The online learning environment has become the new normal for the students across the world. The most significant impact of online learning can be seen in professional learning. Modern e-learning apps for adults can incorporate a huge variety of content to mobilize education and provide astonishing learning experiences. In your quest to develop the best learning app for adults, I’ll explain the best practices to develop a learning app for adults.
The market for online learning is on steroids. The e-learning trend was already in place and the pandemic has taken it to the next level. The Coursera CEO stated that they’ve gained 10.3 million new registrations during the first thirty days of the worldwide lockdowns. The growth was unprecedented at a level of 644% as compared to the same period previous year.
Best Practices For Education App Development For Professionals
E-Learning platforms like Udemy are helping working individuals learn professional skills to excel in their professional career. However, building education apps for adults is quite different to other e-learning apps like self-learning, K-12, and kids learning apps.
I recommend you to keep the below mentioned recommendations in consideration while developing the best education app for adult learners.
1. Define Your Niche
Before you jump on forming technical architecture or creating wireframes and designs for your education app, it is necessary that you have a clear understanding of the market niche that you want to tap in. You should define the list of courses that you would like to offer to the users via your app.
Adult learners have several needs in terms of courses. For example, some learners will use your app to grow further in their academics, while others will use it to learn some unconventional skills.
In terms of strategy, you should always try to extend the variety and number of courses into your learning app. This will help you obtain more users, which ultimately results in more revenue and profit. Hence, it is important for you to have clarity about what exactly you want to offer to your learners.
2. Select A Revenue Model
A Revenue model for your education app is as necessary as its existence. There is no point in building a learning app if the revenue model isn’t defined. Platforms like edX act as a platform, where top-notch universities can offer online courses. They make money by charging a commission to the universities for every course.
There are several ways that you can monetize your learning platform. Here are some of the popular methods:
You can charge a monthly or yearly subscription for your learning app. However, with this model, most apps give users access to all the courses they offer. For your online learning app for adult learners, It won’t be worth doing so. What you can try from this subscription model is offering discounts to premium users. You can even offer some courses for free with the premium subscription.
It is the most popular monetization method for learning apps for adult learners. With this model in place, you can attract app users by providing some free content and then asking them to buy the course if they want to proceed further.
As your online learning portal will be having several courses for adult learners, it is an effective monetization method for you to entice the variety of user base. Iversity is the best example of an online learning platform for adult learners that is making use of the pay-per-course monetization model.
However, I recommend using a mix of both these revenue models. Other monetization models like affiliation and advertisements are not recommended for learning platforms for adult learners.
3. Pick the Right Set of Features and Functionalities
Many articles on the internet will be overwhelmed by stating that you should incorporate a pool of features into your learning platform. However, implementing all these features into a learning app increases the cost of education app development and the good news is, you don’t necessarily need all of those features.
Here I’m mentioning the required features for a learning platform for adult learners.
Personalized Course Recommendation
With the advancement of Artificial Intelligence technology in the education sector, it is possible to recommend courses to the users based on their preferences, buying behaviour, or even their characteristics. This feature is a must for learning apps that offer a variety of courses.
If your learning platform is going to incorporate hundreds or more courses, you have to implement the advanced filter capabilities. Filters make it easy for the learners to find the courses and opt for them. I recommend using advanced filters that allow users to search the courses in terms of the course type, price range, popularity, relevancy, etc.
A Separate Profile for Tutors or Institutes
If you allow tutors or instructors to create their profiles on your platform, the learners will be able to access all the courses the particular tutor is offering. When it comes to learning, people get used to a teaching methodology and want to stick with that. Hence, if they like a particular course, they may want to learn more courses from the same tutor. It’s all about the teacher – student relationship.
The dashboard will allow students to stay in tune with their learning progress. They can keep track of the courses that they enrolled in, certifications that they’ve acquired throughout the time, and can also access their learning matrix. Your education app development team should have experienced UI/UX designers that can create intuitive dashboards, which incorporate data and statistics.
Education isn’t a one-way process. Students will have certain questions related to the courses. Hence, your education app should facilitate effective communication that enforces collaboration. You can implement forums, audio/video conferencing and instant messaging to help learners get answers to their questions.
A very effective way to establish collaboration and communication within your education app is to integrate forums. The forums should be accessible for both students as well as the tutors. This will allow group discussions to solve problems collaboratively. However, it is recommended that the admin controls the forums to make sure that the platform is used for the purpose only.
Notes are a part of the learning process. I’m not talking about the notes that tutors provide to the users. I’m highlighting that the students should be able to take their own notes by capturing the screenshots. The functionality should be implemented within the app only to prevent any fraudulent activities such as screen recording and pirating the education content.
4. Hire Experts to Decide the Tech Stack
It is essential for your app to be built using the right set of technologies. Only the expert educational app development companies can help you select the best technology stack for your education app. The tech stack for back-end and front-end development will be different, which makes it even more difficult to select the right set.
We, at Nimble AppGenie have years of experience in developing educational softwares and applications, and can help you decide the right set of technologies that will not only make your app robust, but also will ensure a faster ROI. However, to give you an idea about the technologies that educational apps for adult learners use, I’ve mentioned some of them below.
Tech Stack for Back-end
There are several server-side programming languages, like Python, PHP, and Ruby, education apps use. But it depends on your particular app type to decide which back-end language you should use. For example, Udemy was initially developed using PHP but seeing the advantages of Python, they’ve migrated to it.
Tech Stack for Front-end
Third-Party Services Integration
To enable some features like payment integration and personalized notification, you won’t need to build infrastructure from scratch. There are third-party APIs available in the EdTech ecosystem, which you can make use of to feature-load your learning app for adult learners. To manage the integration of these APIs, you can make use of tools like Trello, Slack, Dropbox, Zendesk, and Slack.
Avoid These Distractions To Improve Learner Engagement
1. Controversial Images
It is true that images and other graphical elements provide an interactive method for online learners. Graphics allow tutors to present the information in a manner that makes it easy to understand and recall. However, make sure that the images you use aren’t of controversial nature. The last thing you would want is to distract learners and make them talk about the picture connotations.
2. Unreadable Font
Although it seems cool to use non-conventional fonts, they’ll only make your educational content hard to read. This will eventually make learning tedious and as a result, most of your learners will bounce back. It is recommended to use standard fonts like Times New Roman and Calibri which are easy on eyes.
3. Too Many Navigation Icons
If you stuff several navigation icons in a single screen, your learners will get confused. You cannot expect your learners to remember the function of every navigation icon within a screen. I recommend you to use minimal navigation icons that are illustrated clearly so that the users don’t have to put efforts to identify them.
4. Using Graphs and Charts Excessively
Overusing the graphs and charts can make them distracting for the users. Some online learners find it overloading if served with even three to four graphs. Hence, it is recommended to use less than three graphs per screen. If it is necessary to incorporate more than three, make sure that the graphs are clearly explained to the users.
5. Using Memes or Gifs
No matter how trendy Gifs or Memes are, they don’t belong to education. They’ll only plunge the professionalism of your learning curriculum. Another reason for not using memes or Gifs is that they’re more likely to distract the users. Adult learners are serious about what they want to learn and don’t have time for any distraction. Hence, leave such elements to social networking sites only.
The Top Two Learning Platforms For Adult Learners
Ofcourse, I’m talking about Udemy and Coursera. Udemy was founded in 2010 and has a pool of 300 million students whereas Coursera was a successor. Coursera was launched in 2012 and has 150 million course enrolments so far.
Both these platforms offer intuitive learning experiences and simple UI/UX. For monetization, Udemy makes use of a pay-per-course approach where courses range from $19.99 to $199.99. The strategy is the same for Coursera where the platform offers courses ranging from $29 to $99. Udemy outperforms Coursera in terms of number of courses whereas Coursera’s USP is that it offers online degrees too.
Amongst several questions and dilemmas that you might have for learning apps, the most significant one is whether to build your learning app in-house or hire experienced developers for this. I’ve written a separate article on this topic. Here you can read it – In-House vs Outsourcing Software Development
If you want your education app to be a success, it is essential that you incorporate the features I’ve mentioned earlier in this article. The monetization strategy of your education app for adult learners will be a crucial element to ensure faster ROI.
The development should take place in at least two phases – MVP and Initial Launch. For MVP (Minimal Viable Product) you should incorporate the features and functionalities that are associated with the core characteristics of your learning app. You can integrate advanced features and functionalities once the MVP stage is successfully completed.
Madhukar is marketing communication specialist at Nimble AppGenie. A writer by day and reader by night, he specializes in technical blogging. Throughout the time, he has been helping businesses by writing valuable business guides and articles. Nimble AppGenie is a renounced fintech and healthtech development service provider that is helping small-large scale enterprises.