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HOW TO CREATE UDEMY OR COURSERA CLONE EASILY: COST, FEATURES, MVP, LAUNCH

June 15, 2018
SERGEY STUKAN
CMO
After years of underappreciation, EdTech has finally attracted the interest of the IT giants and startups alike. The future education technology is a trillion-dollar industry with a potential to create a lifelong fan base among students and teachers. If you are wondering what are the latest technology used in education, we've already covered the major current trends in EdTech. Today we'll talk about why the business model behind the platforms, like Udemy and Coursera, is so successful.

The most successful projects exercise common functions of educational technology. They

  • Cater to an international target market with a wide range of income;
  • Support individual and corporate-level clients;
  • Offer free and premium educational products;
  • Provide an income generation toolkit for premium course authors.
At Freshcode, we have years of experience in harnessing innovation in education technology and building successful EdTech projects from the ground up. Each project is unique, and educational app development companies know, that some startups go through bankruptcy before emerging on top. Learn more about the development story or failure that turned into success due to FreshCode's expertise and professionalism.

You can learn more about other EdTech projects implemented by FreshCode educational app developers:

UDEMY AND COURSERA SUCCESS FACTORS

UDEMY AND COURSERA SUCCESS FACTORS FreshCode
MOOCs are ready to take on the traditional education with courses, specialties and college degrees available online at a fraction of the cost. Millions of users frequent Coursera and Udemy because these projects offer value through:

  • Innovative educational technology that provides high-quality, affordable learning possibilities;
  • Competition-based pricing policy for courses with free educational options available;
  • A variety of educational materials in different languages to facilitate learning from leading experts any time, any place;
  • Course-creation toolkit to develop free and premium courses, promote passive income generation means for users, and increase the amount of quality content;
  • Feedback and rating system to evaluate the classes and instructors and support the best learning materials.
This is just a fraction of the full list of the benefits Coursera and Udemy offer to their users. There are many more reasons for the platforms' popularity. However, it's enough to evaluate the business potential MOOC platforms offer for EdTech startups.

TYPICAL E-LEARNING PLATFORM FEATURES: UDEMY AND COURSERA

With their benefits in mind, let's take a closer look at how Coursera and Udemy attract customers and keep their loyalty through streamlined custom e-learning design and multiple user-friendly features:

  • The list of the most popular courses on the homepage. High ratings and thousands of reviews promote new users to take a peak and enroll.
TYPICAL E-LEARNING PLATFORM FEATURES FreshCode
  • Quick and easy user sign up via email, Google or Facebook accounts. Making the registration process painless ensures the higher number of new learners.
TYPICAL E-LEARNING PLATFORM FEATURES FreshCode
  • Easy-to-use catalog and filters. User-friendly search tools allow online learners to locate courses they might be interested in quickly.
TYPICAL E-LEARNING PLATFORM FEATURES FreshCode
  • Free and premium courses filters. Building trust through high-quality free materials makes upselling easier.
  • Courses and specialties creation toolkit. Experts can develop new courses without help and generate passive income.
  • Various content, assignment, and certification options. Users can watch, listen, or read the course materials and pass tests and quizzes to check retained knowledge.
TYPICAL E-LEARNING PLATFORM FEATURES FreshCode
  • Course sharing link generation for social media. Users get to share their progress and success while attracting new learners to the platform.
  • Personal courses library. Streamlined dashboard navigation ensures that users can always go back to any of the courses to review the material.
TYPICAL E-LEARNING PLATFORM FEATURES FreshCode
  • Feedback and rating system. Reviews allow learners to share their experience and promote high-quality courses and weed out useless materials.
  • Flexible personal account settings. Users can alter their language, notification settings, and payment options.
TYPICAL E-LEARNING PLATFORM FEATURES FreshCode
  • Various payment systems integration. Secure credit card or PayPal payments are available.
  • Multilingual courses. The most popular classes are translated into many languages, including German, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.
  • Corporate employees education options. Businesses create corporate accounts for their employees to deepen expertise and gain new knowledge.
  • Cross-device adaptability. Web applications are compatible with desktop and mobile devices, and mobile apps are best suited for smartphones.
  • Mobile apps for Android and iOS. Applications share the features of the web app and promote learning anyplace, even offline.
  • Blog. MOOC platforms share their latest news and insight with prospective users, introducing new courses and successful graduates.

HOW TO MANAGE AN EDTECH PROJECT: BUDGET AND DEADLINE

HOW TO MANAGE AN EDTECH PROJECT FreshCode
Every startup deals with two major limiting factors: app development cost and timeframe. The sooner you get the product on the market, the better your chances are. However, rapid educational mobile app development requires larger expenses and often overlooks issues that can cause bugs and ultimate failure in the long run.

You must be wondering "How much does it cost to make an app?" To give you a clear picture of how much time and money you will need to launch an EdTech project, we've developed a rough estimate. The numbers can be larger or smaller depending on your project's scope and features, but you can assess the average values.

Please be aware that the time and cost estimation is given for an MVP, but not for a fully functional application. The cost of the development of the final product will depend on exact features that you may want to implement in the future application. However, if you have a ready SRS with the description of all features, Freshcode team will be happy to assist you in estimating your product.

EdTech MVP estimate and cost FreshCode
Successful project management methodology for an EdTech project does not differ from any other industry. There are seven steps a successful project manager should take:

  1. Requirements Elicitation. Identify stakeholders and end users, interview them, develop use cases and scenarios to create an actionable list of their requirements.
  2. SRS Development. Organize and refine the requirements and devise several features for every user need and develop several test cases for every element to make up the high-quality SRS.
  3. Project Estimation. Estimate optimistic and pessimistic timelines for every task, use Monte-Carlo analysis to evaluate the feasibility of the deadlines and visualize the development process using the Gantt Chart.
  4. Scope Reduction. Reevaluate the project's requirements and priorities if the estimation does not fit your budget or timeline, reduce the features to develop a minimum viable product (MVP).
  5. Development Planning. Break down the development process into small tasks and assign them to individual specialists adding new details to your Gantt Chart.
  6. Risk Management. Assess potential risks using a premortem method and create a risk matrix to address the most likely risks with the most severe impact.
  7. Project Execution. Daily progress evaluation according to the Gantt Chart and weekly risk assessment sessions will keep the project on track.
Learn more about how to manage your project in greater detail from our article.

HOW TO CREATE AN E-LEARNING WEBSITE OR APP?

Every project is unique, and there are no universal solutions. However, every successful EdTech startup goes through the same eLearning development stages:

Define The Target Audience And Create The Beta-testers List

First, you need to define the critical characteristics of your potential users. These include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Social Context
  • Interests
You might target American 30+ elementary school teachers interested in DIY or 50+ top-level European executives of international companies.

Once you have a general idea of the audience, scour Facebook or LinkedIn to find 3 to 5 profiles that could serve as the basis for your customer portraits. Analyze the data derived from social media to expand and detail the user portraits for the typical target audience representatives.

With these portraits in mind, use filters to create a list of 1000 LinkedIn or Facebook users that could be your beta-testers. Establish contact by sending a friend request or a message. Do not stop at 100 or 300 profiles. The more prospective beta-users you attract, the more feedback you will receive to improve your product and make it more profitable.

Develop A Business Model Map And An SRS

You can rely on the existing business models of Udemy and Coursera or come up with a new model, starting with solving the user's problem. Once you realize the ways to monetize the project, list the features that will set it apart from the competition. To get a better understanding of the project and all its nuances, develop a roadmap, a mind-map, and an SRS. You can learn how to do it correctly in our previous article "How to create SRS for EdTech Application?"

Select The Technology Stack

MVP DEVELOPMENT Technology stack FreshCode
You should rely on the chosen eLearning development company in selecting the technology stack. It will influence the development speed, the maintenance costs, and the number of future problems you will face. FreshCode software engineers recommend these technologies for custom eLearning solutions:

  • Front end: React.js, Apollo, React Native, Graphql
  • Back end: Postgres
Our developers rely on these technologies due to their adaptability, reliability, and high performance. Most of these advanced technologies are open-source, so they reduce the e-learning app development expenses.

Create An MVP

Armed with preliminary project documentation, you can safely implement your ideas and develop an MVP. If you wonder how to develop an app, it will go through:

  1. UI/UX design development. Streamlined and intuitive e-learning design ensures satisfying user experience and promotes loyalty.
  2. Technical diagram preparation. Breaking the project down into manageable parts and devising the development plan ensure the project's rapid implementation.
  3. Code writing. Software engineers utilize libraries and develop code from scratch to implement the critical features.
  4. Testing. Automatic and manual tests ensure the application is bug-free and can support the desired load without failure.
  5. Hosting and launch. After the project is safely transferred to the server and launched, users finally get the first taste of your idea.

Promote The MVP And Collect Feedback

Notify your target audience of the project's launch through email, social media, and other communication channels. Post the update on ProductHunt and similar startup platforms to attract more users.

The first month after the launch should be dedicated to feedback collection and analysis. Beta-users' reviews will help you understand which features require extra work, and which need to be reworked from the ground up. This stage should give you the understanding of whether your product solves the users' problems and how you can improve its next iteration.

The goal is to create the product that will satisfy the target audience 100% and inspire users to share the knowledge with others and recommend the project to new customers online and offline.

Final Product Development And Launch

After you have collected the feedback from the target audience and got new inspiration from the users' comments, it's time to update the RoadMap and the SRS. Broaden them to include the customers' requirements and suggestions. Afterward, you are ready to develop the final product based on the MVP with added features from the updated RoadMap and SRS.

The development process comprises several critical steps:

  1. New features' UI/UX design
  2. Code writing
  3. Testing
  4. Live project's updating
To ensure the project's rapid development and launch, divide the process into two stages. First, develop the critical features that define the product's value for the target audience. This way you can launch the project sooner and still satisfy the customer's needs. Once the platform is up and running, you can continue the educational app development with less critical features, like localization or various file types import and export support.

In preparation for the final product launch ensure your target audience knows about the project. Use social media, independent blogs, specialized forums and other platforms frequented by your potential customers. Social media accounts are the most valuable tool for the project's promotion. You can use them to glean information about the future customers' interests by analyzing their subscriptions and reposts. Reach out to the most outspoken representatives of your target audience to learn more about which forums, websites, and blogs they frequent. Use this information to tweak your marketing campaign and improve its efficiency.

EdTech projects, like Udemy and Coursera, offer user-friendly features and passive income options for their users among other benefits. If you wish to develop a similar platform and be successful, start with a clear understanding of your users' needs and a workable MVP. Use our project management methodology well-tried by many education software development companies to ensure your project's long-term success.

ARE YOU READY TO CASH IN ON EDTECH?

ARE YOU READY TO CASH IN ON EDTECH
If you are ready to start a custom eLearning development project, send Freshcode your SRS or let us write one for you. But if you are still waiting for a million-dollar idea, sign up for our blog updates, and you will be the first to get the latest IT inspiration and insights. And if this article was helpful, spear the word on social media!

If you have questions like "How to advertise a new website or an EdTech application?" or "How can I promote my website for free?", stay tuned. We consider sharing our marketing experience using free and premium tools soon. Would you be interested in that?

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