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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:
E-Learning App Development

E-Learning App Development: Features, Types & Final Thoughts

E-learning app development has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Whether students are pursuing their own educational needs or are expected to complete courses to advance in their careers, many are choosing e-learning over traditional learning methods.

Online and e-learning allow students to choose their own schedules and study at their own pace. The flexibility of e-learning has opened doors for so many students that would otherwise be locked out of learning.

This increase in e-learning has led to a higher demand for e-learning apps.

So many of us are never away from our cell phones so the ability to learn while on the move is yet another reason why e-learning apps are becoming so popular.

This increase in popularity is leading to an increase in demand for developers. If you’re looking to develop an e-learning app, however, there are several points you need to consider and keep in mind.

In this article, we will look at e-learning development.

What Are the Benefits of E-Learning Apps?

E-learning apps have a wide variety of benefits for both students and developers alike. 

For Students

E-learning apps allow students to learn at their own pace. Although some courses might have a deadline for them to be finished, there is no weekly schedule that needs to be followed, unlike traditional classroom learning.

Students can learn whenever and wherever they want. Whether at home or a coffee shop, early morning or late at night, e-learning is always available.

This is especially the case with e-learning apps as students will always have their course material in their pockets.

It also means that students aren’t bound by location. They don’t have to look for physical classrooms that are within commuting distance or move their home and family to attend a course that is further away.

Instead, students can study a course created from anywhere.

For Developers/Institutes

The e-learning market has been red-hot in recent years and experts such as Forbes and The Educators predict that the market share will only grow in the coming years.

As well as increasing the number of students, the amount of money being poured into e-learning is going to increase as well.

For developers and institutes of education, e-learning allows them to reach more students while keeping costs down.

There is no need to pay for expensive premises when all of the materials are delivered online and via apps. Course material can be easily and quickly updated when needed without the cost of reprinting physical materials. 

E-learning allows developers to keep their courses as up-to-date as possible.

Types of E-Learning Platforms

E-learning serves many different purposes and can reach several different audiences. Broadly speaking, however, these can be divided into three categories.

Personal Learning

These are apps directed at personal learning and cover a wide range of courses. They allow students to choose their own courses for their own reasons and can be either knowledge or skill-based.

Students can brush up their knowledge of math or science, learn a new language, or pick up new skills.

The apps provide different courses for students to select and many of them have tutors or teachers who direct the student’s learning. 

Popular personal learning apps include Khan Academy and Edmondo. These apps also have courses created to support children through their schooling and allow parents to track progress.

Corporate Training

Corporate training apps work hand-in-hand with companies to train their employees.

Many of these apps have already established courses that companies can then use to improve the skills and knowledge base of their employees.

Apps such as Yammer also bring a social side to their apps. They allow employers and employees to interact and for different departments and teams to create their own workspaces.

Other apps like Moodle have both established courses while also allowing companies to create their own courses and material. (Click here to learn more)

With quizzes, forums, and surveys available, companies can manage their employee’s progress.

Educators

E-learning apps aimed at educators give individual educators more control over their students and the material provided.

Instead of being full of already established and published courses that any student can access, they offer a more hands-on approach that allows educators to share resources and lesson plans as they desire.

Apps such as Google Classroom and Nearpod bring in video teaching and Kahoot allows educators to quickly and easily assess students’ progress and performance.

What Makes a Good E-Learning App?

What Makes a Good E-Learning App?

If you’re looking to develop an e-learning platform, you will be entering a market that already has several popular apps available.

This means that you need to ensure that your app will do what is needed and will give students and educators the resources and features that they need.

Here are some of the most common e-learning app features that you should consider including in yours.

Features for Students

Let’s begin by looking at some of the features you need to include for your students.

The Delivery System

At the core of any e-learning app is how the content will be stored and delivered to your students.

You will need to create a database of all of the material so that it can be made available to your students in an organized and structured manner.

Depending on the size of the database, you can make it a part of the app and store it on the cell phone, or keep it in cloud storage to be accessed only when necessary.

Assessments

One problem with e-learning is how easy it is for students to passively interact with the material. It’s easy to simply swipe through pages or tune out videos, so having a method to assess the student’s progress is important.

This is easily achieved through tests and quizzes that are spread throughout the course material.

We would recommend including a short quiz after every lesson with more in-depth ones after modules or a specific number of lessons.

Quizzes allow students to see their progress, can keep them motivated, and makes it easier for the app to produce progress reports.

Games

Another way to get around the issue of passive learning is to deliver some of the material in a game format. With some subjects, you can literally turn the material into games, but with others, you will need to get more inventive.

You can bring in a reward system that gives badges or in-app currency for completing quizzes or daily attendance.

Adding mechanics like this to e-learning apps is a great motivator and can add some fun to boring courses. We would especially recommend this for e-learning aimed at children.

Messaging and Notifications

In e-learning apps that have educators online to oversee and interact with students, a messaging system is a must.

Educators can use the messages to give feedback to their students or send reminders and students can send messages to ask any questions they may have.

Building this messaging system and allowing students and educators to communicate can help retain students.

It’s also a good idea to include push notifications as part of the app. These will not only let students know when they have a message from their educator but can also remind them to study or submit assignments.

Push notifications can be an invaluable tool for students and can help to personalize their e-learning app experience.

Social Interaction

There are a few options when it comes to the social aspect of the app. The easiest way to bring in social interaction is to make your app compatible with already existing social media sites.

Let students post from the app to their Twitter, TikTok, or other social media as this will both advertise your app and also allow them to connect with other students.

Communities can keep students coming back to the app so they’re important to encourage.

The second option is to create your own in-app social channels. This can be a timeline similar to Twitter or Facebook, or some forums.

This is more of an undertaking than sharing to existing social media but will make an even tighter community.

Payments

Although there are some free e-learning apps such as Khan Academy, the majority involve some sort of payment.

Whether this is a fee for individual courses or a subscription to access everything, if you’re looking to make money from your e-learning app, then you need a secure payment channel.

These can be used to create premium content and create paywalls.

Easy Registration Process

It’s wise to offer your students a variety of options when it comes to registering an account.

Many apps and websites require users to create an account so that their membership and details can be saved and setting up all of these accounts and passwords has led to some fatigue with users.

We would recommend giving your members the option of creating an account with an email address, but also the option of using an already existing account for another site.

For example, allowing them to sign in with a Google or Facebook account. This makes the registration and log-in process much quicker and easier.

Features For Educators

If you want teachers and companies to choose your e-learning app to deliver their material then you need to offer them features that make their life easier.

Some of them are similar to students, such as an easy registration process and messaging system. 

Here is our list of features to include specifically for educators.

Ability to Schedule Live Classes

This may not appeal to all educators, but it is a good feature to offer nonetheless.

Although one of the main advantages of e-learning is that the material is there for students to access at any time, e-learning apps can also be used for live classes.

These allow educators to address students directly in real-time and to expand on the course content available in the app.

You can build the video functionality into the app itself and if you do, consider including a way to archive the lessons so they can be watched at a later time as well.

Create Feedback and Reports

Educators may be overseeing a large number of students at one time. In these cases, the ability to create automated reports based on a student’s progress through the course quizzes will be invaluable for teachers.

Allow educators to quickly produce progress reports for their students so they can assess these and provide more detailed feedback.

Post Deadlines and Assignments

As part of the courses, educators may also want the functionality to set assignments.

These differ from the end of lesson quizzes as they’re usually more in-depth and are used to assess a student’s knowledge of a larger topic.

They can be freeform essays, research studies, or quizzes that require longer answers.

You should allow educators to set assignment topics and deadlines for their submission. This also means creating a system for students to submit the assignments and for feedback to be received.

Features for Guardians/Companies

If the student is a child or is studying because their company has instructed them to, you may have to consider features to allow third parties to assess progress.

Again, some of these overlap with features already discussed, but let’s look at some that don’t.

Track Progress

It’s important that guardians can track the progress of the student. They should be able to see how much of the course has been completed, how much is left, and also any scores and grades achieved.

You should also include feature deadlines and if necessary, an attendance report.

Connection With Educators

Guardians should be able to communicate directly with the educators regarding the progress of the student. This means they can raise any concerns and respond to any problems the educator identifies.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we took an in-depth look at e-learning apps. We discussed their benefits and uses and also looked at the numerous features that make an e-learning app great.

If you’re looking to create your own e-learning app, we hope this information will be of use.

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