Educational mobile apps rank third on the list of the most popular mobile product themes, only surpassed by the categories of “games” and “business apps”. The main objective of educational mobile apps is to make the educational process more accessible, interactive, interesting, and effective.
Before you start educational mobile app development, start with writing a business plan, including analyzing the target audience, identifying specific problems of potential users, and identifying possible solutions. Don’t forget about the monetization of your business. You should have a clear understanding of the costs involved, as well as an idea of how to make the project pay for itself.
In a business plan for a mobile app, be sure to spell out all the threats and risks you may face. In fact, it all fits into the SWOT analysis framework. You should understand that you will have rather strong competitors in the educational services market, so it is necessary to understand the uniqueness of your product.
If you do not have a working MVP yet, then parallel to the preparation of the business plan, you can start developing a prototype of an educational mobile app. You can do it in five stages:
- Determining the high-level components that will be in the educational mobile app prototype: catalog, search, authorization, and so on. This is necessary to outline the high-level functionality of the system in advance and understand what the system will contain. The easiest thing, in this case, is simply to make a mind map, then outline each component and its purpose.
- Draw mocaps/sketches of the user interface. Use any tool that allows you to quickly create such artifacts, such as balsamiq mockups or axure. You need to pay close attention to what exactly will be available to users on the interface. The second important point is to create a map of transitions from one interface to another. Simply put, you should make a map of the site. Make sure that the user can reach the desired page in a maximum of 2-3 transitions.
- Describe how the system should work for the end user. This is the most important stage, which should be carried out in parallel with stage number 2, because, in fact, it is a description of the user interface. For efficiency, you can describe the requirements in a text editor, detailing each user interface element. You need to understand exactly why this particular button, switch, or link is needed, how it works, and how it is seen by the end user.
- Choose a technology for development: PHP, Java.net, Ruby, and so on.
- Get started. The main thing, do not forget that it is huge work, requiring the development of business skills and some effort on your part. So it is worth involving a team of really experienced professionals who know their business.
Supporting your educational mobile app
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Your users are your most valuable resource. The project’s relevance depends on their preferences and problems, so you should know everything about them. You should have a clear idea of their portraits, i.e. have a qualitative description of the socio-demographic, behavioral, and psychological characteristics of the users.
Before launching a mobile app you need to organize at least minimal user support – specify an email, phone number, or any other channel for appeals. The standard practice is to collect users’ requests for improving the usability of the system, followed by voting for them to implement only the best ideas. To do this, you can organize the appropriate forum for product support.
Integration of the educational mobile app with existing educational resources
There are currently all kinds of educational projects with a wide range of functions for educational institutions. It might make sense to think about integration with one of such systems: it is easier and faster to make an integrable application, specialized on your topic, than a separate full-featured educational resource
It is important to realize that creating your own educational application means building a team of at least 20 people, a few years of trial and error, and serious investment.
In addition to video content, the system needs to contain theoretical material. This is a tool for quickly finding specific information at the right level of detail.
Try using the concept of the “Tree of Knowledge”. In this way, each topic becomes unique, and theoretical material on it is managed from one place. At the same time, levels of complexity, and target blocks of theoretical material learning objectives.
Module to check progress and learning outcomes
The standard approach, both in the case of offline and online learning, is a modular assessment of learning. You need an objective assessment of learning outcomes. This approach provides the necessary feedback to the user. Each step in the learning process contributes to the current level of mastery of the relevant topics. This considers the complexity of the topic, the difficulty of the task, using cues, and many other factors.
Thanks to this approach, it is possible to show the user which topics they have mastered well, and on which there are significant gaps. For problematic topics, you can show tools to fill in the gaps.
Motivation tools in educational mobile app
In learning, it is important to help maintain and build motivation. To do this, use as many tools as possible. Here are a few options as examples:
- Progress: For each task, there is a progression that the user needs to get to 100%. This is motivating because they see the results of the work and want to bring all indicators up to 100%. It is important that everyone can get to 100%, even if they are bad at solving tasks. For this purpose, progress is separated from performance.
- Generate ratings: These ratings are available to all users, which motivates them to gain points, which requires learning.
- Badges for individual achievements: This is a gamification element in which the user receives a variety of medals or badges for individual results and achievements. All badges received are accumulated in their public profile and contribute to the ratings.
- Analytics module (CRM): We should not forget about the benchmarks that need to be tracked to check the quality and effectiveness of training.
If you are going to fill your educational mobile app with self-made lectures or video tutorials, get good professionals and specialists to create such materials. This is the only way for your project to be high-quality and unique. Also, it is desirable to cooperate with teachers when developing other aspects of the app, because they will be able to give important advice on the proper organization of all content.
The educational mobile apps market is far from empty. The user already has a lot to choose from. We recommend building the product together with an experienced development team, which will be able to consider as many different factors as possible.