In the last few years, e-learning has become really popular. Coursera has recently surveyed and found that online courses provide more hands-on knowledge and develop everyday subject skills more effectively than traditional education.
The educational technology market is predicted to grow by 11% annually and reach $341 billion by 2025. Approximate annual revenues of Udemy are 28 million dollars, compared to Coursera, which is 140 million dollars, and Udacity – 67.5 million dollars. In addition, in 2018, EdTech Venture Capital has invested $2 billion in EdTech startups.
With all this data, it’s no surprise you want to learn how to create a MOOC (Mass Open Online Courses) platform, such as Udemy, Coursera, and EdX. Who doesn’t want a slice of that sweet pie?
Recruiters are getting more serious about online certificates, which has led to increased trust in online courses. E-learning is a great way to share your skills and learn something new. You can also make money from it if you create a high-quality e-learning website filled with great online courses. In this article, you will learn how to create a сustom online learning platform. Read on to find out how you can do it!
To start working on your MOOC platform, you need a name and suitable, available domain. Here are a few tips on how to find a good domain for your e-learning platform:
Once you have found the right domain, find a reliable hosting site to host your e-learning site. There are many platforms on the Internet that are convenient for ordinary users with scalable hosting plans for small, medium, and large websites. I’d recommend InMotion Hosting or Siteground.
The impressive growth of the e-learning industry is due to several key advantages that e-learning offers over traditional learning:
Anyone can enter the market – the main thing is to provide people with high-quality learning content and be able to attract users. This can be done even with little start-up capital. So, if you want to create an e-learning platform like Udemy or Coursera, now is a perfect time, while the market is growing rapidly, and there is no saturation of demand.
To create your e-learning platform, you first need to decide on its type. Depending on the services offered, these sites are roughly divided into six classes:
Your online learning platform can be either universal (any courses, on any subject, for any audience) or specialized. Specialization can be divided into two directions: niche (industry, agriculture, art, teaching, etc.) and target audience (students, businessmen, mothers, pilots, Spanish-speaking immigrants, etc.). The narrower the niche and target audience, the easier the promotion but the smaller the audience coverage.
When launching a new project, it’s better to make it specialized. This will increase the efficiency of the initial investment and provide more tools to increase user engagement. Just like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and many other companies from the Fortune Global 500 have done, starting from a certain niche and further expanding to a global scale.
Niche specialization is due to the demand, distance learning opportunities, and user buying power (if it’s a commercial project). For example, Udacity specializes in business and technology, Exchange CME provides continuous medical education, and Oilennium specializes in the oil and gas industry.
Specialization by target audience can make your project even more niche. For example, if the platform is oriented towards business education, you can focus on courses for students, faculty, or senior management. There are also courses designed to increase economic literacy for prisoners, immigrants, and teens.
Platforms of this type should have three user roles: the administrator that manages the site and deals with various site-related issues, the instructor (teacher, tutor) that creates courses and manages e-learning processes, and the student that studies, receives grades and a certificate, which confirms completion of the course. To make this possible, when creating the platform, you have to implement the following functions:
The listed functions are enough for your site to perform its main tasks. But if you want to stand out from the competition and get closer to the market leaders, you will also need a unique custom solution that can be implemented with the following features:
You can learn how dopamine reward systems work from books like “The Biology of Good and Evil. How Science Explains our Actions” by Robert Sapolsky and “Maximum Willpower: How to Master the New Science of Self-Control” by Kelly McGonegal.
E-learning platform design should be simple and contain colors that motivate students to study, keep them focused, without distracting them (advertising, popups, other courses, etc.). Thus, it’s best to hire a specialized agency to develop specific site design, but if you want to do it yourself, remember the following facts:
Hickey’s Law: “The more options, the more time it takes to make a decision. Experienced designers always remember this and, therefore, do not provide many options when it comes to choosing something. When you can’t do without it, the choice comes down to a few steps with 5-7 options.”
Miller’s Law: “People can store up to 7 information entities in their memory. Following this law, designers began to group the lists into groups of 5-7 entities.”
Gestalt Theory: “The human brain tends to recognize structure, logic, and patterns in what it sees and tends to combine many small objects into a large group. This helps to process information, create visual hierarchy, and increase the ability to scan content.” The main features, by which the brain groups objects, are as follows:
Von Restorff Effect (Isolation effect): “If there are several similar objects, the one that is different from the others is more likely to be remembered. In UX design, this effect is useful to highlight important information as well as to encourage users to perform a certain action.”
Color Psychology: “People tend to associate colors with certain emotions and actions. Thus, blue is associated with trust, red – with aggression and importance, green – with harmony and nature, orange – with friendliness and kindness, pink – with sensitivity and hope, purple – with power and superiority. White and black – have many meanings, depending on the context.”
WordPress offers its users many monetization systems. Perhaps the most popular of them is WooCommerce, which is a super easy to use e-commerce plugin that greatly simplifies the monetization process. And it’s completely free.
To make your course paid, you must first add a WooCommerce product. To do this, go to the WordPress administration panel, select WooCommerce -> Products -> Add Product. Now you can create a product by specifying its name, description, regular price, and sale price.
You can also add a sale schedule for this product. Also, make sure you tick the For Tutor option so that Tutor LMS can use the plugin to sell the product. Publish the product.
Once this is done, go to your course and click on the “Edit Course” button. Scroll down to find the “Add Product” section. In the “Select a Product” drop-down menu, select the product you have created. This is how you will link the WooCommerce product to your rate. Make sure the “Paid” option is selected in the “Course Type” section. That’s it. Now you can monetize your distance learning site.
Repeat the procedure for each course you create, so you can track the sales of each course.
It’s great that you think about creating a MOOC platform such as Udemy, Coursera, EdX, Udacity, etc., to help people share and get their knowledge.
Basically, to succeed, you only need 3 key elements:
The startup process is complex, and it’s not about unicorns and smoothies, but about the hard work of testing, measuring, collecting feedback, and rebuilding. Good luck!