Edtech Solutions: Features, Functions, UI/UX Trends

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Olga Demidenko
Author, Geomotiv
Published: Nov 4, 2021

“It is never too late to learn” - thanks to modern technologies, it’s not also too early, too complicated, too uninteresting, or too irrelevant. Edtech solutions have made it possible for everyone to learn at any time, from any place, on practically any device. Modern elearning applications go far beyond just reading some materials and then passing tests that help you understand whether you can recollect everything you’ve just read.

Elearning software development today helps create an entirely new digital world with practically unlimited possibilities in education for people of any age, gender, and even financial status. 

In this article, we take a closer look at the most widely applied features of e learning system and trends in education app design.

The most popular types of elearning solutions

But before we proceed to the analysis of features of elearning solutions,  let’s focus on the types of these solutions that are in demand today to understand the current situation in the industry better.

  • Immersive Tech. AR and VR-powered apps can be efficiently used in different learning programs and training for different target groups. They help to ensure learners’ better engagement and the possibility of getting familiarized with places that can’t be visited in reality.
  • Coding and Technology. With the ongoing digitalization, it is impossible to underrate the necessity of tech knowledge. For example, today there are a lot of game-based platforms and role-playing games for learning basic programming principles. Though most of these software products are targeted at children, adults can enjoy their capacities as well.
  • LMS and LCMS. Learning management systems are intended for organizations that offer educational services and courses and are used for creating and managing various types of educational content. At the same time, learning content management systems are a separate type of edtech solutions but are closely related to the systems of the first type. For example, LCMS platforms are targeted at content creators, and their features cover numerous activities around content creation. You can read more about the functionality of these two system types here.
  • Language Learning. Today web and mobile apps boast extreme popularity among students and teachers. The range of products of this type is extensive: from simple apps for memorizing vocabulary to complicated platforms with video lessons, online webinars, chats, and many other options.
  • Early Childhood Learning. Though this software type is comparatively new, the number of startups building such projects is growing. Usually, apps for the youngest users are intended for studying not academic subjects but various aspects of everyday life in a highly engaging form.
  • STEM apps. These applications cover such disciplines as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. They can be intended for beginners and those students who want to get knowledge at the advanced level.
  • Social-Emotional Learning. SEL apps are an excellent tool for developing students’ soft skills while also focusing on their mental well-being and emotional state.
  • Online Courses. With today’s online platforms, students with different needs and demands can find materials for learning academic subjects and a lot of content for self-development and entertainment.

Though it is not a full list of edtech software types, we can define e learning app UI/UX design and development trends even when looking at some.

Given the current industry standards and market requirements, there is a set of key principles that developers always bear in mind and try to apply to any tech product regardless of its type. Among them, we can mention the following ones:

  • intuitively clear navigation
  • user-friendliness
  • mobile-friendly development
  • gamification
  • student engagement features
  • personalization.

As you can see, all of these principles are user-centric and aim to make the process of learning as efficient and straightforward as possible. It means that the more your edtech solution corresponds to these trends, the higher value it can bring to its users and the more significant profit to its owners.

We will be happy to help you in transforming your ideas into reality. Our experts will deeply analyze your case in order to build an advanced product in accordance with your needs!

Now let’s look at some existing solutions to find out what popular features of elearning apps and what trends in learning app UI design they share.

We have several elearning websites to analyze, but we can divide them into two groups for our convenience.

  • Language learning websites
  • Online courses

We will analyze the essential features of e learning software and will have the possibility to see how they are presented in the apps under consideration.

We offer to start our analysis with the core features and then move on to some optional functions.

Languages online: elearning website features

It is worth mentioning that many features may differ depending on one very important factor: whether the platform is intended for self-studying only or the platform can be used by both students and teachers. If a platform is targeted at both groups, it is obvious that it will offer a wider range of options and will have richer functionality. 

However, a typical edtech app, no matter what exact type we will take, usually has a dashboard where users can see what courses they have, what progress they’ve made, and what educational plans they have ahead.

A dashboard in language learning apps can differ depending on the general concept chosen by its owners.

For example, the interfaces of Duolingo and LinguaLeo are brighter and more cartoon-like if compared with LearnEnglish by the British Council.

LearnEnglish by the British Council

However, some features unite them all regardless of their style and target audience. They are:

  1. a progress board with a step-by-step learning plan;
  2. lessons and educational materials for learning;
  3. tools for training and self-assessment;
  4. awards/rankings (no matter how old you are, the possibility to compete and to see your name on the list among the best ones always motivate people).

Additional options can also be available like a button/section that opens access to a wide range of texts categorized according to the level of complexity, games, videos, online chats, or forums with other students where users can discuss their achievements, share tips and ask for recommendations. For example, Duolingo has such a feature.

Duolingo Language Forums
Source: https://forum.duolingo.com/

Livemocha offers even more options for interaction with other users. For example, native speakers can correct and comment on tasks fulfilled by learners. Moreover, users can find native speakers of their target languages to communicate with them directly.

When talking about language learning apps, quite often, you do not need to have a teacher who will assign this communication for interacting with other users. However, in the case of many different platforms where a teacher manages the learning process, there should be a task assignment feature that can also cover such tasks as working in groups or pairs.

Online courses: features

User dashboards on the platforms that offer access to online courses are usually not so rich in features and look stricter. However, they typically contain lists of courses in progress.

Udemy

Instructor dashboards usually significantly differ from what students see because of the specific needs of professors. While students can track their success, professors can monitor the success of their courses and the progress of users who take their programs.

Platforms that contain a lot of courses, as a rule, have a search system (quite often, it can be filter-based) which significantly facilitates the search for some peculiar class or lesson.

Some solutions, such as Quizlet, offer access to the educational content and provide a range of additional functionality aimed at helping students understand and memorize the material better. In the case of Quizlet, we can mention step-by-step explanations of academic texts, flashcards for learning, and even a learning game that helps teachers check how students have understood the information.

Quizlet

As we’ve already mentioned in our article, mobile-friendliness is extremely important today. Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. And it won’t be a huge exaggeration if we say that many of us are using smartphones all the time when we are not sleeping. And of course, given this factor, it is really important to make your edtech solution available on mobile devices: either a web platform should be fully compatible with these devices or there should be a separate mobile app that will be synchronized with a web version via a user account.

One more great idea for making the process of education engaging is to enrich your solution with AI and AR-powered tools. AI can significantly facilitate communication between professors and students as well as streamline the process of getting information. At the same time, AR will add more entertainment to learning and ensure a higher level of user involvement.

Instead of a closing word

It’s inspiring to see how the edtech market is evolving. While some years ago it started with simple online course websites, now it unites a vast variety of unique apps of different types that can meet the requirements even of the most demanding students. 

If you want to launch an elearning app for your employees or a vast audience, do not hesitate to contact us, and we will discuss how we can help you. Thanks to our experience in edtech software development and openness to new ideas, we create cutting-edge apps that help to revolutionize the educational industry. You can leave your inquiries here.

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