When people want to find something out, they usually look online. When they want to learn something new or educate themselves, they also look online. This is where e-learning websites come in. There are three types of e-learning websites: online learning platforms, elearning marketplaces, and elearning web conferencing software. We’re going to dive into essential tips to help you create your own e-learning website.
In 2014, the e-learning market reached the $165.36 billion mark and it’s estimated to surpass $243 billion in 2022 according to Statista.
In 2020, COVID-19 has greatly contributed to a sudden shift from offline to online classrooms. In some countries, the total closure of schools has impacted around 60% of the student population. To visualize the influence of COVID-19 on global education, the World Bank has created an interactive dashboard where you can check the status of the schools by country.
Before the outbreak, only 20% of all countries could provide their educational sector with e-learning resources. Today, the adoption of online learning is growing at an extreme speed as the virus keeps spreading. There are even suggestions that the crisis can have a lasting impact on education. And this means that online learning has all chances to become our future, replacing land-based learning.
Here we offer a classification of e-learning platforms according to content delivery and how students engage with the platform:
- Online learning platforms. Here users become their own teachers on Coursera-like websites. Online course marketplaces allow students to take a course they like independently. These platforms serve content to users remotely and may allow administrators to track progress and issue a certificate upon course completion. The content can also be served in form of videos where famous educators deliver pieces of learning material in several episodes to let students watch them and learn gradually.
- Elearning marketplaces. These platforms unite teachers and students and allow learners to have online one-to-one classes with educators. These platforms encompass many learners and teachers to let students choose the teacher they need along with the course they need as the platform can offer different subjects. Learners rely on teachers to guide them throughout their learning which is supported by the interaction of the platform they operate in. This interaction may include quizzes, elements of gamification, progress tracking options and more depending on the subject.
- Elearning web conferencing software. This type of software is created to facilitate online group learning where big masses of people need to join other learners online to interact with one another. Usually, they are popular among universities and other educational establishments that want to engage large amounts of people into learning activities.
- the internet makes education available and attracts contemporary learners;
- significant gaps in skills and varied demographics cause new learning models to appear;
- demand for flexible and continuing education is growing.
When entering this market, you have to focus on what your online learning marketplace is all about. Your marketplace should:
- deliver a unified learning experience for users;
- help teachers teach;
- connect people and help them create an online learning community;
- build students’ confidence in the field they would like to specialize in.
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We’ve compiled 12 tips on how to develop an elearning website or app. These best practices will help you achieve great success in your eLearning training development.
Before you create elearning website, analyze your niche and your target audience. Ask yourself:
- What subjects do I want to embrace?
- How can I possibly improve the skills and knowledge of learners? How can technology help students learn and bring subjects to life in order to engage students?
- What are people interested in learning or what do they need to learn in order to improve their skill sets?
- How old will the average learner be and what content is interesting for this demographic?
These questions can help guide you.
Once you know what learners you’re going to target, study what platforms already target those learners and see what they offer. By sizing up your competition, you can see which platforms are successful and which are not. When you start to build elearning website, this may also give you some ideas about features you want to include and functionality that can surpass your competitors'.
A learning environment should be a place where everyone can learn. Users need to find value in what your platform offers. You can attract learners with relevant content. Provide your learners with a mix of text, audio, video, infographics, and slides. Different people perceive information differently, so your students will appreciate the variety your platform offers. You can also apply gamification, which all prominent e-learning methodologies use to educate students in a fun way.
Great content should be delivered by skilled educators. Partner with reputable teachers who love what they do and create a unique brand image that can speak for itself. Only passionate teachers can inspire your learners, who in turn will tell others about the awesome teachers you have, serving as an additional marketing tool.
MasterClass, one of the top online learning platforms, is a great example here. The MasterClass platform hosts such prominent teachers as Marc Jacobs, Margaret Atwood, Armin van Buuren, Steve Martin, and many more.
When considering how to build an elearning platform, think of the revenue model from the start. Some platforms take a percentage or commission that varies according to the number of participants enrolled for a particular course. Or you can charge a percentage from the cost of a course. You could charge an hourly rate as well.
Here’s another important step of how to create e-learning platform — students like it when their efforts are noticed and praised. Design a special rewards system that can both add fun and motivate students to learn. You can let students collect badges that represent the complexity of completed tasks, for instance. Students can also collect points to move to the top of the rankings.
Your online platform needs to make effective use of assessments to help students track their progress and achievements. Offer regular tests and quizzes. Add more interactions when students do their assignments by adding pop-up quizzes and questions based on the material they’ve learned in the past. You can deliver these assessments and share analytics or reports on students’ strengths and weaknesses with educators. This will help educators adjust the content while also allowing your learners to learn at a pace that suits them.
Skills and knowledge need to be backed up by verified certificates. Provide your students with certificates of course completion. For the best-performing students, give honors or discounts on other courses. Positive reinforcement can really boost students’ self-esteem and give them good prospects for the future.
Much depends on the usability of your e-learning space and what it looks like. Make sure that interface elements are easy to access, stick to a simple page layout, use soft tones, and carefully place all website elements. Users will come to your platform to study, so they shouldn’t be distracted by unnecessary elements. You can apply minimalist design to your platform to help users focus on content and learning.
Getting good educators on board and providing students with high-quality content is one thing; seeing how students and educators actually interact is another. Give students the ability to leave feedback on how your platform operates and let students rate teachers and content. This can give you valuable insights. The feedback you get can help you improve your e-learning space.
If you’re planning on growing your platform to an international level, you need to provide users with the ability to switch between languages. Your platform may grow into something bigger than you expect, so it’s best to be prepared. Your users may be from all over the world, so offering them a multilingual website will be helpful.
One of the essentials to success of your marketplace is thorough promotion. You need to know how to market an online course with the help of promotional strategies in order to make your e-learning application known to the public. Elearning marketing should include both online and offline approaches.
E-learning platforms are complex and require lots of attention. You need to study your niche market well in order to understand what software solution you can offer to your target audience. Your platform should not only be user-friendly but should have relevant content and proper assessment and rewards systems.
Allow your users to send feedback to better understand whether your platform appeals to them in terms of UX. Upon completion of each course, give your students a relevant certificate and give honors to those that perform exceptionally well. Start small and go big with your aspirations.
At SteelKiwi, we know how to create e-learning website. We’ve built ePermitTest, it’s an online driver’s permit test platform that helps Americans pass their driver’s permit test. The ePermitTest platform uses interactive elements to engage teenage learners. We’ve also developed MuslimKids.TV, an entertainment platform for children with online and offline activities that also helps children learn the Quran.
Since we’re a Python & Django software company, our technology stack allows us to build projects of any complexity with all necessary functionality. If you want to enter the e-learning market and build your own unique online learning marketplace or need to update your code or functionality, get in touch with our sales representative and we’ll get you a team to complete the task on time and within budget. Meanwhile, we suggest you check out our e-learning software development offer and projects page to see e-training and development solutions we’ve built so far.