Online education is one of the fastest-growing sectors of e-business and one of the hottest trends in the educational market. Logically enough, the number of various e-learning apps and websites is growing consistently. However, not all startups are equally successful. It depends on the chosen concept, the type of platform, its features, and other variables. In our review, we’ll try to find an answer to the question of how to create a successful e-learning project and how much it will cost.
Types of E-Learning Apps
Essentially, an e-learning platform is an online marketplace where one can get educational materials in various formats. Usually, they also let users track their progress and issue certificates or diplomas to the graduates. E-learning sites and webs come in a large variety. We’ll review two popular platforms – Coursera and Udemy – just to show two possible approaches.
Coursers are, probably, the best-known e-learning site around. It cooperates with reputable colleges and universities around the world. At the price of $39-79 per month, its users get access to university lectures and classes. The graduates of the e-courses get certificates. Also, Coursera offers some free courses.
This is another major e-learning provider, which offers a slightly different approach. Instead of colleges and universities, it collaborates with individual tutors and trainers. All in all, there are over 130 thousand programs to choose from. At the same time, Udemy focuses on quality as well: each participant must verify his/her identity, and the courses offered undergo a quality review. The prices for the course vary from $20 to $200.
When developing an e-learning app, you may opt for one of the two approaches: collaboration with official educational institutions or individuals. Both options have their strong and weak points.
Main Features of E-Learning Websites
E-learning websites can come in a variety of forms; their feature set may also vary. That is why we’ll review only basic MVP features that are mandatory for any educational site. Without these features, no e-learning platform can exist.
A Registration Page and User Profile
Every first-time user needs to fill out a registration form to become the site’s member. For old users, there must be an authorization form. The most common type of authentication is by entering an e-mail and a password. Some platforms allow signing up using social media accounts. A user profile page is meant for managing main account settings.
This feature is common for all major marketplaces, which offer a wide variety of services or goods. Regarding e-learning sites, there should be a possibility of sorting the courses by popularity, price, level, discipline, language, etc. On top of this, there must be a bar for searching by keywords and the feature of the autosuggestion of the most relevant or popular courses in the chosen category.
In simple terms, this is the page where a user’s statistics are shown. With its help, students can track their progress and check the total number of courses enrolled. Teachers, in turn, can monitor the number of students, the course’s ranking, and the revenue.
A Course Page
This page contains comprehensive information about the course and user reviews. Before purchasing a course, a user must be able to read its description and get information about its authors, materials included, and duration. After purchasing, all the materials are available on the course page.
A Payment Page
An e-learning website must provide secure and reliable payment methods, as thousands of students will purchase courses online. Teachers, in turn, need to be able to withdraw their money. Popular payment methods include e-wallets and credit/debit cards.
A Course-Editing Page
This is a page where one can add a new course or edit an existing one. There must be reliable and convenient tools for adding text materials, pictures, videos, audio files, PDFs, and so on.
This feature can be rather useful for both site owners and users. For example, it’s a good idea to inform students about top-5 courses once a month or send them reminders. It’s important to do it not too often not to be annoying.
Of course, no website can exist without an admin panel. It allows administrators to monitor the business process, manage the content and users.
Three Steps to Creating an E-Learning Platform
Making an e-learning site is a multi-stage process. While some elements can vary in every particular case, there are three basic steps, which can’t be ignored.
- Analyze the target audience to figure out their interests, demands, age, education level, etc. Think of the type of content you can offer and check what is offered by your competitors.
- Look for a developer team. You may build your website around one of the ready-made templates. But even then you’ll need some backend and front-end development. If you want to create a new product from scratch, you can’t do without a professional team of qualified developers.
- Attract qualified tutors. No site can exist without content. Choose the teachers and the courses that will meet your users’ expectations in the best way.
What’s the Price of an E-Learning Website Development?
It’s hard not to say impossible to answer this question without knowing all the details of the project. The final price is made up of the number of hours spent on developing and an hourly rate of the team. The rates, in terms, vary significantly, from one region to another. By the way, for this reason, many customers opt for outsource web development.
The development time largely depends on the functionality required. Approximate figures are between 1095 and 1200 developing hours. As for the hourly rates in different regions, approximate figures are as follows:
- the USA – $150;
- Australia, Western Europe – $100;
- Eastern Europe – $50.
Thus, based on a rough estimation, we can calculate an approximate cost of an e-learning website – $54 000 through $187 000 depending on the developer location and the number of developing hours.