Online Learning Software (also known as eLearning Software) is an education and learning platform that helps people learn, upskill and reskill to gain essential life and career skills. eLearning software gained prominence during the COVID period as it helped students and professionals continue learning while staying at home.
eLearning software platforms provide tools and features like video lessons, articles, live classrooms, assessment tests, online forums, and gamification for learners to learn new skills and build competencies.
Learners have various choices to subscribe to online video publishing platforms, eLearning marketplace, tutoring platforms, and cohort-based learning.
Online Learning Software Background
Online learning has evolved in many ways since its inception. Universities have been offering e-learning since the beginning of the internet in the 1990s. We saw rapid growth in technology between 2006 and 2010, which helped boost the popularity and accessibility of online learning, especially in the higher education sector.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many changes to our society. Schools and universities that had never used e-learning technologies had to adapt to new ways of teaching their students. However, as we continue to emerge from the worst global health crisis in history, we also see new opportunities for education and learning.
Online Learning Software Opportunity
Statista, the global research firm, estimates that online education revenue will reach US$85.50bn in 2022. It will grow at an annual CAGR of 14.9%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$166bn by 2027.
According to Global Market Insights, the eLearning market size will grow to US$1tn by 2028 at a CAGR of 20% annually.
After reading the above observations, it is clear that the online education industry is exploding due to better use of technology to improve the learning experience and broad adoption by academic, corporate and individual.
Students are using online learning software to attend the courses remotely and improve their subject knowledge by attending online classes.
Executives are using online learning software to reskill and upskill themselves to stay relevant and get things done more efficiently.
Corporates are using online learning software to improve the work skills of their employees. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Adobe, Figma, and Many others are using it to educate their customer about their product.
Online learning software provides flexibility, cost-effectiveness, customization, and accessibility for people to access quality training and education. It effectively allows trainers and educators to deliver quality education using digital technology software and tools.
Online Learning Software Key Players
Online learning software comes in several varieties based on the nature and specifics of the use cases. It comes as a cloud-hosted, self-hosted and open-source software solution for hosting and managing the course.
The traditional learning management software provides the features of academia to set up and run online classes. The key player includes Google class kit, Adobe Captivate, ProProfs, WizIQ, LearnUpon, Docebo, SAP Litmos, Backboard, and Moodle.
Online learning platforms provide skills and subject-driven courses primarily focused on helping learners acquire new skills, develop expertise, or reskill their work skills for better job execution. Platforms like Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, EDX, and SkillShare are among the top contenders in the domain.
Online course platform focus on trainer centric approach for creating online courses and lessons comprising text, image, video, presentation, PDF files, and video. Teachable, Thinkfic, LearnWorlds, Kajabi, Masterclass, and Podia are the top online course platforms.
Course authoring tools provide software features for trainers to create content for offering online courses. Some of the best platforms for course authoring include Articulate Storyline 360, Educidat, Adobe Captivate, Camtasia, Knowbly, EasyGenerator and Lectora.
Opportunities in online learning software
After reading about the several players already tapping the opportunity in the online learning software domain, is there anything more left to offer further?
Obviously, there’s a list of innovative opportunities to compete with the existing players directly. You can build a comprehensive online learning platform that minimises costs, provides learners convenience and flexibility, improves student success, gamify the learning process, and enhances learner support.
Online Learning Painpoints
The core premise of online learning platforms is that they offer an easy way to help educators and students address the barriers and challenges in implementing digital courseware to support better student success.
Course design and resources
There is a plethora of opportunities for educational designs, courses and relevant resources to meet learner needs, learning opportunities, interactions, accountability and engaging experiences.
Facilitate hybrid learning
Augment the current offline learning with flipped classroom model providing student readings, practice exercises, self-assessment quizzes, videos, discussion boards and other resources for online access. It will help students access these resources before they arrive in the class and actively participate in the class lecture.
Accountability, engagement and interactivity
Using innovative methods to increase options for access to learning, use of available resources, gamification, and adaptable teaching and learning will certainly help create a niche for the online learning software.
Achieve student success
Building a platform that provides tools and features to advocate student success through a student support centre, cohort-based setup, and doubt-solving facilities is the need of the hour.
Online assessment integration
Adding assessment tools that provide timely feedback, adjust the curriculum, facilitate peer assessment, and encourage learners to develop new skills will add immense value to the online learning software. An effective assessment tool should be an integral part of the learning process instead of existing as a tool for certification creation.
Development and support to trainers
For better student success, online learning software should provide features to trainers to access the effectiveness of their training and student feedback to help them adjust their training to deliver better learning outcomes. Trainers should have integrated features in online learning software to overcome the technological challenges, adopt the best strategies for their learners and content, and actively engage with them when they access the course.
Security is in high demand today in the modern, complex, and globally accessible eLearning marketplace— a highly secure platform with features to eliminate spam and keep all kinds of private information safe.
Automated workflow ensures that the planned software can handle as many students, tutors, and traffic on the platform. The platform will be capable of upscaling your business without worrying about excessive manual work.
Extensive admin panel
The online software should provide full control by having a versatile admin panel. The admin has access to in-depth reporting tools and the ability to personalise the experience from the admin panel. View user details, tutor details, registered dates, courses, sales details, learning management, and more from a central dashboard.
Search engine optimisation
Your online learning software should be SEO-friendly. You’ll have an easier time being crawled by search engines such as Google and Bing.
Multiple revenue streams
The online learning software should support an assortment of revenue channels that covers all modern revenue generation methods to monetise course selling, Live classes, products, games, assessments, educational products, toys, games, etc.
The solution should be customisable by software developers to easily modify the code and add additional features as may be required.
ONLINE LEARNING SOFTWARE FEATURES
Online Learning Software primarily addresses the need of three key stakeholders. As an owner of the software platform, you will need features to manage the platform efficiently. You will have trainers who create the courses and conduct the virtual classroom sessions, and the learners will buy and use the platform to benefit from it. Find below the comprehensive list of features you will need to build to make your online learning software unique and powerful to attract trainers and learners.
An efficient online education software should have an admin dashboard landing page with a graphical analysis of users, courses, payments, sales, and course consumption. Side menu bars with module and menu access for administering the systems, master data, user management and report access.
Trainers and educators are an essential part of the online learning software. The trainer management module will help you manage trainers and see the list of registered trainers, subject expertise, availability, and performance reports.
The online learning software will deal with trainers and students. They will need to have an appointment management system integration so that they can schedule appointments, access meeting instructions, and receive feedback about the effectiveness of the meeting.
The administrator of online learning software will need to add, edit and delete subjects and topics offered on the platform.
The grade management feature will help you categorise learners based on their grades and allow you to display, filter and short the learners by their grades.
The webinar has become essential for creating engaging interactions with the learners in real-time. It would make your online learning software more appealing if you integrate the feature of creating, publishing and hosting webinars within your platform. You will require the features to create, edit, categorise, and assign the price.
Your online learning software must include multiple courses to address the learning requirements. You will need to build the capabilities to create courses, organise them in category(s), list and search course(s), and add the demo preview feature. Reviewing and approving courses submitted by the trainer will give you better control.
Course Transaction Management
When people use your online learning management software, you need to know the revenues your platform is earning, the commissions paid to the trainers, and other statuary obligations and compliance you must adhere to based on the revenue generated. The refund management feature will help you handle the refund requests raised by the learners in case they are not satisfied with the course outcome.
Offering coupons encourage learners to try courses offered and helps you monetise your platform better. An efficient coupon management feature will support adding the coupons, providing validity and usage restrictions, supporting percentage/fixed discount and activating/deactivating the coupons.
Primarily trainers will sign up on your platform to create the courses and conduct their online class, and learners will sign up to sample, buy and join the online class. The user management feature of your online learning software will help you with user creation, categorisation, activation, deactivation, user listing, and user profile viewing.
Interactions and Notifications Management
All modern online learning software integrates Email, SMS, and in-app notifications to automate the communication between the platform and users. You will need to integrate with the Email/SMS service providers. The ability to incorporate newsletter management will further improve the engagement with users.
General Settings for Online Learning Software
These days most SAAS software makes it easy for users to customise the software settings to make it look, feel and operate per their personal preference. You can offer custom URL, logo, favicon, contact details, SEO settings, Google Analytics integration, payment gateway, multi-language management, etc., as part of settings management.
Online Learning Software Features for Learners
Learners are the key stakeholders of any online learning software. They will contribute majorly whether your online learning software will be hit or flop.
Your website/mobile app for learners should clearly communicate your brand message and value proposition and help them navigate, search, enrol and consume the courses offered on your platform easily.
It will help if you provide a well-organised listing of courses, webinars, events, and other features that will convince the learners to join the platform confidently.
Most online learning software provides easy navigation of courses offered by them along with the details like course title, short description, trainer details, etc. It helps keep the course details neatly organised, searchable and easily purchasable. Providing demos and free courses helps learners gain confidence before they buy the paid course.
Dashboard for Learners
Once the learner enrols on your platform, you will need to provide them with a dedicated dashboard they can visit after signing in successfully.
They should be able to add/update their profile and other personal information using the dashboard. The dashboard should provide them with the details of courses enrolled, course progress, viewing the course and lessons, and using the features and benefits to learn on your platform. The dashboard should also help them access payment details, buy new courses, refund requests, and other features.
If you provide features like webinars, assessments, etc. all of these should be available to the learners when they access the dashboard. You can carefully plan to cross-sell and upsell to your customers courses, webinars, digital content, tools, etc. You should allow students to schedule appointments with the trainer so that they can connect with the trainers as and when needed.
Online Learning Software Features for Trainers
Most online learning providers aggregate trainers for the courses on the platform. You’ll need to provide an intuitive and easy-to-use interface for trainers to create courses, publish lessons, conduct assessments, receive feedback, interact with learners and know their earnings.
The dashboard should allow trainers to create their profile, update it, and provide details related to their expertise and experience, certifications, ratings and testimonials. It should allow them to create assignments and review/grade the submissions by learners. It should provide them reports about the enrolled students, earnings, etc., so that they can improve their course content to make it more effective. Your online learning software should allow trainers to schedule the event, send reminders, access participant details, and host the event through integration with the webinar hosting platforms. It would add great value if you allow trainers to book/reschedule/cancel appointments with learners and view the appointments booked/rescheduled/cancelled by them.
The course management feature of your online learning management software should help trainers manage courses, manage lectures, add multimedia content, secure the content and additional tools to make the course delivery engaging and interactive.
The pricing management feature will help trainers set their own pricing, increase or decrease, create discount coupons, and see their earnings. The trainers expect you to let them know about the revenue generated by them and their earnings. Your ability to automatically transfer the income to their bank account on a pre-scheduled date and time will boost their confidence.
Integrations and APIs
In today’s connected application environment, you need to connect online learning software with other software that allows integration with other data sources. APIs integrations to authenticate users through SMS/Email OTP, Payment Gateway, etc., keep data in sync, enhance productivity and drive revenue.
User authentication APIs to validate the Email/Mobile number provided by the user is the most common feature modern applications use to authenticate the user. You can further authenticate users with AADHAR id, PAN, etc., to further authenticate the users.
Payment gateway integration allows you to accept payment from users when they buy/subscribe to the courses. Your eLearning software should provide payment gateway integration for handling online payments, credit card payments, debit card payments, UPI payments, mobile wallets, etc.
AADHAR and PAN authentication will help you identify the real users, and it is more useful if you provide the certificates for course completion.
Webinar API integration with webinar software providers like Zoom will provide the ease-of-use to learners and trainers.
Course integration with other online learning platforms will help you strengthen your offering by giving your customers more options and choices and improving your revenue.
There are several other API integrations available, and you may require to use them depending on the use case of your specific value proposition.
Overall, online learning software is a future-proof opportunity for several reasons.
First of all, it is continuously emerging, and more people are joining online courses to upgrade their skills to stay relevant. The industry prediction of 14% growth year after year clearly indicates it.
Secondly, a perfectly developed online learning software provides value to course creators and learners. It helps the platform owners earn revenue from trainers as well as learners.
Third, the world is moving towards a creator economy. In the future, more people will join the wagon to leverage their skills and experiences to offer courses, which will strengthen the course supply.
Whether you are a business owner or want to launch a new edtech startup, this is an excellent opportunity to pursue.