for you to present a geographic vision of your software, or representation of how each function will be presented to users. The advantage of putting your thoughts down is that it enhances creativity, and makes organizing a large amount of functions and features easier. Make sure you include the most important features necessary for your particular type of learning platform.
The next step is to create wireframes that show the layout of a web page or app. This gives you a clear picture of what your website will display. A wireframe helps designers and clients to make sure that both parties are on the same page. For example, if the client is not satisfied with the wireframe, changes can be made before the website is completed. This is also a stage where you can experiment with different designs without devoting too much extra time to ideas that don’t work.
Test your hypotheses and make any necessary changes
Ideas on paper may sound good. But this may not be the same once a working prototype is ready. Testing on real users is the best way of assessing if the platform will be a hit or miss. You can test your ideas with users at any stage — from blueprints and mind maps to wireframes — by asking what features people would like to be added or altered in your learning software. Wherever you test these ideas, it is important that you do it at some point before committing designs to full development.
The UI design of a software helps you make sure that all the interface elements are easy to access, clear, and concise. UI/UX should be simple and equally engaging. To have a successful UI make sure you keep everything simple. This includes:
- A simple layout
- Careful placement of each element
- Using non-contrasting colors
- Precise wording that doesn’t overwhelm the user
Building the System Architecture
A system architecture, the organization of information, will act as a blueprint for developing a software. Here you can lay out all the tasks that the design team should perform. It is important to communicate system architecture between the designers and clients so that everyone is on the same page.
Development of structural modules
Develop structural modules — which is where the overall design is broken into individual parts to be focused on for their specific function — so that each module can best execute only the function it was intended to perform. Modules can then interact through different independently designed interfaces. Once each piece is working in the way it needs to, the small modules can be composed together to form one working program.
Testing a ready product
Once your product is ready for use, make sure you test it out. This gives you a chance to take action before the product is on the market. Testing the completed software before launching helps you to review all features to make sure they are functioning well.
Launch the platform
When you have done all the steps required in creating an e-Learning platform, you can proceed to launch your product. You can start with a pilot to test the initial learning experience of users and grow from there.
Want more insights from UDTech? Find out how we build shopping apps step-by-step.
How We Have Created e-Learning Software
Here is an example of our experience in the field of e-Learning. We were heavily involved in creating software dashboards for Robotify, an application that allows teachers to educate students on how to use robots. Teachers use an interface to lease a robot’s time and invite students to take classes. Students, in turn, can book classes.
This platform possess all the essential features and has a user-friendly interface that make it intuitive to use for both, teachers and students.
For clients who want to create a quality e-Learning platform with basic features and at minimum cost, we always advice to start from MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Such approach normally saves up to 75% of the funds and decreases development time according to your requirements.
As an example, we offer you to look at the minimum time estimates for design and development processes required for creation of the e-Learning platform.
UI/UX Design - 120+ hours
Development - 500+ hours
In conclusion, we understand that the key to growth lies in how well you serve your customers.We are UDTech company - the team of experts skilled enough to cope with the tasks of any complexity and to create products providing our clients and their customers with the best experience ever. Feel free to contact us for more information.