Education is in the top 3 app categories in Google Play and App Store, next to games and business categories. People choose mobile educational applications because they help gain skills and knowledge efficiently. It’s the perfect time to develop a learning app and enter the market, and here’s why:
The field for educational application development is quite broad since people strive to acquire various knowledge and skills. We prepared a guide to help you create your own app educational application.
What educational apps are there?
All educational applications can be categorized by end-user, learning purpose, and type of content. We prefer dividing learning apps into these three categories because understanding them helps further education app development and promotion.
|Educational application types|
|Learning purpose||Skill development
|Type of content||Online courses
Educational goals, target audience, and content type determine the logic of the application, content representation approaches, and the positioning of your product. Before starting educational application development, you should categorize your app idea. Your application can obtain several categories.
For example, Coursera targets students and postgraduate adults to provide knowledge gaining in the form of online courses. To understand how it works for business, let’s look at the top 3 learning apps and how they build their business models.
3 most successful learning apps and their business models
According to SensorTower, the most downloaded learning applications for 2020 are Google Classroom, YouTube Kids, and Duolingo. All three apps have different target audiences, content delivery methods, and learning goals. It’ll help us understand their success from different angles and make the best out of their examples.
Google Classroom is a learning management platform that allows teachers and students to exchange files, create assignments, and teach and learn at a distance. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, Google Classroom got 50 million downloads for Android and became number one among education apps.
The app became so popular due to its simplicity and availability. Google Classroom is free for all schools and is a part of G Suite for Education.
Although Google Classroom isn’t a commercial project, it’s worth studying it as an example of a successful application that solves real user problems. The app simplifies file sharing and lets teachers create assignments, assess students’ achievements, and boost collaboration. The application is stable, has a user-friendly interface, and isn’t over saturated with features.
YouTube Kids is a video content platform that offers kids-friendly content and allows for parent control. Targeted on kids, it simplifies finding engaging and educating videos for young users. For parents, the app helps to block off inappropriate content.
According to Apptopia and Braze, YouTube Kids is the most used education platform for 2020, meaning users spend more time on it than other applications. YouTube Kids’ business model is a part of a YouTube global business model.
YouTube Kids is an excellent example of targeting a specific audience using the resources that already exist. Even if you’re a startup, you can learn from YouTube and think of extra opportunities for future mobile app development.
Duolingo is a learning application with gamification features for everyone who wants to boost their language skills. The app is engaging and straightforward due to gaming elements like levels, rewards, progress tracking, etc. It allows for training language skills such as listening, writing, reading, and speaking in 38 languages. By 2020, Duolingo had 42 million users and was valued at $1.5 billion.
Duolingo’s business model is the most interesting because the application is commercial. The company uses the latest trends in mobile learning app development like gamification, builds marketing campaigns in different channels, and develops a proactive partnership.
Now that we understand how successful learning apps grow the business, let’s take a look at the mechanics of learning apps.
Must-have elearning app features
To make an educational app that is efficient and valuable for users, it has to include some basic features that provide a seamless user experience. Below is a list of key learning app functionality.
Signing up is an essential procedure for collecting and processing user data. Since you’re building a learning app, you’ll need to store and display user progress. Besides that, you may want to create a database and use it to promote your services and send notifications and other important information to your users.
The user profile allows learning path customization and other personal settings that learners may want to manage. For business, it’s the simplest way to understand who your user is, their needs, and preferences to perform better targeting. You can ask for feedback to improve your services and build lasting relationships with your customers.
Main feed and menu
The main feed and menu are the features that concern user interface and content accessibility. Improve your app with an intuitive interface to retain learners and influence their behavior. If the app is easy to navigate and has robust recommendation algorithms, users will appreciate your care.
One of the essential features of your app is content and its organization. It’s best to offer users short courses that have a common topic and are well-structured. Take your time and create learning plans. Ask professional educators to help you create quality content.
How will you get paid for your services? The payment function provides a market relationship between you and your customer. Allow users to pay for services by credit card, e-wallets, or mobile phone.
Notifications help users track their achievements, don’t give up, and continue learning. With notifications, you boost user engagement and keep them updated with new features, learning opportunities, and promotions and discounts.
In case you want to build an educational app where educators manage learners’ progress, assign tasks, and hold group meetings, you should implement an admin panel. This tool facilitates user management by displaying all necessary information about learners and provides quick access to this information.
Course editing tools
For applications that allow course creation, such as Kahoot!, users will need content management functionality. With course editing tools, users can upload and delete material, add learning modules to existing courses, create content from scratch, and more.
Gamification is an elearning trend that benefits businesses significantly. It uses gaming mechanisms to make learning fun and addictive, increasing user interactions with the app. Gamification improves the learning path and increases knowledge retention. Users find gamified learning apps motivating and efficient. Elearning gamification features are leveling, quizzes and puzzles, progress bars, rewards, badges, leaderboards, etc.
These are common features that each learning app should have. Let’s see what advanced functionality you can add to attract more users and build a successful learning app.
Education application development trends
The number of educational apps is increasing, and entrepreneurs are trying to follow the trends to stand out from the competition and win the user’s hearts. According to Global Market Insights, the Mobile Learning Market size reached $20 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at 13% CAGR between 2020 and 2026.
Keep in mind the following directions when you decide to start an educational app development for Android and iOS.
People prefer studying by video as it is simple to follow, and it often provides visual examples. Google reports that 86% of YouTube users use video to learn new things. Besides creating video lectures and tutorials, many teachers hold online lessons to communicate with students face to face, and large corporations conduct webinars for their employees.
The pandemic has forced educational institutions to switch to online education, and now all students listen to video lectures every day. Video content opens up opportunities for other online learning trends such as microlearning and personalized learning.
Personalized learning path
The ability to personalize the virtual learning environment is attractive to users. By choosing a learning path based on their interests and needs, people become more motivated to take courses, which means more business interactions with the application. An advanced learning experience where the user can customize their experience makes education enjoyable, engaging, and comfortable.
Artificial intelligence tracks and analyzes user behavior to create personalized learning. AI can boost engagement, improve assessment tools, provide smart scheduling and content creation, and more.
Duolingo uses AI to develop adaptive tests, which offer questions based on previous answers, challenging users with more complex tasks or making them work on their weak points. For word memorizing, Duolingo uses AI to track mistake patterns and determine when users forget some words to personalize their learning paths.
Augmented and virtual reality
AR and VR are at the heart of immersive learning apps. Virtual reality allows educators to conduct experiments without risking the life and health of students and gain hands-on experience. This tool is excellent for recreating hard-to-reach or unsafe environments.
For example, Ocean Rift is an interactive learning app that shows users an aquatic safari park. It can be used during biology lessons to explore the underwater world. Advanced VR applications are used in medical education to act in real-life scenarios like examining and treating patients without the risks of harming a real person.
Microlearning and social learning
Microlearning is a tool to simplify learning and help users to cultivate discipline. It implies dividing learning content into small pieces that take around 10 minutes to complete. Studies show that millennials and Generation Z prefer microlearning to other training formats.
Social learning is another educational trend that people prefer. Making learning social means letting users communicate, share their experience and achievements with other learners. Commenting, discussions, and forums are elements of social learning. Social learning can be a great tool for businesses to raise brand awareness, promote the application, and grow the client base.
Ways to monetize a learning app
Learning applications aim to retain users and bring profit to businesses. There are several strategies to monetize elearning applications:
|Monetization strategy||How it works||Examples|
|Freemium||Freemium model implies offering learning content for free but taking fees for additional services such as obtaining a certificate, mentoring services, exams, etc.||Coursera, Kahoot!, Google Classroom|
|Paid apps||You can partner with course creators and sell online courses, making a profit on the percentage of sales.||Udemy|
|Subscriptions||Some applications provide free access to the first 3 to 5 lessons, and then, if users are interested in continuous learning, they can purchase a monthly or yearly subscription.||Duolingo, Memrise|
|Advertisements||You can offer your application to advertisers and charge them for views or clicks on their ads. Be careful because users may not appreciate too many ads. Better to create your own terms and politics for advertisers.||YouTube Kids|
When choosing a monetization model, remember to charge fees for products that bring value to your users, and explain the payment terms. Scribd book readers offered unlimited access to their library for $9/month. However, with the small print, access will be denied if you read too much. Such politics led to dozens of negative comments from users.
5 steps to creating your educational app
Here are the steps you should take to make a learning application that will fit the market, stand out from competitors and bring revenue.
Step 1. Develop the idea
Start creating your perfect education application in your mind. Think of what educational problems you’ve had back in university or school, ask your friends or kids what learning app they may consider for themselves. Read the student forums and discover ideas there. Brainstorm around your findings and choose 1 to 3 ideas to test their market fit.
Step 2. Conduct market research
Take your ideas from the previous step and evaluate them. You need to make sure that your product will solve your potential customer’s problems and benefit them. Examine learning app market segments and determine your target audience.
Create an ideal user profile, describe by the following criteria the person that will buy your product:
- Age, sex, location.
- Marital status, kids.
- Job title, annual income.
- Pain points, challenges in education.
- Buyer behavior.
Based on the information received, create your value proposition. Use this template for starters:
“We (company or app name) help (your target audience) to (overcome challenges) by (product or service you provide)”
Here’s a Memrise value proposition statement, for example: “From wanderlusters to DIYers and Kpop lovers, Memrise is helping people experience the sheer pleasure of learning.”
Step 3. Create business model
After you align your value proposition, it’s time to decide your unique infrastructure and cost structure for your business. Creating a business model is needed to establish your competitive advantage, plan your growth and build a sustainable business.
Decide on your key partners and resources, think of your expenditures and revenue streams, choose how you’ll distribute your value proposition. You can use this Google business model canvas template to create your business model.
Step 4. Find a development partner
With a detailed business model in hand, you’re ready to look for a development company that will create a learning app for you. Look for a team that has already built mobile learning apps. Test these applications, read user reviews.
Gather information about the developer, ask the development provider for a consultation to learn about the processes and stages of development. Here’s how you can tell if a company is suitable:
- has experience of learning app development,
- has been on the market for at least two years,
- has verified reviews on Clutch,
- uses a modern and effective development stack.
You can also determine if the company offers support after the implementation stage, if it provides business analyst services, etc.
Tech stack for a learning app
Riseapps has experience in developing elearning mobile applications. Some of our successful projects are language application for self-studying and classroom use, learning management system for people of color, applications for home fitness.
Our experience has shown that the React Native framework combined with TypeScript, Redux + Saga, HTML, CSS, Python, Django, and AWS gives the power to develop learning apps quicker than using other technologies.
Step 5. Implement the app and collect feedback
The application launch is one of the most exciting phases of application development, as you’ll test your strategy for strength. Be sure to collect reviews, both negative and positive. Only genuine user interaction with your app and honest feedback will help you improve.
Update your application according to the user requests, and collect feedback again. After a few iterations, you will have a clear picture of where to go next. Implement key features first, and then scale your application by adding trending features, targeting new segments, or implementing insightful ideas from user feedback.
Challenges of creating ed apps
With a trusted development partner, you can quickly implement any ideas and create the perfect learning app. The main thing is to make detailed preparation to overcome common challenges easily when creating ed applications.
Choosing the right features
When building a learning application, it’s important to remember that all of its functions should serve a common purpose – to educate the user. Too many features can be confusing for people, and there is a risk that they won’t want to figure out how everything works.
If the specifics of your application don’t allow you to minimize functionality, add short gamified tutorials so that users consistently go through all the features without going into complex details.
Creating educational content
Application features provide easy and efficient learning, but the quality of educational content is your responsibility. Professionals must prepare classic pedagogical techniques and learning programs. We recommend hiring educators and teachers in the disciplines relevant to your idea to make your application truly valuable.
The educational app stores a lot of sensitive data. Personal user data and educational content must be protected from theft. Make sure your development partner is aware of all law regulations for education app security.
Must-have features concerning data security are:
- data encryption in transit and at rest,
- multi-factor authentication for users,
- vulnerability scanning.
Education application development cost
To create a minimum viable product for a learning app, developers need 3-4 months approximately. They usually charge the customers hourly fees. The variables that influence the software development cost are team location, seniority level, and the difficulty of application architecture. Here’s a comparison of learning application development cost by location.
|Development cost comparison by location|
|Region||Hourly rate||Basic level learning app|
Some development companies use the pay for milestone approach. You don’t have to pay for everything at once, but after each milestone is finished. To help you plan your budget, we prepared an MVP development estimation and cost comparison.
Educational app development is rewarding. First and foremost, you get the chance to help thousands of people to learn something new. By providing value, you’ll earn money and people’s trust.
Here are key ideas you should remember when developing Android and iOS education application:
- The education applications market continues to grow.
- Gamification and microlearning users value the most.
- Artificial intelligence and virtual reality are trendy.
- Developing a business model is crucial for success.
- Monetization strategies for learning apps are freemium, paid apps, advertising, subscription plans.
- Experienced development partner facilitates and speeds up development and implementation stages.
How do I create an android educational app?
Educational application development can be profitable due to online learning popularity and attractive trends such as VR, AI, and gamification. Here are five steps you should take to make a learning app that will fit the market, stand out from competitors and bring revenue:
- Develop the idea
- Conduct market research
- Create a business model
- Find a development partner
- Implement the app and collect feedback
Which is the best app for education?
The best learning apps worldwide by downloads for 2020 are Google Classroom, Youtube Kids, and Duolingo.
How much does it cost to create an educational app?
To create a minimum viable product for a learning app, developers need 3-4 months approximately. Developer teams usually charge their customers hourly fees. Depending on team location, you can be charged from $30 to $180 per hour.
Looking for experienced developers to create your learning app? Contact us.