The e-learning industry is on the rise. According to Orbis Research , this market will reach $275 billion by 2022 ($165 billion in 2015). Forbes predicts growth to $325 billion in 2025 ($107 billion in 2015). This impressive growth is due to several key advantages that e-learning offers over traditional learning:

Availability . The Internet gives access to online courses from any device (computer, laptop, tablet, phone), so people can learn anything, anytime, anywhere.

Profitability . Online Learning Management System is more cost effective as there is no need for buildings, large bureaucracy and teaching staff, or other typical overheads; everything happens on the internet.

Flexibility of learning . E-learning allows you to make personalized courses of any complexity, specialization and for any audience. You no longer need to fit everyone under the same brush. In addition, online courses, unlike studying at schools and universities, are not tied to a specific time and schedule, so people can learn at their own pace.

Audience reach . Online Learning Management System is available to anyone with an internet connection. This is 50% of the total population of the Earth.

In addition, anyone can enter this market, the most thing is to supply people high-quality educational content and interest users. What can be done even with a small start-up capital.

So, if you want to create an e-learning platform like Udemy or Coursera, now is the time to do it while the market is in a boom phase and there is no saturation in demand.

 Platform Type

To create your Learning Management System platform, you first need to decide on its type. Depending on the services offered, such sites are conditionally divided into six groups:

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) . They offer many courses from various providers: teachers, professors, universities, governments, public organizations, etc.

This model is most like marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, where anyone can sell their product (training course) to anyone who is prepared to shop for it. MOOC examples: Coursera, Udacity, edX and Udemy. Many industries even have their own niche sites.

LMS (Learning Management System) . They offer basic functionality for creating courses, storing them, managing learning profiles, reporting on progress and achievements.

According to the latest estimates, there are now more than 700 LMS sites on the market , most of which specialize in corporate training. Some of them have advanced features that make it easy to repurpose content for external audiences.

Open Source LMS Platforms

Open source LMS platforms . The same as regular LMS, only such sites are developed on the idea of open source software. That is, anyone can create their own platform based on them or adapt one of its courses to fit their content and needs. Examples: Moodle, Sakai, Sakai, Litmos, Claroline, DotLRN, BrainCert and Open edX.

MLMS (Modern Learning Management Solutions) . Focus on the learner experience, using online course creation algorithms and learning management tools that make the process as efficient as possible (in theory).

Some modern LMS platforms rely on specific pedagogies. Examples: Motivis, Docebo, NovoEd and Totara.

Learning Management System(LMS) Ecosystem or Learning Management Ecosystems . Such projects seek to use the best “point” solutions in the field of distance learning, combining them into a single ecosystem. Example: University of Notre Dame’s NeXus platform , built on top of Open edX.

Custom Built Learning Platform . Learning platforms fully adapted to specific solutions (courses, training programs). A good example is Harvard Business School Online (HBX), a dedicated platform built for Harvard Business School to provide very high-end business certifications.

Niche And Target Audience

Your online learning platform are often either universal (any courses on any topic for any audience) or specialized. Specialization can be in two directions: niche (industry, agriculture, art, teaching, etc.) and target audience (students, businessmen, mothers, pilots, immigrants who speak Spanish, etc.).

The narrower the niche and the target audience, the easier the promotion, but the smaller the audience coverage.

When starting a new project, it’s best to make it specialized. This will increase the efficiency of the initial investment and provide more tools to increase user engagement.

Like 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 chosen based on demand, the possibility of distance learning and the purchasing power of users (if this is a commercial project). For example, the Udacity platform specializes in business and technology, ExchangeCME specializes in continuing medical education, Oilennium specializes in the oil and gas industry.

Target audience specialization can make your project even more highly specialized.

For example, if the platform is focused on business education, then you can focus on courses for students, teachers, or senior management. In addition, there are courses designed to improve the economic literacy of prisoners, immigrants and adolescents.

Features of the Learning Management System platform

Platforms of this type should have three user roles: administrator – manages the site and solves problems, instructor (teacher, tutor) – creates courses and manages training, student – learns, receives grades and a certificate confirming completion of the course.

Gamification . It’s about creating a learning system that stimulates the dopamine reward systems in the student’s brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of pleasure and anticipation of pleasure when learning, gaining new knowledge, achieving goals, and many other actions. To maximize the effectiveness of learning (dopamine response), you need to build learning in the form of a game, as they did in the Duolingo app .LMS