Global digitalization has already reached almost every field out there, and education has not become an exception. Thanks to technological advancement, the education area attracts more investors than it has ever had. According to Statista, the e-learning market is to exceed 243 billion dollars by the second half of 2022.
While e-learning apps chart the top IT trends of the recent decade, no wonder we are going to talk about them in this post. All intrigues aside, you will learn about what types of applications for EdTech exist out there, what steps you need to take to develop one yourself, including the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) development stage, and what precisely it will cost you.
Types of E-Learning Apps
Two main criteria can be applied for classifying apps from the e-learning industry: a target audience and a learning method.
First, let’s take a look at the target audience. Depending on goals and abilities attributed to various users, educational apps address the needs of 5 main target audience types:
- Language learners and language teachers
- Kids and tutors
- University and college students
- Seekers of additional university education
- Seekers of mastering a specific skill
The second criterion applied here is a learning method, and it divides e-learning apps into more narrowly-specified groups according to the concrete field of their use. One app can cover several learning methods depending on what goals it strives to address.
In a nutshell, you have to figure out specific tools and metrics to know what type of e-learning application is your perfect match. So let’s take a closer look at the way each app type behaves in the wild because that’s how you know which one’s worth a shot.
Computer-Managed Learning (CMA) and Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI)
CML is a learning method entirely based on a computer structure. The whole learning process is computerized: computer-provided educational materials, computer-checked quizzes, automated assistance, evaluation, and other aspects.
CAI is another learning method where computer structure is where all learning happens, but it differs in format. CAI is an electronic manual that uses various forms of materials’ presentation: audio, video, text, ice cream (put the odd one out).
Coursera is a great example of CMA, while LinguaLeo can represent CAI.
Synchronous Online Learning (SOL) and Asynchronous Online Learning (AOL)
Both SOL and AOL are learning methods where people learn in groups. Their internal communication is conducted via e-mails, discussion boards, and analogical tools. The difference between SOL and AOL learning methods lies in the communication format.
Synchronous Online Learning implies simultaneous communication between the groups’ members, with all the calls and quizzes happening in real-time. One of the well-known SOL apps is WizIQ.
AOL is different from SOl as it implies self-paced individual learning. Group participants can be online at different times, which allows more flexibility to the learning process. Example: Udemy, a platform famous for its self-paced learning process.
Fixed e-learning and adaptive e-learning
Fixed e-learning presupposes that training materials are the same for all students. Udemy, Coursera, Udacity are a few apps that refer to this category as their educational content is unified.
In contrast, adaptive e-learning addresses each student individually, creating a unique learning experience depending on students’ needs and goals. SootPad will exemplify this e-learning app type just perfectly.
Interactive online learning
The name here talks for itself. Interactive online learning describes an educational app that exercises an interactive approach to its users. A constant dialogue between a platform and a user happens through various quizzes, multiple-choice, polls, surveys, etc.
A quick example here would be Codecademy. Here students receive their tasks right after watching a training video and then get the results right after submission.
Individual online learning (IOL) and Collaborative online learning (COL)
IOL is a learning method implying that the process of study takes place individually for each student.
In the COL learning method, students study in groups and achieve their goals together, as one team. Such applications as Zoom or Google hangouts are examples of COL learning platforms.
Steps of E-Learning Application Development
A staircase to e-learning heaven consists of many steps, but only a few of them cannot be omitted:
№1 Validate your idea
Before pursuing any further steps, make sure your idea is credible. An idea has to be unique and meet concrete market demand. Otherwise, it isn’t worth the effort. It’s better to spend more time at this stage to ensure reasonable resources expenditure down the road.
№2 Choose a monetization method
Selecting a proper monetization method is very important as it shapes decision architecture and the list of must-have features. That is why the monetization method is normally identified at the requirements’ gathering or even business model analysis stage. Currently, three conventional monetization strategies are used for apps, including e-learning ones.
Subscription is the most widespread monetization method. The price of a subscription varies in different apps and can also mark different degrees of an app’s availability.
This method is especially prevalent among e-learning platforms. The price of courses varies to meet all kinds of financial demands, ranging from $9 to $300, as in Udemy.
This monetization method is popular among nonprofits. However, it is quite risky as there is always a chance that the user decides to skip the payment stage. E-learning apps rarely use this method.
№3 Pick your audience
Know your user as you know yourself. You can learn what your potential users think by visiting such platforms as Reddit or Quora. Things that will help you determine your audience’s peculiarities range from simply reading relevant threads to running full-scale user interviews or likewise activities. In any case, the knowledge you’ll gather will become a fundament on which the app’s feature list is based.
№4 Identify requirements to the app and its design
At this stage, a software development company joins in. First, the team of professionals gathers your business requirements to identify the product’s functions. Next, business analysts study the determined needs and tailor matching tech solutions. Alongside, designers make wireframes and examples of UI/UX design.
№5 Select MVP features
When the list of features and design are identified, it is high time to go for a minimum viable product. For the MVP, use only those features that are essential for the app’s functionality. Among the benefits of a wisely made MVP are faster time-to-market and, consequently, lower development costs. In addition, it helps us understand product-market-fit and adjust the business strategy.
MVP Features for the E-learning Apps
Though the basic list of features used for e-learning MVPs is pretty much the same, it still can be divided depending on what user utilizes an app. There are three main user modules: student, teacher, and parent. Let’s scan through the MVP features depending on what type of module they are normally associated with:
- Course management
Course creation is a routine part of the teacher’s work, so it is vital not to overload the interface with extra details, keeping it concise and straightforward.
- Student management
Proactive tracking of students’ progress can be achieved by effectively presenting relevant information.
- Test management
This section’s intuitive and clear design is key to forcible test creation and proper students’ evaluation.
- Sign-up and login
Several options should be provided here, e.g., log in through Facebook or Twitter.
- User profile
This section contains all necessary information about the user and the courses they have enrolled in.
- Course page
The course page stages all interaction between the user and various course activities, such as quizzes, polls, tests, etc.
- Search bar
The search bar’s convenience level directly correlates with the conversion rate. To this end, multiple filters will contribute to a more comfortable search through the course catalog and a better user experience.
- Payment section
Multiple options are, again, a great idea in this case. Credit card or PayPal, ApplePay, or GooglePay – no need to choose; all methods are welcome.
The parent module
- Progress dashboard
This section is to be designed with the thought of parents who want to track their kids’ progress.
- Reviews section
The comprehensible reviews section is a must so that parents can leave their feedback about the course.
Cost of E-Learning App Development
The current evaluation of the e-learning app’s development cost is based on the example of Coursera. We make a rough estimate based on the East Europe region data where the average cost amounts to $50 per hour, which is quite a minimum price. Compare it with North America – $150, South America – $130, or Australia – $110 per hour.
The aspects typically included in every app’s development, without prejudice to e-learning one, are as follows:
- Discovery phase
- Project management
- UI/UX design services
- DevOps services
- Quality Assurance
It’s also worth noting that different types of work require different numbers of hours. For example, the Discovery phase takes about 80 hours, while the UI/UX design’s time will be about 330 hours.
Estimates with all types of work:
- Discovery phase, 80 hours – $80,000
- Development, 550 hours – $27,500
- UI/UX design, 336 hours – $16,800
- PM, 360 hours – $18,000
- QA, 625 hours – $31,250
- DevOps, 110 hours – $5,500
Thus, in general, the total development cost roughly estimated $103,550 if judged by the East Europe region.
All numbers mentioned above are relative. You always have an opportunity to cut the expenses if the economy is reasonable. Applying for the assistance of a professional IT outsourcing company would be a great idea to know how much does it cost to make an app in your particular case. An experienced team will help you optimize the expenses and get a reliable e-learning app within the scope of your budget.