Education is a golden key that opens many doors leading to more cross-cultural interaction and happier life, not just a fruitful career path. Every human being should have an equal right to be trained regardless of where they are in the world or the social conditions under which they live.
The EdTech industry has emerged thanks to developments in information technology to pave new ways for people to get trained anywhere. EdTech offers a powerful platform for intimate, self-paced learning and growth and helping traditional educational institutions take the learning experience to the next level.
Types of Existing App for EducationIf you’d like to build a learning app, it’s worth spending some time researching what kinds of solutions can be implemented. To help you approach this question, here’s a list of ideas for educational mobile app development:
- Multipurpose Learning Apps focus on providing learning materials on a full range of subjects. Khan Academy is an excellent example of how to create an educational app in this category.
- Learning Apps for Specific Subjects deliver learning content for one particular area like languages, coding, maths, cooking, etc. Such apps as LingoDeer and SoloLearn belong to this category.
- Flashcard and Quiz Apps enable students and teachers to create interactive sets of tasks to train new vocabulary, learn history dates, study maths’ formulas, or the like. Quizlet and Kahoot! can be referenced to get an idea of how to make an educational app of this type.
- Exam Prep Apps are designed to help learners get prepared for a specific exam. For example, there are TOEFL and IETLS preparation apps for English language learners or PMP preparation apps for Project Managers.
- Tutoring Apps are developed to connect students and tutors and help establish robust relationships. Among such apps are Chegg Study, Preply, and many others.
- Brain Training Apps contain lots of brain-teasing and logical tasks for the development of logical thinking. Elevate can serve as an excellent example of how to develop an educational app in this category.
- Gamified Learning Apps for Kids are focused on providing comprehensive training in the basics of such subjects as maths, languages, chemistry, and others in a gamified manner. Toca Lab: Elements is a popular app of this kind.
So How to Create an Educational App?Developing an educational app that will have the edge over its competitors is no easy task. You have to carefully research the market and your target audience’s needs to come up with a solution that can cover their burning needs. No matter for which niche you decide to create an educational app, there’s a list of crucial features and development steps that you need to follow to succeed. Let’s walk through each of them together.
Main Features of Educational Applications
- Registration is what creates the first impression on your users. So you have to ensure that it will be a good one. The sign-up flow should be as simple and as smooth as possible. Apart from providing a standard email-based registration, allowing users to connect using their Facebook or Google account is a must.
- A compelling and easy-to-navigate user interface is a key success factor of any learning app. If your users have a hard time finding their way around the app functionality, chances are they will give up quite soon and download a competitor app. So when developing an educational app, don’t hesitate to spend more time at the UI/UX design stage. You have to make sure that app navigation and usage will be a joy for your future learners.
- A custom user profile is an important personalization feature. Learners should be able to customize as many things as possible, including their profile picture, bio, learning schedule, notifications, and learning interests. This will secure a high level of user engagement.
- Social media integration is another vital feature that adds to the success of your app. People like to share their achievements with others. So allowing your learners to post updates about successful course completion will serve as an additional motivation agent for them. Besides, it can also help market your app to a new audience.
- Instant chatting is a crucial feature to allow students to interact not only with each other but also with their tutors and teachers.
- Push notifications help create engaging user experience as well. However, be it reminders about learning routines or customized offers, they should be highly configurable. Your learners should determine which information to get and when.
- Audio and video streaming is an important function that may prove to be challenging in technical terms. Your users should be able to access audio and video learning materials at all times, so you should take care of the server part functionality in advance.
- Artificial Intelligence has many applications in the e-learning domain. For instance, creating smart chatbots is a great feature to help students make a conversation in a foreign language or resolve an algorithmic task. AI can also be employed for personalization purposes. It allows generating targeted offers and providing better support through the educational process.
- Offline mode support. Your users should be able to download learning videos, quizzes, e-books, and other educational content to be able to refer to it even when offline. In this way, they will be able to keep learning even if the internet connection is down for some time or if they go hitchhiking in the mountains for a week or two.
- The powerful database is the heart of every e-learning solution as it stores the learning content and user details. So it should be carefully set up and tuned. Such features as high availability and disaster recovery should be taken care of as well.
- Multi-platform support is vital to target as wide an audience as possible. 87% of millennials use up to three various devices daily, including laptops, PCs, tablets, smartphones, and other smart devices. So to guarantee a smooth user experience, you have to make sure that your learners can easily install your app on any of their favorite devices.
- Multi-language support is a crucial factor in increasing the user base. Concentrate on the countries where you plan to promote your app and add the respective localization.
- Payment gateway should be integrated into your app to ensure that any in-app purchases are performed securely and reliably.
- Open API is crucial to allow for easy integration of your app with other services.
- Security cannot be underrated under any circumstances. Including such features as two-factor authentication, advanced encryption, and monitoring user account access is the mandatory minimum that should be implemented. Apart from that, you need to have your app security tested on a regular basis to identify and eliminate any security issues timely.
Crucial Development StepsThe below steps will address the question of how to create an educational app that will be a success with its users.
Step 1. Choose Education App Category and Build Your Buyer PersonasIf you’ve come up with a bright idea for educational app development, you have to see where it fits among the numerous learning app categories. This will help you to identify your competitors and find out more about your future userbase. It’s crucial to gain a clear idea of who your users are and which needs they might have from the get-go.
Instead of doing some guesswork at this stage, focus on researching your target audience and building several buyer personas. Your learners may come from all walks of life. This may be a person looking for their first app to get started with online education or a seasoned e-learner on the lookout for a solution that can better meet their requirements. While building their profiles, you get to try on their shoes. In this way, you can better understand their behavior and motives, together with their likes and dislikes.
This stage is a major stepping stone to making sure that you will build an educational app that will cover the acute needs of your learners.
Step 2. Come Up with a Customer Journey Map and High Priority FeaturesWhen you know who your learners are and why they do what they do, you can build a customer journey map for your future solution. You have to pinpoint all the touchpoints through which your users will engage with your app. Then you can identify how to develop this original engagement into long-term ties.
While mapping exciting routes your customers can take on their journey, you can decide on the underlying set of features for educational app development. Understanding the aims and needs of your users, you can easily determine which functionality will play a pivotal role in user experience and engagement.
Working carefully through this step will guarantee that when it comes to the actual development, you will get your project off on the right foot.
Step 3. Create a Roadmap with Major MilestonesAt this stage, you have to set clear-cut objectives for your education app development. Creating a product roadmap is an effective way to identify your short- and long-term goals and outline a clear and concise product vision.
Having identified your buyer personas together with a list of high priority features, you can dive into planning activities. During this step, you will closely interact with your development team. Together you have to work out how to make an educational app in the most efficient way. You need to nail down what should go into the minimum viable product version and how the rest of the features should be aligned with future releases. Then you can visualize it all on a timeline.
As a result, you will have a strategic plan that will help you and your team maintain a laser focus on your ultimate goals.
Step 4. Develop and Launch MVPDeveloping a full-fledged product can easily span over months or even years. To shorten time-to-market, you should aim for the low-hanging fruit and start your educational mobile app development from an MVP version.
The MVP should come with the core features only. This version will enable you to ensure the product-market fit and gather feedback from your users. Based on these early results, you will be able to adjust your next development steps and marketing strategy. Then you can gradually expand your feature set to turn your app into a sophisticated solution tailored specifically to learners’ needs.
Step 5. Keep on Developing, Keep on Improving!As soon as your first version is released, it’s time to start collecting data. You have to keep tabs on user feedback and key performance metrics like user conversion and retention rates.
However, the cornerstone of this process is how you will go about any opportunities or issues that the collected data will disclose. Your decisions and actions in this regard is what can make or break the successful future of your educational app. If you spot any issues like a drop in the conversion rate or increase in user complaints, you have to find the root cause and do your best to eliminate it as quickly as possible.
Touch base with your users on a regular basis by conducting surveys of customer satisfaction. Keeping your ears open to what the users say helps uncover the areas for growth and improvement. This approach can guarantee that your app will remain relevant to your users and stay competitive.
How to Avoid Pitfalls?Here’re several common pitfalls that you should avoid when developing an educational app.
- Information overload and lack of interactive content. Reading long chapters in heavy study books is a thing of the past. Modern learners are extremely busy and live under constant pressure of information overload. That’s why every educational app should follow the principles of microlearning. The main rule is that you have to avoid delivering too much information at once, as well as cluttering educational materials with lots of text descriptions. Learning content should be presented in small chunked pieces instead. These are so-called learning nuggets. Completing a standalone activity should not take more than 5 minutes on average. Also, each learning nugget should be supplemented with training tasks and practical examples to help students grasp the essence of what they have just learned better.
- Lack of feedback. Delivering meaningful evaluation of learning outcomes to users is a crucial success factor. So modern educational apps should be developed as feedback-oriented learning systems. Usually, it’s easy to provide positive feedback, as you just have to state that a job is well done. But per Yoda’s wisdom: “The greatest teacher, failure is.” So the tough part is getting well-prepared to accommodate learners’ errors. If a student makes a mistake in training tests or assessments, they should get a comprehensive explanation of why their answer is false and how to avoid repeating this mistake. It is also a good idea to include recommendations as to which part of the learning material they should revisit. An additional way to address this issue is to add a contact teacher functionality. It will enable students to reach out to a professional for help if needed.
- Outdated learning materials. You shouldn’t hesitate about going to great lengths to supply your learners with the most relevant and up-to-date content. Providing topical and diverse materials for popular subjects and topics will attract a great number of users. At the same time, outdated content will negatively impact user engagement and retention. So plan for regular revisions of educational materials to timely pinpoint any irrelevant information that needs to be updated.
An Average Cost of Developing an Education AppThe total budget for educational app development depends on many things. The category of the app you’d like to build, the number of OSs and devices to support, the number of features, as well as the hourly rate of your development team are just several basic factors that add to the total cost.
The hourly rate of development professionals depends on their level of experience and the region they come from. The standard rates of the most popular regions are as follows:
- The USA - $120-150
- Western Europe - $50-100
- Eastern Europe - $35-40
- APAC - $25-40
Usually, the price for a basic app can start anywhere between $15 000 - $30 000. An extensive solution will require more time and a bigger budget.
ConclusionE-learning is education's eventual future. It meets the urgent need of young learners, whether students or workers, to quickly and effectively acquire the necessary skills and close ability gaps.
If more learners turn to online education, demand for the creation of educational apps continues to increase. But if you've got a great idea for a new educational initiative, then it's a good time to get it rolling!
We're (in Huskyjam) excited to help people grow their educational initiatives. So if you'd like an expert opinion on how to create a great educational app, you're welcome to drop us a message.
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