How to Build an e-Learning Website Like Coursera

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Online education has become a decent alternative to traditional training. Udemy and Coursera attract millions of students wanting to get new skills.

How to build an e-learning app or website? That’s an exciting question for business owners aimed at launching a platform similar to mentioned juggernauts.

Let’s not beat around the bush and proceed to the main stages of building the online learning marketplace.

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1. Choose Your Niche

Think about the courses that will be present there. It would be a sound idea to start with one of the following popular niches. They will attract many students and bring your platform much profit.

  • Computers and technology
  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Personal development
  • Arts and crafts
  • Social sciences.

2. Select the Monetization Strategy

Your next step is to decide how you will raise money with your online marketplace platform.

Below you can see the most common revenue models for eLearning websites:

  • Paid certificates
  • Donations
  • Corporate eLearning
  • Monthly subscription
  • Premium account.

3. Define the Functionality for the elearning Website

Let’s take a look at the core features of educational platforms. This functionality will help bring learning experience alive.

  • Search with autocomplete
  • Filters
  • Recommendations – these are lists of the most trending courses and popular certificates
  • Feedback and rating system
  • Categories – the great number of categories helps students to find a course to their taste.
  • Easy signup
  • Student/teacher profile
  • Course page – contains important information about courses such as overview, syllabus, Q&A, announcements.
  • Dashboard
  • Course creating – provide teachers with specific functionality for building online courses, uploading content in different formats, and creating quizzes.
  • Multiple payment options
  • Admin panel
  • Blog
  • Support

4. Choose the Development Approach

Basically, you have two options. You may build your online education marketplace from scratch or use one of the dozens of ready-made solutions that are available on the market.

The second option is cheaper and less time-consuming. However, you may face scalability issues and insufficient functionality.

If you want to offer unique features to a great number of students, consider custom software development. Though it is more expensive and takes more time, it enables you to implement any required feature.

5. Define the Required Technology Stack

Finally, you have to choose suitable programming languages, frameworks, and tools for further e-learning website development.

Back-end: You may choose any programming language for building a server-side of your educational platform. For example, at Codica we use Ruby on Rails to develop scalable, fast-loading, and secure online marketplaces. As for the eLearning leaders, Udemy and Coursera use Python and Scala respectively as the key programming languages.

Front-end: When it comes to the client-side, the most popular technologies are HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, AngularJS, and ReactJS.

Third-party tools: Below you can see a list of popular instruments and applications that can help your education app achieve different business goals.

  • Trello
  • Jira
  • G Suite
  • Slack
  • Zendesk
  • Salesforce
  • Dropbox.

For more information about online education marketplace development, check our full article: How to Build an eLearning Website Like Udemy or Coursera.