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How to create an educational app

How to create an educational app? Answered in 5 easy steps.

By: Taru M. Taru M.
05 Sep, 2022

If you ask whether any one industry, other than healthcare, benefited from the pandemic’s woes, the educational industry would be the one. According to Global Market Insights, it is projected that the market size of e-learning platforms will be worth $1 Trillion by 2028.

Inevitably, the expansion of educational services on digital platforms happened at godspeed. New platforms took birth, whereas the existing ones upgraded their respective services to match the new demands and needs of their customers. As more schools and institutions adopted the digital mode, product owners of educational apps employed agile methodologies to accommodate the varying needs of learners and educators that emerged due to behavioral shifts during pandemic.

The dynamics of traditional classrooms took a 360-degree turn within a span of a couple of days.

Presently, it is even more, easier to access learning by virtue of our smartphones and the services provided by educational applications, and a good internet speed, of course.
More and more upcoming startups are veering towards developing an educational app. But development of mobile apps is not a cakewalk. There are many things a product owner, designers, and developers must remember when venturing into mobile application development, especially when the competition is increasing daily.

So what do businesses have to keep in mind while developing an educational app, and where does a mobile app development company fits in? Read this full blog to find out.

Know your Competition

An idea is not enough to create an educational app (or any app, for that matter). First, you must dive deep into understanding the contemporary market dynamics—brush up your market knowledge.

According to Statista, the third most popular category on Apple App Store is education, with a share of 8.7%. Investment in educational technology has increased considerably since covid. Duolingo, the most prominent language e-learning platform, alone received total funding of $183 million from more than 12 investors.

A product owner should start analyzing these apps by identifying the winning factor of these applications. The first one would be the kind of activities and subjects the app provides its user, and the second would be its target group of users.
Therefore, a thorough market and competitor analysis are essential before building an educational app.

Benefits of an Educational App

  1. 24/7 Access: Educational applications are accessed on users’ smartphones. Due to this, they can be accessed anytime and anywhere, no matter what time it is or where the learner is situated.
  2. New Learning Models: The development of educational apps has given birth to new learning models. As opposed to the traditional classroom setup—educational apps allow an audio-visual model of learning which is more comprehensive and interactive.
    Educational applications such as SkillShare and Masterclass also enable learners to access lectures directly from industry leaders, thus rendering a more constructive and educative experience for the learner.
  3. Learner-paced Learning: It is one of the most incredible benefits of tech-enabled learning. Educational apps allow learners to learn lessons and appear for tests at their own pace.
    Especially for adult users—who are laden with numerous responsibilities, learner-paced learning enabled by educational apps is exceptionally beneficial.
  4. Cost Effective: Tech-enabled learning, without a doubt, has proven to be the most cost-effective mode of learning. Learners are no longer required to travel physically; mere access to an internet connection is enough.
    In fact, some educational platforms allow learners to access lectures for free; if the users want a certificate, they can pay for the certificate at the end of the course.

Now, you must be wondering—how to create an educational app?
If yes, then follow the steps below?

Steps to building an educational app

Steps to building an educational app

1. Identifying the audience and their needs
This is the most critical step of educational app development. There are a lot of eager learners out there, and there are endless arenas and subject matters. Therefore, it is essential to narrow down to one genre of subjects or skills your education app will focus on.

Another important area of focus should be identifying the target audience. For example, if you wish to help your education app users learn cooking and try to target school students, your application would fail terribly.

For such type of educational service offering, your target audience could be individuals ranging from the ages of 18 to 60.

As a product owner, one must ask themselves:

  • What is the nature and kind of knowledge your education app aims to impart?
  • Who will be helped with your application?
  • How would a learner use the app?

While ascertaining the target users, below are a couple of critical demographics application developers have to keep in mind:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geographical Area
  • Qualifications
  • Occupations
  • Interests
  • Devices

Therefore, the genre or subjects you choose to offer should correspond with the needs, abilities, and age group of your target audience.

2. Conduct Human-Centered Research

After you have identified your audience, you need to understand the subjectivities of your target audience. For this, as a product owner, employing a Human-Centered design approach is essential for creating educational apps. This approach allows the developers and designers to keep the customer at the center of the app development process. This way, the developed digital product, in this case, an educational app, would be optimized to a maximum level for the target audience.

There are various methodologies to undertake a human-centered approach. You could start by identifying significant stakeholders and can conduct interviews, focus group discussions or ask them to fill out questionnaires, etc. which will help in the app development process.
Conducting research will help you better understand your target audience’s needs and wants, what kind of features they would want in an education app, the nature of lesson delivery best suitable to them, and much more.

Thus, researching your audience is an extremely vital step in the development of an educational app.
Complement with: 5 impressive Human-Centered Design examples

3. Validate by Prototyping

After you have conducted thorough research, you can start building prototypes or the Minimum Viable Product/s of the educational app. As a product owner, you do not have to invest huge capital to build a prototype.

Building a prototype could be as simple as sketching a rough interface design on a piece of cardboard and seeing how the users interact with it. This will help you validate whether the ideas you had in your mind are feasible with the end users.

Experiment with the interface. The more you experiment on this stage, the more optimized the end product be for users. Prototyping the educational app will also guide you regarding the features you might want to add to your education app and enlighten you more about the UI/UX features based on the observations made at this stage.

4. Development of Educational App

Once you have validated all possible prototypes, developers can write codes for the educational application.

Another way to accomplish this step can be to utilize already available instruments that can aid your educational app development process. For example, in your learn cooking app, if you want the users to have the facility of teleconferencing or video conferencing, instead of developing codes from scratch, you can use software development kits such as Agora or Twilio.

This will save you tons of resources that could be better employed on other developmental facets of the educational app, which will aid the learning process.

At this step, software engineers should also run some automated tests using automated testing services such as Lambda or BrowserStack, which will allow the developers to test the educational app on thousands of real mobile devices. These tests can be conducted after each iteration to catch any plausible bugs.

5. Deployment

Product owners can now make their application available on Google Play or on App Store. But even now, it is essential for the developers to:

  • Continue to stress testing to see how the educational app would perform when too many users are engaging with it at once.
  • Have DevOps ready, so they can be seamlessly launched as updates across platforms.
  • Have multiple distribution models ready for the education app.

What are the different types of Educational Apps?

Post-pandemic, since educational apps are in full vogue, edTech companies are more than active in the development of educational apps. Inevitably, owing to the pandemic, more and more people, which also includes stay-at-home adults and working professionals, are choosing the join courses online with the help of educational apps.

There are several educational formats the educational apps are offering these days. Let’s check out, what are these different types of educational apps:

  • Flashcard Applications
  • Educational Games App
  • Dictionary App
  • eBook Reading Application
  • Language Learning Application
  • Special Learning Application
  • Student Task Application
  • Competitive Exam Application
  • Audio Book Application
  • Other than these, the educational apps can also be divided into the following subcategories:
  • learning management systems (LMS)
  • Classroom management software
  • education ERP applications

Make your Educational App stand out with these Features

Educational App stand out with these Features

The secret of every successful educational app out there in the market is because of a certain set of features it possesses that makes the mobile apps user-friendly and stand out in the market sphere.

Let’s discuss some of these educational app features:

1. Gamification: Incorporating playful sessions, experiments, and games of learning materials creates fascination among the students, especially children. While developing the education app, developers can include challenges, at the end of which students would gain badges or points—features. Developers can also take advantage of virtual reality or augmented reality— these will make the learning experience more immersive.

2. Social Elements: Socializing is an integral part of everybody’s lives, and educational apps with social networking features have a greater chance of being successful. Allowing users to integrate their social media IDs or educational applications with features where they can follow or share their progress and learning materials with fellow learners will make the learning experience more interactive for the users.

3. Notifications: Notifications are a classic way to interact with users on mobile apps. They are a non-intrusive way of engaging with the learners. It is a great way of keeping the users of the educational app updated regarding any latest feature of the application. Push notifications are a great way of encouraging learners to engage with the education app.
Notifications can also act as a way to advertise or send alerts to users.

4. Interactive Lessons: The curators of educational apps should focus on providing enriching content while developing educational apps, but at the same time, content should be interactive as well.

Keeping in mind the demographics of the target audience, the application should be easy to operate and access, and the content should be relatable to the target audience. It should allow the users to share feedback.

5. Good UX/UI: An exceptional UX/UI is essential for educational apps. A wonderful design, excellent navigation, and easy navigation are the keys to a successful educational application.

6. Better Onboarding Experience: Development team and designers must create a smooth onboarding experience that enables users to undergo complete training regarding the nitty-gritty of the application.

7. Knowledge Testing and Progress Tracking: Every educational app must offer a section where the learners can take mock tests and quizzes with respect to the subject.
Test Reports/ Progress sheets issues at the end of each test keep the learner informed about their progress so far.

8. Parental Control: With respect to education apps that target children, the development team should be mindful of installing parental control features during the process of educational app development to prevent children from interacting with commerce or any other form of outbound links.
Especially in the case of educational mobile apps for children, apps should also allow parents to track their kid’s learning progress.

9. Solid Database: Product owners, developers, and designers should ensure that the educational app should have a hefty database of learning materials with respect to the genre and subject of the educational app. The learning materials in the database should have the latest information and must be updated regularly. Having a comprehensive database adds quality to the learning process experience.

10. Live Tutoring: Education app owners should host live tutoring sessions for the learners, which allows them to interact directly with the subject experts. This is an excellent way of rendering learners a more enriching online learning experience.
The advent of the educational app has indeed revolutionized the education industry—by allowing online education. Learning has become more flexible and cost-effective. It has expanded the horizons of how learning, for years, has been perceived.
With advancements in technology, education app development has become effortless, but it’s no layman’s job. Be it a product owner, developer, or designer, all have to be mindful of the nature of the educational app that they aim to launch.

Taru M. Author
Taru M.

For over 18 years, Taru M. is a successful technology entrepreneur by profession and a tech enthusiast by spirit. She takes pride in offering expertise in her domain to business people's success across the globe. As a business woman and technology expert, she manages to keep her balance along with her family responsibilities. She did her masters in computers, and her work delivery shows the expertise of her education. Connect with her via Linkedin profile to know more about her exciting personality

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