The significant investments in the eLearning industry, with an estimated US$18.66 billion in 2019 and the expectation of 350 billion by 2025, have proven that this sector is on the rise. However, the covid 19 pandemic has boosted the momentum of this market due to the suspension of schools around the world. Education centers must apply partially or entirely remote classrooms through digital platforms to adapt to the New Normal, which has increased the demand for eLearning apps.
As an education center, you must ensure that your edtech app is a ready-to-use solution, whether creating the next big EdTech app or updating more features on your current learning app. In reality, most of our clients, when they first came to us, either had too many ideas for their products or had no ideas about where to start except the motivation to jump on the trending train. So here’s a list of the essential features that may fit your educational business model for you to consider:
Essential features that must be included in an edtech app
1. Live classes
eLearning apps include recorded classes and Live classes. But since 2021, the covid 19 pandemic has shown that Recorded classes are no longer sufficient to complete the learning process. Real-time classes where students and instructors can communicate are the most basic and crucial requirements.
Live class may include all of these features:
- Instant Messaging: A real-time chat window where students and teachers can communicate.
- Digital Blackboard/Whiteboard: An interactive whiteboard that helps present ideas better.
- Class recording: Allow teachers, students, and parents to review the classes and advancement by rewatching them.
- Other features promote two-way interaction like screen sharing, attendance marking, raising hands, etc.
2. Assignments and assessments
One fundamental feature that all instructors look for in edtech software is the ability to set assignments and assess student performance.
Some of the most essential features relating to assignments and assessments that an education business needs are:
- Assigning tasks to students,
- Controlling actual progress (considering projects finished and educational achievements),
- Allowing teachers and learners to upload and download files,
- Awarding grades, retrieving grading reports, etc.
3. Mock Tests (Quizzes)
An eLearning platform must include test features to assess learners’ level of understanding and knowledge. Especially for certain training programs, as in the case of IELTSmaster, one of our clients focusing on IELTS training, they take a very serious account of uploading and storing IELTS test papers. At the same time, we combined features that allow students to take the test and fill in the answers directly on the application itself, storing the results for later use.
Some training centers have raised concerns about exam cheating in the digital environment. However, thanks to the development of technology in the educational environment in recent years, we have been able to develop features such as the detection of electronic devices, multiple people in the student area, human sounds in the background, live proctoring; record and review proctoring, etc… These features help us to overcome the challenges inherent to online test.
4. Privacy and security
At the start of the pandemic, classes were suspended, forcing educational centers to quickly move to an online learning model. That rush shift has made the security system incomplete, leading to more and more hacker attacks. This has raised concerns for the training centers when it comes to the decision of switching to an online learning environment.
Therefore, the development of complete security features will help educational businesses win the trust of learners while protecting important teaching documents of enterprises.
5. Integration with learning management system (LMS) and school information system (SIS)
An eLearning software needs to be built based on the entire education technology tech stack, including the Learning Management System (LMS) and the Student Information System (SIS).
Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Student Information Systems (SIS) appear in most schools or educational institutions. Therefore, an edtech product must integrate with existing LMS and SIS systems.
In another case, IELTSmaster – an edtech product built by ICTS, is used as an alternative Learning Management System. The reason for this is that the owner of this product, VietPhil has a special business model for providing IELTS courses. They have teachers from many schools in the Philippines, and each school uses a different LMS. Therefore, VietPhil had asked ICTS to build IELTSmaster as replacement software for existing LMSs, helping this business manage their teachers and students in a more accessible and efficient way.
Advanced features that might suit your unique learning systems
6. Group working mode
Group mode on the online platform is a very effective way to increase the student’s contribution to the lessons as well as enhance the interaction between the learners. Since the digital transformation from the traditional classroom to edtech software occurred, It has disrupted student interaction; therefore group mode feature could be the answer for your education business.
Group mode can be built in many ways, such as allowing teachers to divide students in class into small groups, assigning gamified assignments that can only be completed by more than one student, etc.
Gamification is one of the best features to make your eLearning application attractive to learners. To be able to Gamify an eLearning software, it is necessary to integrate components such as badges, levels, performance charts, scoreboards, points, dynamic analytics dashboards, etc.,
The reason that gamification can be more attractive to learners is that it creates motivation, encourage a spirit of healthy competition among users, and creates a sense of fulfillment each time an accomplishment is achieved.
For example, increasing the user’s level and giving a badge or reward will motivate the learner to overcome the next challenge. Thanks to that, gamification also enhances the interaction between users with the application and with each other.
8. Self-pace mode
Education is not limited to school or university students, but also working people have the need to develop their own professional skills through training courses. The self-paced mode feature becomes extremely suitable for this group of users.
Most learners in this category are unable to attend fixed-time sessions due to their employment obligations; therefore, they need access to lectures and resources on their own schedules.
To be able to build this feature on edtech software, it is necessary to allow the application to record and upload live or pre-recorded lessons, provide complete materials and resources online, as well as the ability to interact with the instructor and the help center at all times.
9. AI and AR applied in education apps.
The strong growth of AI technology in recent times has made it a powerful tool for any educational application. As an example of how AI is used in building an Edtech app, teachers can build a knowledge base that’s connected with your in-app messaging platform. Students and parents are able to send questions using the app, and AI will respond with pertinent information or put them in touch with the instructors directly. Not only will this save time for both teacher and learners, but it will also improve the interactions between them.
Additionally, your educational apps will become even more engaging for learners when combined with AR technology. Even with younger students who have limited attention span or are studying subjects that tend to have lower engagement rates, Augmented reality is proven to keep them interested in what they are learning. Taking the advantages of mixed AI-AR technology, students now aim their camera at a plant, and a visual with information about that plant will pop up. They could even be able to see a plant’s growth in front of their eyes.
10. Options to monetize
Monetizing an EdTech app might be challenging. Pay-per-user subscription plan, an annual membership, or a download price, are several monetization possibilities usable. But you must first convince people to pay for your EdTech app before you even think about monetizing it.
One of the great strategies to do this is by placing a barrier for some functionality. Give premium course authors the ability to download and adjust user interaction reports. This will be directed targeting independent educators, freelancers, and trainers who want to increase client engagement and user experience (UX).
Are you building or having a plan to build an eLearning system? Check this Case study: IELTSMaster, in which we have helped a language training center build its own Learning Management System (LMS) at an affordable budget, for your reference.