Knowledge has never been as available as it is today. This is due to the available technologies. One of them is the possibility of online education. The e-learning model itself sets the pace at which it increases the level of education. It created a completely new dynamics of learning, appreciated by an increasing number of users. Instead of forging unnecessary materials in a stuffy room, it offers a choice. So you decide for yourself what you want to learn, when and where. Besides, you can do it almost for free, and not at the expense of pausing your career or a private life.
When analyzing popular distance learning offers, one may wonder what makes them so successful and what is the factor that tilts the scales towards a particular choice? Courses at prestigious universities, or maybe a set of e-learning platform functions? Check what characterizes a good online learning platform!
Trends in online education
Due to the global blockage caused by COVID-19, experts predict that the global online education market will grow to $325 billion over the next 5 years. The reason is the high demand for cheap educational services with flexible curricula and the constantly growing demand for corporate training. For now, the pandemic has already forced the $600 billion higher education industry to move to the online world. But it doesn't stop there.
With the spread of the pandemic around the world, new trends in online education could influence a future situation. Even the most conservative educational institutions began the transformation towards digitization, which favored the development of innovation. In addition, new alliances between IT companies, education organizations and governments are growing. Their goal is to develop online education systems and make them accessible to all students. However, a side effect may be the negative impact of global digitization - a gap in the quality of education and access between developed economies where students have more opportunities and Third World countries.
The fact is, however, that corporations are becoming the main users of online education models. Employees of 77% of American companies take part in training camps organized by Udemy and Coursera. Corporate users choose e-learning platforms because it is an effective and fast way to develop the competences of their own staff. Besides, virtual courses are likely to increase knowledge retention up to 60%. In turn, 67% of companies provide educational services for mobile users. On the one hand, this helps companies meet demand. On the other hand, it gives them an advantage over their rivals.
So is this a good time to try your hand at creating e-learning courses? The facts show that it definitely is. It should also be remembered that trends such as technical skills, self-management and personal effectiveness are gaining momentum, and these are areas with a really large training potential.
Basic functions of the e-learning platform
Independent peer review platforms publish hundreds of user reviews of their experiences with online courses. Most of them concern insufficient platform functionality, which causes students to drop out of their studies. What opportunities are key for portals offering online courses? How to create an e-learning service with a scaling perspective?
Virtual offices for users
Considering the range of opportunities offered by online educational portals, i.e. creating and selling courses for teachers and enrolling in programs for students, they should also ensure implementation in personal areas where all users can perform tasks. First, think about how a user registers on your portal. There are several preferred options, and this is not just an email registration.
Create an online learning platform with authentication via social networks and it will save users’ time and effort. Personal profile settings and options vary by user type. Lectures will require tools to create and sell courses, edit programs and assignments, track student progress, add events, manage and share documents, etc.
The most important features of the online learning platform for student accounts are profile and personal information settings, courses and their status (in progress, completed, active, inactive, etc.), purchased subscriptions, access to the Help Center, and a calendar.
Movies, podcasts, online presentations, interactive materials - the range of learning materials is huge. Does your portal have to support all these formats? Probably yes. Ideally, create an e-learning site where teachers can upload and share a variety of multimedia files and resources, from PDFs to richer content. Provide for file size restrictions, their mobile and offline compatibility, and accessibility options to grant or restrict access based on the user's role.
How to create an e-learning platform?
During the first conversation with business analysts, you will tell them about your requirements for the e-learning system. Next, the specifics of your company will be studied, and the target market will be carefully analyzed. Finally, the professionals will provide requirements, specifications and technical suggestions.
In terms of UX / UI design, the results documented in the previous stage will be needed. This will help predict user traffic and patterns that will be the foundation for your platform's future UX. Through user research and a mock-up, the visual design will be matched to the business goals and customer needs.
When all resources are ready for engineering, the developers come into play. The development process in experienced software houses is well established so you can be sure that your budget estimates and deadlines will be met, whatever the conditions.
What about post-implementation support? If you want to start with an MVP (working product, but with a minimum of functions), many development companies have services offering support and development of an e-learning platform with extended functionality. The post-launch services provided will then include technical consulting, continuous development, UI and UX improvement.
Online education service providers have revolutionized the education sector in a short time. Earning degrees in various sciences and disciplines, or simply self-education, has become much easier than before. Even students can be successful in advancing their careers and building a personal brand. Corporate training and staff education are no longer a nuisance and an unpleasant duty for the employer and the employee himself. All this thanks to the robust and feature-rich e-learning sites. Interactive projects, free trials or modern payment options are just a few of the features that will surely attract the customer. Not only individual, but also corporate. Online learning is a growing market sector and you should consider opening a similar business or digitizing an existing one to grow your own business!