Open source LMS platforms. Same as regular LMS, but such sites are developed on the basis of open source software. That is, anyone can create their own platform on their basis or adapt one of its courses to their content and needs. Examples: Moodle, Sakai, Sakai, Litmos, Claroline, DotLRN, BrainCert, and Open edX.
MLMS (Modern Learning Management Solutions). They focus on the experience of students using such algorithms for creating online courses and learning management tools that ensure maximum efficiency of this process (in theory). Some modern LMS sites rely on specific pedagogies. Examples: Motivis, Docebo, NovoEd and Totara.
LMS Ecosystem или Learning Management Ecosystems. Such projects strive to use the best "point" solutions in the field of distance learning, combining them into a single ecosystem. Example: University of Notre Dame NeXus platform, powered by Open edX.
Custom Built Learning Platform. Educational platforms, fully adapted to specific solutions (courses, training programs). A good example is Harvard Business School Online (HBX) — a dedicated platform created for Harvard Business School to provide very high-end business certificates.
# 2. Niche and Target Audience
Key Trends in E-Learning
Your online learning platform
can be either universal (any courses on any topic for any audience) or specialized. Specialization can be in two areas: niche (industry, agriculture, art, teaching, etc.) and target audience (students, businessmen, mothers, pilots, immigrants who speak Spanish, etc.). The narrower the niche and target audience, the easier the promotion, but the less audience coverage.
When starting a new project, it is better to make it specialized. This will increase the effectiveness of start-up investments and provide more tools to increase user engagement. As Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and many other Fortune Global 500 companies have done, starting in a niche and then expanding to a global scale.
- Niche specialization is selected based on demand, distance learning opportunities and purchasing power of users (if it is a commercial project). For example, Udacity specializes in business and technology, ExchangeCME in continuing medical education, Oilennium in the oil and gas industry.
- Specialization by target audience can make your project even more highly specialized. For example, if the platform is focused on business training, then you can focus on courses for students, teachers or senior management. In addition, there are courses designed to increase the economic literacy of prisoners, immigrants and adolescents.
# 3. E-Learning Platform Features
of this type should have three user roles: administrator - manages the site and solves problems, instructor (teacher, tutor) - creates courses and manages the learning, student - learns, receives grades and a certificate confirming the course. To make this possible, when creating an online platform
, you must implement the following functions:
Gamification. It's about creating a learning system that stimulates dopamine reward systems in the student's brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of pleasure and anticipation of pleasure in learning, gaining new knowledge, achieving goals and many other actions. To achieve maximum learning efficiency (dopamine reaction), you need to build training in the form of a game, as was done in the Duolingo application. The listed functions are enough for your site to fulfill its main tasks. But if you want to stand out among competitors and get closer to market leaders, you will also need a unique custom offer, which can be implemented using the following functions:
How dopamine reward systems work can be found in the book “Biology of Good and Evil. How science explains our actions” by Robert Sapolsky, how to use it, is described in the book “Willpower. How to develop and strengthen” by Kelly McGonigal.
Artificial Intelligence. In addition to gamification, Duolingo also uses deep neural networks to optimize learning. And they are not the only ones. So, the other day in China was launched a large experiment, that will help to understand how AI can improve teaching and learning. Initially, Chinese AI will test students and offer them learning models in accordance with their current knowledge. Next, scientists want to set AI to develop personalized courses.
VR and AR technologies. Virtual and / or additional reality is the best way to show how mechanisms work, buildings are built, what is inside the human body, etc. In addition, these technologies allow you to create muscle memory, which is very important for many professions - from the military to the medical profession.
# 4. Efficient UX / UI Design
Example of correct and incorrect website design
The design of the e-learning platform
should be simple and contain colors that motivate students to study, keep them focused and not distract for anything (advertising, other courses, pop-ups, etc.). It’s best to hire a specialized agency to develop the design
, but if you want to do everything yourself, remember the following things:
Hick’s law: the more options, the more time it takes to make a decision. Good designers remember this, and therefore do not give the user many options for choosing something. When you can’t do without it, the choice comes down to several stages with 5-7 options.
Miller’s law: a person can store in memory up to 7 informational entities. Following this law, designers began to group lists into groups of 5-7 units.
Gestalе theory: the human brain is inclined to recognize the structure, logic and patterns in what it sees, and seeks to combine many small objects into a large group. This helps to process information, create a visual hierarchy and increases the ability to crawl content. The main features by which the brain groups objects are as follows: