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Remote learning has been progressively gaining popularity for a long time, though in terms of coronavirus pandemic social distancing during teaching and learning becomes extremely important. More and more groups of academy community scramble to practice online studying technologies. EdTech startups may save the day offering legacy institutions rapidly adopt remote teaching services.
E-learning marketplace appears among most profitable niches on modern e-commerce market, as due to rapid tempo of life people substitute home learning online for traditional ‘classroom’ practice. According to Forbes, remote studying niche revenue amounted $107 billion in 2015 and is projected to grow up to $325 billion by 2025 showing triple outcome. Statista forecasts even more promising numbers claiming CAGR being above 5% with $243 billion by 2022. Besides, the percentage of online studying community constantly grows creating demand for online school resources.
In this post, OpenGeeksLab will dwell on most popular services to learn and teach online, discuss top KPIs while developing own distance learning system, and give tips that will help your startup take off.
Key reasons for distance learning becoming more and more popular on modern marketplace lie in its convenience and availability. Learners do not need to attend ‘school’ classes with regular curriculum as they can get desired knowledge or skills at home via Internet. Besides, in accelerating life environment flexibility stands among core demands while choosing remote educational program.
Another reason for online course-like learning systems to get popularity is continuous education being in growing demand now. Besides, remote courses promote concept of available education, offering it to varied social groups and communities, despite their demographics or individual peculiarities.
There are several types of online learning services:
Online learning usually represents a variety of courses users can take on themselves without any teacher support. Platform runners fill courses with necessary information, add useful links, invite famous educators to deliver video-lessons, etc. for student to choose suitable form of data perceiving. There are no educators to track student’s progress – tracking is performed by system itself but there are no strict demands as a rule. Learners can organize materials up to their liking, set convenient deadlines, prioritize tasks, etc.
Suggested online programs may be directed at either gaining basic knowledge or practicing already gained basis to reach new proficiency level. Thematic content varies depending on resource as well: from general topics to specified data and skills. After successful finishing remote learning course customer gets certificate confirming that he or she has acquired certain knowledge and/or skills.
Most popular online schools include Coursera, Udemy, edX, and Udacity.
Unlike online learning resources, e-learning marketplaces are aimed at ensuring direct online interaction between teachers and students. Online schools of the kind serve as mediators that help students in finding proper courses and educators. Teachers perform key role here, as they organize courses, select materials, structure tasks, support learners, etc. Private classes may combine various teaching techniques, e.g. tests, games, quizzes, progress tracking, etc., depending on the subject. Interactive technologies are welcomed as well.
One-to-one communication practice proves to be more effective comparing to other types, though it remains up to student to choose convenient distance learning option.
Best online school resources in the category are represented by Google Classroom, WizIQ, Shift.
Web-conference software is another essential type of teaching and learning online. Web-conferences are usually used to engage big number of students at once. Conferencing tools enable many participants join to one event and interact either with one another or with educator. Remote conferences are good for conducting lectures or workshops by university communities, as they can cover several student groups delivering materials. Though, web-conferences can be successfully applied by school teachers as well to organize classroom – like lessons.
Docebo, Zoom.us, ezTalks stand among world-known remote conferencing representatives.
Before developing any product, one should conduct a profound research of the niche in interest. It includes general market state, target audience, and competitor analysis. Defining general perspectives, entrepreneur must outline thematic strategy and main idea of future resource.
Target audience analysis helps in specifying initial concept and making it cost-effective, as understanding customer’s needs, one can roll out relevant solution. While target audience research, demographics, interests and leisure activities should be considered.
Analyzing already existing resources for teaching and studying, company gets useful info about popular solutions and possible pitfalls before starting actual development, thus sparing time and money in future.
Finding a proper development team stands among key factors directly influence venture’s future success. Qualified specialists will not only embody initial idea but offer improvements or customized UI/UX solutions to make your online school unique and memorable.
To find proper developer company one can visit specialized platforms like Clutch, GoodFirms, etc. reviewing best developer agencies around the globe online.
Engaging proficient remote educators is as important as hiring proper development team. Making well-built engaging portal is a half-way to success as you should fill your online school with high-quality content that will satisfy user needs. Partnering with colleges and universities is a win-win strategy here, as engaging academy community you can make additional promotion of remote classes among students as well. Inviting famous educators to deliver courses in your online school is another option to get popularity and attract learners, as people tend to give preferences to approved teachers.
Suitable revenue strategy is responsible for making your business profitable, so think it over from the very beginning. There are two basic models relevant for resources for teaching and learning online from home: take percentage/commissions or charging hourly rates. Service owner can charge commissions either depending on number of students involved into the course or on its nominal price.
Data security support is one of top KPIs on modern development market in general, as new forms of data management require corresponding tools. Cybersecurity on remote learning courses, above all, should be directed at protecting personal data of users and ensuring proven payment methods.
Offering certificates or honors entrepreneurs should care about them being valid, so customers can make use out of them in future. Certification must serve as a tool guaranteeing certain bonuses at work or study. It is important to ensure equal validity of honors despite nominal price (if your online school supports free disciplines) as clients should not hesitate to buy a course if necessary.
Regular assessment represents one among core factors ensuring higher user engagement and retention rates. Providing enough tests, teachers can not only form a clear picture of student’s acquired knowledge or skills but use statistics as motivation tool as well. Learners observing their progress in stats and numbers are more likely to finish program successfully, as they learn own strengths and weaknesses and can organize schedule to cover problematic points once more.
Before entering any remote education resource, teachers and students should undergo registration process. As a rule, it includes using e-mail or phone number as a login and personal parole to enter the system. Another popular method is authorization via accounts in social media like Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. Modern online schools tend to require two-factor authentication to support higher security level for personal user data.
Profile settings and features may vary depending on user’s role on the portal, so teachers and students typically have diverse functional scope. Such features as personal data, user picture, history, and basic profile settings are common. Besides, students may get additional details about committed purchases, active or finished courses, certificates, credits/points, current progress etc., while educators have additional settings for professional data (degree, academy interests, establishment they represent etc.) and courses they offer.
Profound search and advanced filters play crucial role while browsing remote education services. It appears easy to get lost among all available courses wasting valuable time. Clear categorizing technology on home page and search system cope with it providing items in-demand to user. Advanced filters allowing sort remote learning courses by different criteria (e.g. price, level, rates, language, subject, etc.) serve as a tool of supporting positive user experience as well.
Another productive way to find necessary course is recommendation engine, showing most popular options or those related to user’s preferences thematically.
Operation dashboard represents important analytical tool helping customers track their teaching and learning activity on the resource. Via dashboard students can observe general number of remote courses they participate in, current learning progress, hours spent online within each discipline, etc., while teachers get information about items they have added, number of students involved, their ratings, money they have earned, traffic, etc.
Apart from traditionally organized materials, majority of online schools offer videos, records, podcasts, interactive textbooks, or even educational games to attract students.
Course page typically has general description, educator(s) info, topics and materials covered by suggested program. If student has already finished the discipline, the certificate (either automatically generated or provided by administrator) is also stored on course page. Besides, learners or teachers may evaluate material and leave recommendations via comment section. It simplifies not only future improvements but helps newcomers orient in online community as well.
Payment gateway stands among most important tools while dealing with distance learning, as customers require reliable money operation methods. Students should have convenient option to pay for desired course, while educators must be assured to get earned money from service. Cybersecurity issues are the priority here, so users prefer proven payment tools like credit card transactions, PayPal, Stripe, etc.
Course-making or -editing tools make prior importance for teachers on Internet. Interacting with remote platform, they must be well-equipped with technologies that allow embodying home lessons of high-quality level. Tools must cover elaborated structuring, diverse material type support (e.g. texts, videos, audios, PDFs, pictures, presentations, links, etc.).
Using reminders and notifications is an efficient way to keep teachers and students informed about current events or important news concerning their teaching and learning online. Reminder may be either sent by e-mail or via push notifications within the app. However, to get maximum profit out of this feature one should not overuse it, as excessively frequent reminders become annoying and are perceived as spam.
Admin panel is vital for remote school administration as they should moderate information uploaded by teachers ensuring high-level data security and qualification of submitted materials. Admin panel allows review, edit or delete disciplines, manage users, track statistics, control notifications, etc.
Planning to develop remote learning service one must understand that there is no universal solution concerning project costs. Expenses generally depend on client’s desires, product complexity, features implemented, design preferences, etc. The more elaborated is the task, the more working hours are needed to roll it out.
According to rough analytical research, average time required to develop distance learning platform ranges between 1100-1250 working hours. Basing upon these numbers total project cost varies from $55.000 till $187.500. Actually, the sum highly depends on development team location, as hourly rates vary in different regions. Eastern Europe companies represent most cost-effective option with hourly rate about $50/hour and total cost $55.000-$62.500. Agencies from Central and Western Europe as well as from Australia charge approximately $100 per hour, so final prices lie between $110.000-$125.000. The most expensive option is represented by teams locating in US and Canada as they will require from $165.000 to $187.500 with hourly rate $150/hour.
Remote learning offers varied opportunities to stay in tune with studying, develop knowledge or self-educate at home despite straitened circumstances. Developing remote communication technologies and online schools are about to change learning experience both for teachers and students in the nearest future.
Online learning sphere stands now among most promising market segments worth to invest into. Seize the day! Contact us and boost your unique online studying strategy right now as our development team knows how to create efficient remote education product that will take off.
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