The global e-learning landscape has seen a significant upsurge during the pandemic years. Educational institutions have responded to the crisis by shifting the learning process to online or e-learning platforms.
As a result, we are now standing at the cornerstone of a learning revolution. According to the Harvard Business Review, 98% of universities switched to online classes in 2020. Similarly, research has also found that 98% of corporate training, even in the post-pandemic era, remains online with a preference for self-paced learning.
This has opened up many opportunities for the e-learning industry to develop game-changing e-learning products for its users. Geniusee has experience in developing these e-learning solutions.
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Let's look at a few core features of e-learning products and learn how you can approach their development.
User convenience is one of the most defining characteristics of online education. Students may want to access the learning modules from their Android or iOS-based smartphones, laptops, or Chromebooks.
As a developer, you need to ensure responsive design for your platform. The content should be accessible and compatible with multiple devices with varying operating systems and screen sizes.
A conflict between the developer libraries, browser, or device-specific parameters such as shell or screen resolution may lead to incompatibility with specific devices and browsers. You can use advanced web analytics and user experiences analysis tools to prevent such incompatibility. For example, CanIUse or StatCounter can help you maintain compatibility.
Also, you can create and use a matrix combining different hardware and software configurations during the testing phase of your e-learning projects to check for compatibility and support across multiple platforms.
The stability of the video connection is the center of attention for a learning experience on an online platform. Even with highly engaging learning materials, the overall quality of the online training sessions will fail to achieve their goals if the video connection becomes unstable.
Online learning platforms require face-to-face communication for video-based learning and real-time sharing of multimedia content. WebSocket technology is highly suitable for this purpose as it helps maintain a stable and smooth connection.
A fully functional and integrated payment system within your e-learning product saves you and the participants from many hassles. A payment gateway makes the whole online education process highly convenient because users can subscribe to your courses without leaving the website or app. Also, you can access all of your transaction data instantly within the same platform.
However, despite the convenience, an integrated payment system also increases your system's vulnerabilities and makes it more prone to cyberattacks. You should strictly adhere to all security protocols when integrating external payment gateways such as Stripe within your platform to exclude potential vulnerabilities.
You will usually deal with these two problems when integrating a payment system:
1. Integration-related. To solve the integration problems, you will need to thoroughly investigate your business needs and user demographics. Then you carefully match the features provided by the payment gateway with your business applications.
2. Transaction-related. To address transaction problems, you will usually find all the supporting resources on the respective gateway’s website (Stripe: Help and Support). All major payment gateways let you log and monitor your transaction data in real-time so that you can investigate any issues right away.
By the way...
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Flexibility and self-paced learning are among the key reasons behind the widespread popularity and acceptance of online courses. Users participating in an online training program may come from diverse backgrounds and knowledge levels. So a well-organized calendar system that lets them schedule their own learning modules according to their proficiency, individual progress, and knowledge would add enormous value to your course content.
Also, a good calendar system should allow users to control their availability based on their individual learning goals and schedule.
Conflict of schedule is a problem you can face when implementing a well-organized calendar system. Another problem area is related to the cancellation of particular lessons. In such cases, you will need to find a way to reschedule lessons without contradicting other pre-scheduled time slots.
A real-time user logging system can help control user scheduling in your calendar. Several third-party platforms allow this functionality. For example, Amazon CloudWatch, a tool from Amazon Web Services, lets you monitor your e-learning tools and application infrastructure in real-time, facilitating your calendar implementation.
Several types of users will interact in an e-learning course, such as
Each of them may need different levels of access to the available resources and relevant content. For example, trainers may need to check out the test questions, including solutions, whereas students will need access only to the training materials and relevant, valuable information. Similarly, their administrative roles and permissions will vary as well.
While implementing user roles based on permissions and user groups, you may primarily encounter two issues:
Tools like Amazon Cognito from Amazon Web Services specifically let you address user sign-up management systems with varying authorization levels. In addition, Cognito also allows you to set different authentication rules for varying levels of users. Interestingly, you can also integrate social identity providers such as Apple, Facebook, Google, or Amazon within the system to make the login process seamless for your end-users.
Cognito also allows connectivity through enterprise identity providers such as SAML 2.0 and OpenID to scale it up and make it even more secure.
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Next, you will need to simplify the lesson booking and registration process for your e-learning course, as participants want to manage this process by themselves. At the same time, to deal with any sophisticated issues, you will need to allow your tech support members to access the system and fix any problems manually.
Several registration and booking models are available, ranging from fixed and one-time payments to recurring and subscription-based systems. You will need to carefully consider your client’s business model, course structure, and learning requirements before picking the right one or combining several methods.
When you combine different booking methods, the testing may get complicated. However, AWS Lambda lets you test the effectiveness of your booking system and simulate a real-life environment. You can run tests for functionalities such as scheduled actions, recurring payments, or automatic extension of booked lessons under certain conditions with AWS Lambda’s serverless architecture.
Participation from a global audience can help you scale up your e-learning company. However, as a downside, managing real-time interaction will get complicated because your learners will join from different time zones. Moreover, you will also need to automatically integrate the daylight savings time of different time zones within your learning platform.
There are many ways e-learning professionals can help participants manage time zone settings smoothly. For example, browser tools and extensions can emulate different time zones. Also, your lesson booking system and calendar may need to adapt to dynamic time zone settings.
Additionally, you should figure out how to effectively engage learners from varying time zones effectively. A blended learning system combining pre-recorded video-based lectures, interactive training materials, live sessions, peer grading, and gamification of the e-learning content may help in this case.
To protect your valuable information, educational content, and financial resources, you should make the platform secure from any potential cybercrimes.
Many users will connect to your platform through their social accounts. As a result, any security breach on the platform may hamper their social media accounts as well, and attackers may steal confidential user information. The types of attacks on e-learning platforms include XSS (cross-site scripting), direct SQL code injection, remote injection of trojan files, URL SQL injection, brute force attack to crack passwords, and so on.
You can apply different user access levels, multi-factor authentication for registration, and login flows to protect the system's integrity. Here are some best practices to secure your user authentication:
Zero Trust security model is one of the best ways to start with if you want to build a well-protected system.
Emailing services integrated into your e-learning product will help you communicate with users better and instantly, and it also helps with your promotions and marketing campaigns. You can procure the email service from several third-party email providers, such as MailChimp, Slack, Tiny Letter, Paper.li, IFTTT, LearnUpon, etc. When choosing your provider for an online learning platform, take a closer look at two issues—communication and scheduling.
Those issues will determine how frequently you want to communicate with your users and the communication triggers. Once you find your optimal frequency, you can configure the mail client to dispatch the emails at a given schedule.
Different mail service providers have advantages and limitations to facilitating your online training programs. To find out the best one, it is good to try a few for your e-learning company. For example, MailChimp lets you create user segmentation based on user roles (e.g., students, trainers, classroom managers) and create scheduled emails. On the other hand, Slack helps you send real-time instant messaging-like emails across remote teams.
Features such as multiplatform access, implementation of a video connection, a payment system, etc., are some of the must-have items for an excellent e-learning product. Geniusee’s experts have already implemented these features successfully in several e-learning platforms. To get ahead in the highly competitive market, contact Geniusee’s team today to discuss your requirements.
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