Modern learning methods are highly efficient and entertaining due to the integration of such technologies as Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence. That is why educational websites are in demand nowadays, which is visible in the statistics:
Online studying offers a broad spectrum of advantages. To illustrate, here are some of them:
- High convenience. E-learning allows students to adapt the online classes timetable to their plans and study when it’s convenient for them. Thus, their stress level is decreased, and the satisfaction is, on the contrary, higher.
- Cost-efficiency. There’s a wide range of e-learning websites offering paid subscriptions. Learners are provided with a great diversity of courses on various spheres at a beneficial cost.
- Decreased learning time. E-learning websites offer up-to-date studying approaches helpful for students to learn the new material faster and save from 25% to 60% of spare time.
As you can see, the e-learning market is promising and progressive. In this article, you’ll find out more about educational website development, including must-have features, creation peculiarities, and cost.
What Are the Different Types of Educational Websites?
E-learning websites can be categorized by the target audience and the learning method. Each group comprises multiple subordinate types.
You can see the most widespread types sorted by the target audience and their successful examples below:
Educational websites can also be classified by learning methods. Such websites offer various studying approaches, like gamification, tutorials, or studying in a group together with friends. Let’s consider them more thoroughly:
Computer Managed Learning (CML) and Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI)
Computer-managed learning implies applying computers to operate and guide the studying process. These platforms contain databases storing materials for learners. What’s more, they commonly have specific ranging characteristics to define the most relevant learning programs based on users’ preferences and tastes.
When it comes to the computer-assisted ones, they integrate the traditional teaching approach and the materials provided by the system, like tutorials, schemes, and guides to enhance the educational process. Great examples of CML and CAI platforms are Coursera and LinguaLeo.
Synchronous Online Learning and Asynchronous Online Learning
Another solution to build is an asynchronous one. With this type, students learn the material separately, concentrating on personal progress, which may be shared with messengers like Telegram, WhatsApp, or Slack. The main benefit of asynchronous studying is the highly adaptive timetable.
Fixed E-Learning and Adaptive E-Learning
Fixed e-learning offers studying materials prepared in advance; they remain the same for all learners. This type has lots of similarities with the traditional studying at schools. Consequently, it doesn’t benefit from all the opportunities of modern web based technologies, such as collecting and analyzing users’ data to offer more personalized content.
In contrast, adaptive e-learning adjusts the content and materials due to the students’ requirements. The content is based on the capabilities and skills of users, who are provided with an educational plan adjusted to their personal goals. To illustrate, Zoomi tracks clients’ behavior patterns to define the individual studying approach of each learner. Other well-known educational platforms of this type are eDX, Udacity, and Coursera.
Interactive Online Learning
This type implies two-way communication between learners and teachers. Interactive learning offers to edit the studying plans methods. We can meet this type in such well-known educational platforms as CodeCademy and DataCamp.
Individual Online Learning and Collaborative Online Learning
Due to the individual studying, learners are gathered into groups and have a similar educational goal, but each student works with provided material separately, meeting set deadlines.
The difference in collaborative learning is that students obtain new material in groups, as a team, and have mutual aims. In addition, such an approach efficiently develops communication skills.
There are some brilliant solutions for those types, like Khan Academy, Google Hangouts, and Zoom.
Where to Start Educational Website Development
Let’s discuss the vital steps of e-learning website building.
1. Validate Your Idea
This action implies researching the market to assess if your product is unique enough to be sought-after when it is launched. Thus, you decrease the risk of failing in your project.
2. Define Your Target Audience
To meet the requirements of users your solution is aimed at, you should study the following details about them:
- Platforms they use the most (for example, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)
Therefore, you’ll understand what the needs of your customers are and how to satisfy them successfully. Besides, it would be useful to take a detailed look at the most popular websites’ features and analyze their benefits and drawbacks by putting yourself in the customers’ shoes.
3. Provide High-Quality Educational Content
The next step is offering the most relevant content based on the requirements of your target audience. It should be engaging and unique to attract more users to your website. For instance, you may invite top-class professors from various educational establishments for partnership.
A successful real-life illustration is MasterClass, a sought-after platform, which partners with famous people like Marc Jacobs, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, and Annie Leibovitz. This opportunity to learn from such outstanding individuals has enhanced this educational website and engaged many learners to use it.
4. Come Up With Design and Features
After discovering what the clients want to get from your product, you should thoroughly define and describe the functionality required to deliver a wonderful user experience. Then, for higher convenience, you may split features into basic and extra ones.
The website’s interface design should be intuitive and easy to use. You can also gather some great design solutions you like to show to UI/UX designers and create something similar.
5. Create an MVP
Minimum Viable Product incorporates fundamental features to satisfy the customers’ primary needs; we’ll list and discuss them later. Its benefits include engaging the first users and gathering their feedback for further product enhancement. What’s more, the time to market significantly decreases, so you’ll be able to update the website with extra features after the release. Besides, it defines your credibility in the eyes of stakeholders.
6. Choose Monetization Strategy
To make your educational platform profitable, you should choose the monetization method. There are the three widely-applied strategies to monetize your product:
- Subscription. Many educational websites offer paid subscriptions for various periods. With this option, all the courses are available for learners; they pay weekly, monthly, or annually.
- Pay per course. Students purchase a certain course.
- Donations. There are also educational websites that provide top-quality learning material for free and ask users to maintain the platform with donations.
Features of an Excellent Education Website
To make your educational platform come in handy for many users, you should implement a helpful functionality. Let’s overview the list of MVP features split by the user role:
● Search bar and filters
● User profile
● Course page with a description
● Payment gateway
● Current/ finished courses
● List of students
● Uploaded courses
|Student’s parent||● Registration/authorization
● Progress tracking
● Course list
Cost to Build an Educational Website
The total cost to build a website for education is variable due to a range of factors like project complexity, software development vendor’s location, and many others.
To define the approximate price of the educational platform, let’s calculate how much it costs to build an MVP version of Coursera.
The cost determining factor is the time required to build a website’s features. Speaking about the MVP version of the Coursera-like website, it takes from 1,095 to 1,250 hours of development. Knowing these numbers, let’s calculate how much does it cost to build an educational website in various regions according to an average hourly rate:
- Eastern Europe: $54,750 and $62,500 ($50/h)
- Central and Western Europe: $109,500-$125,000 ($100/h)
- USA: $164,250-$187,500 ($150/h)
- Australia: $109,500-$125,000 ($100/h)
A top-class software development company will provide you with the following list of services for the estimated cost:
- Discovery phase. Business analysts gather your project requirements and business goals. They also prepare the specification- a document comprising features and solutions needed for building them. It helps to define the total cost and deadlines as well.
- UI/UX design. An eye-pleasing design is vital. During this stage, designers build wireframes comprising the layout of all the interface elements and approve them with the client.
- Development. To make the workflow more manageable and structured, it can be split into sprints, two weeks each. Software engineers build the website functionality according to the product specification.
- Quality Assurance testing. QA engineers conduct numerous tests to provide the client with a bug-free product that operates smoothly and seamlessly.
- DevOps. DevOps aim is to integrate the work of developers and the IT operations team. DevOps experts define suitable instruments for code flow automation from building to production.
E-learning websites are globally used and are highly demanded due to high studying efficiency, timetable flexibility, a broad spectrum of domains, and cost-effectiveness. To succeed in building an educational platform and make it profitable, you should cooperate with a trustworthy and experienced software development team. Top-notch specialists will bring all your outstanding ideas into reality, implementing all the features into a perfect and sophisticated design. Such a product will attract a broader audience and make your business successful.
Vitaly Kuprenko is a writer for Cleveroad. It’s a mobile and web development company with headquarters in Ukraine. He enjoys writing about technology and digital marketing.