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Denis Grankin Head of Sales Department
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Case Study: How we developed an online course platform

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build online course system

E-learning is a rapidly expanding industry that has significantly changed the face of modern education and continues to grow as more people turn to online learning. According to a new research report, the eLearning market size will reach 375 billion U.S. dollars by 2026. Moreover, the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has positively impacted the market with an increasing number of companies of any size transitioning to the online learning solutions.

The truth is that the learning process never stops. Whether you want to learn how to implement a marketing campaign for your e-commerce store, interested in learning a new programming language or want to onboard the employees faster - you need a solution to develop technical or practical skills. Here is where an online course platform comes into play to help you gain new skills and knowledge and learn at your own pace. Sounds interesting, right? Let’s dive into the details below!

What exactly is an online course platform?

An online course platform is used as a marketplace of online courses where users can take online courses and get the certification. Thanks to this solution, users can choose a course based on their unique needs, pay for it directly on the platform or add to the wishlist. Moreover, they can learn on the go or from the comfort of their home. Also, it’s important to mention that online course software may be of different types. Let’s take a closer look at them below:

  • All-in-one platform: it is a full-fledged software that includes a shopping cart, marketing tools, website builder and online courses.

All-in-one platform

  • Standalone platform: generally, it includes one major feature that is totally dedicated to a single task – like registration and choosing a course.

Why do you need an online course platform for your business?

Unfortunately, the transition to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic was sudden and hasty. Providing access to high-quality and relevant training and learning content has become a necessity. With that in mind, developing and implementing an online course platform includes a variety of learning content to meet any needs. You need an online course platform to do the following:

  • provide access to business-relevant courses to help users gain new knowledge;
  • deliver on-demand and engaging training and learning content;
  • offer certification once the course has been completed;
  • allow users to discover and learn skills in a way that fits their schedules;
  • reach a global audience and make more money.

What’s the idea of the online course platform?

We at DDI Development aim to provide best-in-class software solutions to our clients catering to the specific challenges in the logistics, e-learning, recruiting and e-commerce sectors. Having a huge experience in delivering bespoke software solutions, we can build and deliver any solution that suits any specific business needs. Currently, a lot of learning and events, workshops and meetings have moved fully online. With that in mind, we have produced a concept of the online course platform. Not only does it give you the ability to organize and assign training and learning activities online, but you can also learn either general or niche-specific skills. Only by using the online course platform can you provide users with the following:

  • Deliver a variety of different courses to virtually all types of learners.
  • Offer an environment with continuous education and manage competency gaps.
  • Provide built-in payment options and integration capabilities.
  • Monitor the progress and certifications obtained by users.
  • Offer easy-to-use messaging options to easily connect and communicate with each other.

Project structure of the online course platform

Below you will find technologies that may be used to create an online course platform.

Project structure of the online course system

Development of the online course platform

Provided below are some information on the development process of the online course platform. Keep on reading!

Development of the online course platform

Team

Here is a team of specialists who worked on the development of the online course system.

  • 1 Business analyst (BA)
  • 1 Project manager (PM)
  • 2 UI/UX designers
  • 3 Front-end engineers
  • 2 Quality assurance engineers (QA)
  • 2 Backend engineers

Methodology

While developing the online course system, we opted for the agile software development methodology for the following reasons:

  • We prioritized the client’s needs over the requirements in the development plans.
  • We adapted to any change in the client’s requirements.
  • We delivered a working product that provided value at the end of each sprint.

At the end, we were able to implement 24 sprints during which the development team completed the project and reached established goals.

Development Process

At the very beginning, a Business Analyst communicated with the client and gathered the requirements. Not only did Business Analyst elicit and analyze all the client’s requirements, but they were also documented. This helped our team have a clear understanding of the future project from the client’s perspective. Once a Business Analyst gathered all the essential information about the potential users, their actions and activities within the online course platform, location, etc. and created a functional specification, the team was able to identify users’ roles such as a user, a manager and an administrator and its key functionality:

  • content creation
  • discussion forums
  • training tracking
  • course management
  • learning paths
  • reporting
  • built-in motivation tools
  • gamification
  • certification management
  • financial integrations
  • feedback gathering

According to this information, the Project Manager provided a preliminary estimate to the client and suggested the roadmap for the development process of the future online course platform. Once it was approved, we broke down the planned scope of work (so called Backlog) into smaller chunks - 2-week sprints. 24 sprints were implemented during the period of 12 months. Before each sprint, the whole team of designers, front-end and back-end software developers and QA engineers reviewed which features from the backlog they worked on and dedicated to deliver by the end of each sprint. Once the system was free of bugs, we launched it, upgraded and made improvements to meet the client’s expectations.

User Roles

Here we provided all the user roles within the online course platform that will get you a better understanding of what privileges they have on the platform. There are three user levels you can find: User, Manager and Administrator. Let’s take a look below:

  • Users are any person who can register on the platform, select a course and pay for it within the online course platform.
  • Manager is a user who can view users’ profiles, track their skills, get reports about their competences, etc.
  • Administrator is a user who has the highest administrative responsibility level within the online course system.

User Dashboard

After you sign in as a User, you will see the main hub of navigation around the learning experience platform. Let’s take a closer look at the options presented in the main menu:

  • Dashboard
  • Courses
  • Discussions
  • Certificates
  • Wishlist

With action icons such as notifications, settings, shopping cart, you can be redirected to these pages fast and easily.

Dashboard

dashboard

With the Dashboard feature, you have access to all the important information within an online course platform. On this page, you can find the following information - popular courses, upcoming courses, last watched, best learner.

In addition to that, you can use the Search field to find the very course you need. Moreover, you can use the filtering option if you need to specify the appropriate information about the course.

Courses

Courses

With the Courses feature, you can choose a course based on your needs - whether you want to diversify your knowledge or change career path completely. With that in mind, you can look through all the information about the courses you would like to join and enroll for it. On this page, you can find a variety of courses you can choose from.

Discussions

Discussions

With this feature, you will be able to share views on specific materials such as video, text or quizzes. Not only can you chat and ask questions, but you can also leave comments to the course you are studying. In addition to that, you have a good chance to interact with experienced users in real time.

Certificates

Certificates

By clicking on the Certificates in the main menu, you will land on this page. Not only can you see a list of electronic certificates you have received after course completion, but you will also see the total marks obtained after completion of the particular course. Moreover, you can click the Download button to download and print it.

Wishlist

Wishlist

With this feature, you can add courses you are interested in or would like to join in the future to your collection and keep track of them. Not only does it help you create personalized collections, but you can also decide later if you would like to order them. Moreover, this feature gives you insight into the customers’ way of thinking and allows you to easily identify popular courses and optimize your marketing tactics to produce better results.

Manager Dashboard

Manager Dashboard of online course software

Once you sign in as a Manager, you will have access to all online courses. Not only can you manage your clients, payments, course materials, integrations, but you can also customize your course to match your existing brand. Let’s take a closer look at the list of navigation for the Manager:

  • Dashboard
  • Users
  • Courses
  • Wishlists
  • Certificates
  • Reports

Users

Users

With the User feature, you will be able to see all the information about each user in a well-structured table:

  • ID#
  • Name
  • Enrolled
  • Last visited
  • Progress
  • Course completion (%)
  • Questions Asked
  • Last Messaged
  • Actions

Not only can you see the date of enrollment for each user, but you can also view the course completion rate and progress showing whether the courses provide the users with the opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge or not.

Courses

Courses

Thanks to different course categories, users can select one that allows him/her to develop company-specific or role-specific skills. By landing on the Courses page, you will see all the categories of the courses within the online course platform. By clicking each category, you can find out the following information:

  • how many users enrolled;
  • how many courses: finished, in progress, failed and not started.

Wishlists

Wishlists

With the Wishlists feature, you can better understand your users and build a loyal customer base. Not only can you compile the data, but you will also be able to see what your users are interested in. Only by viewing the wishlists of your users can you see their way of thinking and aspirations to make your marketing efforts more efficient. Here you can see a table with the following columns:

  • ID#
  • User Name
  • Course Name
  • Orders
  • Last Order

Certificates

Certificates

With the Certificates feature, you can improve the learning process while keeping users engaged until the course completion. Not only does this feature allow you to recognize the users’ efforts, but it also helps them achieve higher enrollment rates. You can find all the information in a user-friendly table and see whose certification is under review and who received or failed it.

Payments

Payments

With the Payments feature, you can easily accept new orders 24/7, process them and streamline payments. Only by providing your clients with the option to pay from the variety of online payment gateways around the world can you capture the global markets and maintain high cash flow. All the information about the payments is presented in a well-structured table. In addition to that you can filter your payments by status, such as the following:

  • Completed
  • Processing
  • Canceled
  • Pending
  • Paid

Reports

With the Reports option, you can see all the details during the users’ journeys and have a complete picture of their progress, performance, and completion rates. Not only can you monitor individual performance, but you can also improve the strategy of your online course platform and personalize learning and training activities. Here you will see the following information:

  • Not started
  • In progress
  • Completed
  • Passed
  • Failed
  • Pending Review

Also, you can find detailed information about each course: ID#, Full Name, email, Enrolled, Started, Completed, Score, Status.

Admin Dashboard

admin dashboard

Once you logged into the online course platform as an Administrator, you can access all the areas of the platform such as Users, Courses, Certificates, Course Payments and System Settings. Below we’re going to take a closer look at the Reports, Course Payments and System Settings that are different or not presented in the Manager module.

Reports

Reports

Thanks to the Reports option, you can run several types of reports in order to view information about user engagement, courses, certification, assessments and insights. Report data is automatically refreshed for all reports except activity reports in real time. Also, you can discover a percentage of the average grade and how the grade is changing over time.

Course Payments

Course Payments

With the Course Payments feature, you are in the know who has paid for the course or who hasn’t completed the transaction yet. Once the payment is done, it confirms the enrollment in the course selected. All the information is presented in the table with the columns such as Date, Name, Email, Course, Amount, Payment Method, Status, Actions. In addition to that, you can apply filters such as select date and a course.

System Settings

System Settings

With the System Setting feature, can make changes in all areas within the online course system. By clicking on the widgets such as Users, Courses, Reports, Wishlists, Certificates and Payments, can configure the global settings within the online course system based on the business needs.

Key features of the online course platform

  • Content creation: with this feature, you can easily create content for the online course and add different information in such formats as text, video, images.
  • Discussion forums: used as a place for generating ideas and having discussions within an online community.
  • Training tracking: with this feature, you can find out where users get stuck with their training, which materials are ineffective, and which courses fail to engage them.
  • Course management: with this feature, you can centrally store all the courses that help you easily to find, update, and edit when needed.
  • Learning paths: thanks to this feature, users can easily plan and structure courses and create their own learning journeys.
  • Reporting: with this feature, you can easily track and record all the information about your users to have a better understanding of how your business runs.
  • Built-in motivation tools: this feature generates an individual user’s interest and increases their satisfaction and motivation.
  • Gamification: this feature includes such techniques as badges, scores, leaderboards, competitions, feedback, etc. that help users meet the learning outcomes and get a more engaging and immersive experience.
  • Certification Management: with this feature, you can track users’ skills and confirm their participation and success with a certificate.
  • Financial Integrations: thanks to this feature, you can accept payments automatically within your existing online course solution directly.
  • Feedback Gathering: with this feature, you can collect feedback to discover the problems users might be facing while taking a course or courses and make some changes.

Benefits of the online course platform

Here you can read about some benefits that you can derive from implementing an online course platform.

  • With an online course platform, you can reach a global audience and connect with a more diverse community.
  • You provide flexibility to the users: they choose where and when to proceed through a course.
  • Users can cut costs on transportation and accommodation that enables your business to build a satisfied audience around your brand.
  • With an online course platform, you can increase revenue by helping companies to onboard new employees faster and reach full productivity in less time.
  • You can establish trust with your audience and generate more potential users by offering high-quality content.

Bottom line: Are you ready to upskill users with a bespoke online course platform?

Learning is often considered to be normal whether you learn to achieve a job or to gain new knowledge. The online environment opens up ample learning opportunities. Not only can you discover available online courses, but you can also choose the ones that tailor your learning or training to fit with your specific needs and best suit your style of learning. Moreover, users are eager to have control over their online learning experience and learn at their own pace. We, at DDI Development, have a professional team of software developers with relevant experience in delivering e-learning solutions that meet any business needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to bring to life an online course platform that allows the users to build their professional skill sets on a 24/7 basis.

 

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