Elearning Software Development: How to Build an Education Platform?

elearning app development
Faiza Khalid
CIS engineer | Developer | Tech Writer

The Elearning software development industry has seen massive growth in previous years.

It is one of the few industries that flourished during the Covid-19 pandemic when the majority of businesses came to a standstill.

Startup founders and business owners see promising investment opportunities in the eLearning market, with its worth expected to reach $325 billion by 2025

If you are also interested in eLearning software development and unsure about how to go about it, we have got you covered.

In this article, we will discuss what an eLearning platform is and why you should consider investing in one. We will also look into how to build a market-competitive eLearning solution. So, let’s start.

What is an eLearning Platform?

eLearning or electronic learning is education or training materials delivered through electronic devices like laptops and mobile phones over the internet services. These eLearning platforms can take the form of:

  • MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) like Udemy and Coursera;
  • Virtual Learning Environments like Moodle;
  • Video Streaming like YouTube channels;
  • Virtual instructor-led Training like MasterClass;
  • Forums like The Education Forum;
  • Webinars like WebinarJam.

Why Develop an eLearning Solution?

eLearning or online education is becoming increasingly popular due to better accessibility to mobile devices and internet connectivity.

According to a recent report, in 2021, 50% of the students enrolled in the University of Florida were online. The benefits of eLearning education include:

  • Flexible learning schedule;
  • Opportunity to take one on one classes with the tutor;
  • Self-paced learning – the self-paced eLearning product market has reached 46.67 billion US dollars in 2021;
  • Time-efficient – According to a report, the eLearning courses are completed 60% faster than the traditional in-person classes with better student retention rates;
  • Cost-effective.

These benefits make online education a lucrative industry with a 2027 market value projection of $1 trillion

Apart from educational institutions, business corporations are also investing in online learning solutions for employee training programs.

40% of Fortune 500 companies are using eLearning for employees. The eLearning corporate training market is expected to reach USD 37.80 billion by 2025.

Innovative technologies like the 5G network, augmented reality, and virtual reality are improving online educational platforms drastically.

The US and Europe are leading global eLearning markets. By investing in interactive eLearning software development, you can expect exponential growth in your business.

Next, let’s explore eLearning software in detail. This will give you an idea of what features to consider when developing your custom eLearning solutions.

Basic Features of an eLearning Product:

Signup/Login:

The first essential feature is a signup option to register new users and a login for the existing ones.

Avoid making registration time-consuming by asking for unnecessary details like payment details on the first visit. This increases the bounce rate on your eLearning platform.

Keep the signup and sign-in feature simple yet secure. Ensure personal data security on user login through techniques like two-factor authentication through a contact number or an email address.

You can also provide signup through social media accounts like Google, Facebook, etc. This will help you collect relevant user data such as age group and location.

Better insights into the user base will help you improve the eLearning content. 

Social media integration will also help to share content on multiple channels, encourage discussion, and thus, find a new audience.

User Dashboard:

A user dashboard serves as the ‘home screen’ for users. It helps with

  • Tracking users’ progress – their enrolled courses, the lectures they have completed, upcoming lessons, due assignments, and so on.
  • Easy access to relevant options like continuing a lesson and starting work on due assignments with one click or displaying courses a user might be interested in taking next according to their past preferences.
  • You can also use this page to improve sales by showing discount offers or popular courses on your platform.

Search Bar:

A search bar is an important feature if you plan on hosting a lot of learning content on your online learning platform. Give users the option to search their relevant subjects and filter through them by search tags, categories, etc.

Smart Analytics:

It helps students keep track of their learning. It shows the courses they have completed successfully, those requiring improvement, and the next courses the student should enroll in according to their lacking or interests.

AI technology helps automation of collecting user data and making personalized suggestions to the users.

Course Creation:

This feature will allow teachers to create course materials including, lectures, assignments, quizzes, etc. You can further provide an option to add video content for a better user learning experience.

Information Management Software:

IMS is useful for both students and teachers. Students can look into data to find courses popular in their field of interest.

The teachers can use the data to plan future learning content and customization of existing courses. They get insights into what users are most interested in.

Gamification:

Gamification is a very interesting feature for eLearning apps to keep users motivated and hooked to your eLearning platform. The games and rewards encourage users to unlock new achievements. These can include:

  • Scorecards or leaderboards for completing lessons or tasks successfully.
  • Badges and awards on scoring high.
  • Platform currency and gifts to be earned on completing course milestones.

Payment Options:

Integrating a reliable payment channel is an essential feature. An easy add-to-cart and payment details option will help users quickly buy new courses.

The number of available payment options is also important. Try to add as many as possible, like PayPal, multiple credit card options, etc.

eLearning Software Development – A Guide:

Now we will discuss custom eLearning development workflow, technical expertise, and marketing procedure for eLearning software. To develop a market-competitive eLearning platform, consider going through the following steps.

eLearning App Idea:

Start by looking into the eLearning niche. Study the online learning problems faced by the users. Finding a problem will help you formulate a goal for your eLearning app.

Your app goal will help you think of solutions for the difficulties eLearning users are facing. A solution-based eLearning platform idea is likely to be welcomed by the users.

To check how well your solution to a particular eLearning problem sits with the audience, conduct market research. 

  • Research the successful eLearning platforms. Learn why users prefer them.
  • Look into the possible reasons for eLearning software failure. Why audience did not welcome them? What do they lack? What do customers want differently?
  • Compare the market competitors with your eLearning concept.

Market Research:

Use online platforms like Pew Research Center and tools like Growthbar to collect insights on your target eLearning niche and its market players.

Outline a Software Solution:

Plan the format for your eLearning software. An eLearning platform can take many forms. You can design classes that students can enroll in or develop test-based software with MCQ-type questions on different subjects.

Moreover, the learning content can be in the form of text and PDFs or long-form videos. 

You can also decide from the eLearning platform types we discussed above like, online tutoring, MOOC, employee training, etc.

Partner with a Software Development Team:

Software development is an extensive process of requirement gathering, software development planning, wireframing, development, testing, and deployment.

It is best if the process is executed by professionals. For eLearning software development, your technical team should include:

  • UI/UX designer;
  • Front-end developer for a web app;
  • Back-end developer for a web app;
  • Android/ iOS developers for a mobile app;
  • Business analyst;
  • Project manager.

In case of unavailable technical resources, you can always partner with an eLearning expert software development company.

The professional software development agency is an expert in enterprise-level and market-competitive software development services. They have better project management strategies like agile in place. 

Moreover, the designated project manager assists in better communication between developers and clients and effective implementation of the development plan. 

With software companies, it is up to you if you want to outsource your complete eLearning software development project or just want to hire a few technical software engineers for eLearning development services.

The flexibility helps you invest in technical resources as and when needed while having access to a bigger pool of technical talent.

You can choose a suitable software development company by going through their website and checking their reviews online.

The portfolio of a software development company with past projects will guide you if they are an expert in eLearning solution development and a better fit for you.

Design and Development:

With the help of UI/UX designers, design a user-friendly eLearning solution. Wireframes help with sketching the structure and flow of software solutions. It reflects the business requirements and the user needs. 

The app UI is of prime importance as it keeps users engaged with your software. An interactive logo, color theme, typography, etc., play a crucial role in creating a pleasant user experience.

The development of eLearning software will start with prototyping. App mockups are created in this phase to build a minimum viable product (MVP).

An MVP is a basic software solution with all the essential features. The MVP is presented to the users, and their reaction is recorded. 

The MVP is then refined by adding more features and making improvements according to the user recommendations. The MVP becomes a workable product with scalable architecture, API integrations, payment gateways, social media integrations, etc.

Read our guide on creating an MVP with minimum possible risks.

Before releasing the eLearning software product in the user market, debugging and testing are done. The QA specialists test the eLearning product for any bugs and glitches.

They ensure all functional and business requirements are met, and that the software is running as planned. 

In case of any bugs, the development team intervenes and removes them. Otherwise, the eLearning software is released and deployed for the users to use.

This is a good stage to discuss the technical expertise required to develop profitable eLearning software. Some of the skills you should look for in your onboarding developers are as follows:

Technical Expertise Required for eLearning Website Development:

Your developers should be experts in front-end and back-end development stacks for web application development.

  • Front-end Development:

Front-end web application developers should know programming languages like JavaScript and TypeScript for creating an interactive and dynamic website.

They should be proficient in CSS3 and HTML 5 as markup languages for styling and structuring web page elements.

 JavaScript frameworks like Angular, React, and Vue are commonly used today for efficient web application development.

  • Back-end Development:

For back-end development, there are numerous programming languages in use. Developers should be experts in any of them.

Some of these are PHP, Python, Java, and Ruby. All these are modern programming languages and help build a robust and secure web application.

Different frameworks are available for each of these programming languages. The developers should be experts in using the relevant one like Ruby on Rails for the Ruby programming language.

Dev teams should also be experts in using database servers like PostgreSQL and MySQL for eLearning platform data management and storage.

They should also be knowledgeable about web servers like Nginx and Apache for hosting web applications. 

Technical Expertise Required for eLearning Mobile App Development:

There are two different skill sets for Android and iOS (Apple) mobile apps. You can choose mobile app developers depending on the mobile operating system used by the customers you want to reach out to.

  • Android Development Skillset:

For Android app development, your app developers should be experts in programming languages like Java and Kotlin.

They should be experts in Android Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like Android Studio and Eclipse with Android SDK and tools like AVD Manager.

The SDK running on IDE helps developers in creating sophisticated apps by providing efficient code editing, debugging, and testing options.

The tools will help in making educational apps memory and performance efficient while maintaining perfect responsiveness on every Android device.

  • iOS Development Skillset:

Your iOS app developer should be an expert in programming languages like Swift and Objective-C.

They should be proficient in using iOS development IDE like Apple Xcode and Software development toolkits (SDK) like iOS SDK and Cocoa Touch

The developers can create and optimize native iOS apps through SDK tools and APIs for maximum in-app features and runtime efficiency on mobile hardware. 

Technical Expertise required for API Integrations:

Your dev team should have high-quality skills in API development and integrations. API integrations help in efficient app development while increasing in-app functionalities. 

Some of the API integration that your developers should be familiar with include Twilio, Apple Push Notification Service, etc., for push notifications, Gmail, Temp Mail, etc., for mailing service, and Stripe, Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc., for online payments.

Cloud Computing Skills for eLearning Software Development:

Cloud computing introduces flexibility in resources, faster technology upgrade, and economical scalability in businesses by offering computing services like servers, storage, networking, and software over the internet (on the cloud). 

Cloud computing is the most favorable development environment for eLearning with secure data storage, manageable development services, and faster computing platforms. 

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Microsoft Azure Cloud Server are examples of cloud servers your developers should know about, including other cloud computing services.

eLearning Content Development Tools:

The learning material is of prime importance on an eLearning platform. The audience is coming and staying on your app because of the eLearning content.

Your developers should make sure the content is designed and displayed according to the set standards. Some of these are:

It is a content management standard for packaging course content into special files. Content management applications then read these files.

It is a standard to connect third-party course material or tools to an eLearning platform.

Experience API is very common today for mobile learning apps. The specification helps in tracking and recording users’ all types of learning data online and offline on educational mobile apps.

The data is then used to provide better future learning options and can be shared among various platforms. 

It stands for Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee. All eLearning management systems should be AICC-compliant in course creation, content delivery, and evaluation

Additional Cutting-Edge Technological Expertise:

Lately, modern technologies are helping in creating an innovative and interactive user experience on eLearning platforms. Some of these include:

  • Artificial Intelligence:

Artificial Intelligence helps in replacing the old traditional way of conducting classes. It personalizes the learning process for each student.

It makes learning environments user-centric by monitoring the progress of each user individually. 

The progress data then helps in figuring out each learner’s strengths, interests, and areas of improvement. These insights help in recommending helpful learning paths to them. 

AI can create this automated personalized user experience through predictive machine learning algorithms.

Your dev team should have a machine learning developer, an expert in tools and frameworks like PyTorch, TensorFlow, etc., along with having in-depth knowledge of the working of ML algorithms.

  • AR and VR:

Augmented reality and virtual reality help to keep users engaged in the online learning process. It helps to understand complex concepts by helping to visualize them.

Interactive tools assist students in practically implementing their learning. 

ARKit, ARCore, and XZIMG are the development toolkits for augmented reality in iOS, Android, and desktop applications.

Your developers should be familiar with these for building AR features in the eLearning platform.

Read this article to learn more about AR and VR differences and to decide which is best for your business idea.

Market your eLearning platform:

You can adopt several strategies to market your eLearning platform among users. These include:

  • Running Ads

 You can advertise your online learning platform by running runs on websites. You can use services like Google Ads to place your product ads on search engines, banners, and advertisement blocks on the websites. 

  • Leveraging Social Media

Social media marketing is rapidly growing owing to the excessive use of social media among users.

You can post ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The social media platform will show your eLearning product to users as sponsored ad content. 

You can also invest in influencer marketing. The market worth of influencer marketing is 13.8 million US dollars in 2021

Figure out which platform is frequently visited by your potential customers using online tools like Hootsuite and Sproutsocial.

Invest in that channel by hiring social media personalities and marketing your eLearning software through them.

Our blog here explains creating influencer marketing solutions for your business in detail.

  • Digital Content Marketing:

Build your online presence through a resourceful blog website. Develop content that shows your expertise in the eLearning niche and helps you rank higher on the search engines.

Make use of text, videos, and infographics to promote your eLearning platform. Go through our guide on building an effective marketing strategy for your software product.

How to Monetize an ELearning Software?

An important aspect of eLearning software development is its monetization. How will you earn from your eLearning software solution? Some monetization models for an eLearning app include:

  • Subscriptions

You can offer monthly or yearly subscriptions to online learning content present on your eLearning platform. You can add courses developed by field professionals and provide them to students for a subscription fee.

  • Freemium Method

With the freemium model, you can offer teaching content for free, but the completion certificates are paid.

Initially, by providing free course material, you can generate more customers and expand your user base. The individual interested in professional learning will opt for paid certifications.

  • Marketplace

In an eLearning marketplace, you can sell online courses or learning material. You can partner with educators and professionals for course authoring and learning content creation by proving them with the eLearning authoring tool range.

On the sale of a learning course, you also earn a commission.

  • Corporate Collaborations

You can partner with corporations and organizations to develop online training software for the online training of their employees through interactive courses.

  • Affiliate Links

You can add paid links to other resources like books and tools for learners to progress successfully in the online course.

  • Advertisements

Running ads on your online educational software is a common method of online revenue generation. You can place ads for products and services relevant to eLearning and digital learning on your platform.

Final Thoughts

With the flourishing Edtech and digital learning industry, eLearning software demands next-level features to stand out in the education sector.

Seamless eLearning software development and working in return calls for professional technical expertise. 

DevTeam.Space has skilled dev teams to develop scalable and market-competitive eLearning software.

Contact us to discuss the details of your eLearning solution and partner with our exceptional developers for their eLearning software development services.

Top 3 FAQs on eLearning software development

1. What are the challenges in building an online education platform?

One of the challenges in running an online learning platform is to keep the users motivated. Individual learners often get demotivated and leave courses in between. Techniques like Gamification help in keeping users engaged. Another challenge is selecting an appropriate eLearning development model. For instance, some may require customizing an existing LMS like Moodle, while others require developing a new eLearning system from scratch.

2. How much does it cost to develop an eLearning website?

The total eLearning software development costs depend on the type of platform, the required features, and the software developers. Eastern European developers from Ukraine are popular for outsourcing software development projects. 

3. How is an LMS different from an eLearning platform?

The terms eLearning platform and learning management system are often used interchangeably. LMS or learning management systems is considered a part of an eLearning platform with features like eLearning authoring tools, tracking student progress, creating assignments, and delivering learning content online. A web application only allowing instructors to design their course content can be an eLearning platform while it is not an LMS.


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