10 min
Oct 30 2020
Danil L
Danil LWeb Developer
Alex K
Alex KTechnical writer
Have you heard of E-learning? This is a whole new approach to education that allows anyone to study from any place, on any device, and anytime. This field is also highly profitable for the business. According to Forbes, the increase in the digital education market will be $325 billion by 2025, but due to the current COVID situation worldwide, the need for a good E-learning app, platform, and tool may exceed all predicted numbers. This article will highlight the main features of E-learning apps, as wells as their major types and benefits. You will also discover the existing examples of successful business models and learn about the top E-learning education trends for 2020–2021.

What is E-learning?

More and more people have access to the Internet in today’s world, which started a new era in education. Students in 2021 attend world-famous universities without leaving home, and even some traditional schools have days of digital learning in their schedule. People enroll in all kinds of courses for work or hobby and enhance their skills with E-learning apps, web portals, online universities, communities, libraries, and other resources they can easily access from their mobile phones, tablets, or computers. Learners get their best experience by using the most advanced features of E-learning apps. This is a whole new world to have a startup in.

Benefits of an E-learning App

We wouldn’t write this blog post if it weren't for the apparent advantages of an E-learning app or web portal. They are the most cutting-edge educational systems that give users lots of freedom and opportunities.
As you can see, digital education has exceptional business potential and public benefits, especially in the modern world.
Example of the menu for an elearning app

Types and Features of E-learning Systems

If you’re studying the E-learning market, you need to understand that each app has its distinctive features depending on what kind of audience uses it. There are three major types of digital learning systems:
Under these three, you can find various types of educational websites and applications, such as: Exam preparation apps – contain different aptitude tests and series; Vocabulary apps – help in self-learning to improve vocabulary in a particular language; Language learning apps – for self-learning different languages; Course-Based Apps – help to find and get enrolled in courses on various topics; Virtual classroom apps – for students and teachers to connect and learn; Supporting tools – online notes, dictionaries, libraries. You may also be interested to learn about two distinctive types of digital education:
Screenshot of a course page on khanadacemy elearning app
According to the type of the target audience, there will be certain features of an E-learning app. For example, applications for children will include more gaming elements. The standard features that you can meet in every E-learning app include: Sign-in and Log-in Systems – allow learners or teachers to create profiles and use all app functions. Search Filters – enable better navigation through the courses. Course pages– contain all information, multimedia files, etc. Dashboard – shows statistics, updates, and progress. Course-Making Tools – enable teachers to create and edit the course content. Payment systems– essential for convenient purchase. Notifications – inform app users about events, news, recommendations, etc. Admin panel – controls every activity on the app.


Dozens of educational apps and websites launch every year, but only the best are recognized as the leaders of this market in 2021. Coursera – a widely known and influential web portal that gives students access to the world’s best universities, museums, and other institutions. It is also famous for more than 1100 free courses. Udemy– an E-learning app with all sorts of courses, including not only traditional ones but also Technology, Cooking, Science, Drawing, etc. KhanAcademy – a top educational website created by Salman Khan. It’s aimed at the youth but can interest adults too. The website provides free courses and sets high-quality standards. edX– a virtual gateway to McGill University in Canada. With this app, students get access to high-quality educational programs and earn a degree in the chosen field. Skillshare – an American community of creators teaching each other through videos available after subscription. The primary focus is on interacting rather than lecturing. upGrad – a successful startup from India launched in 2015. It offers advanced education in MBA, Technology, Law, Machine Learning, and other fields. Open University – a full-fledged British university that provides educational content types to people worldwide. There are many other successful E-learning applications and websites in addition to these. All of them include both common and advanced features of an E-learning app. Each of these platforms provides a different field of knowledge for their audience, from language learning and maths to business management and programming.
Popular elearning apps and websites

Coursera and Udemy – How they Got Ahead

Now let’s look closer at some examples of major educational platforms. Both these giants offer online courses, but their approaches are different. Coursera is focused on academic education and has gradually become a serious alternative to offline universities. Its courses provide high-quality educational materials and top tutors from the best schools from Britain, the US, and many other countries, for $40-$80 a month. There is also a wide range of free classes that encourage new users to sign in and give it a try. Paid courses remain more popular, though, as they give students certificates with the program’s successful conclusion. Udemy, however, took a different path – its team created five times more classes than Coursera did. They combined some traditional ones like Marketing or IT with the ones people do for fun (Yoga, Design, Cooking, and many more). Courses are usually short-term, and tutors invited are not always college professors – quite often they are working specialists with a unique approach. Prices start at $20 though some classes cost $100-$200. The quality review system is used to ensure that all submitted courses meet the high standards of Udemy. These two are the current leaders of the E-learning market, and it’s up to you to decide whether you wish to follow one of the given business models or you’re going to invest in something new and unrepeatable. Now you know what features of an E-learning app make it user-friendly and most engaging.


Personalized Learning This approach has been around for ages, and in E-learning it’s getting a new meaning. This way, learners can always choose every feature of the process: what, how often, in what form and what amounts, where, and when. In-app statistics and other advanced features help track users’ activity, preferences, goals, and needs – all of these help build an effective strategy. And if you can fit each learner’s individual style, they love your app and use it daily. Microlearning This also isn’t a new E-learning trend, but its popularity is continually increasing. Microlearning means consuming information in small portions, which proved to be extremely efficient. Building new skills without burning out is the ultimate goal for E-learning, especially for corporate training, and that’s why microlearning remains popular in 2021. Mobile Learning People prefer using their mobile phones to browse information for work or study. Statistics say that nowadays it’s 65%, and predicted to grow to almost 73% by 2025. This tendency is well-developing in 2021, making mobile learning a perfect opportunity to engage the broadest audience. If you own an E-learning app, make sure you adapt all materials to learning via mobile devices. This gives users the best experience and keeps them fully engaged. Use of AR and VR Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the two most sophisticated technologies in digital education. An E-learning app that features AR or VR will be much more engaging, advanced, and potentially lucrative than other solutions. These technologies are the best for watching the subject from various perspectives and developing practical skills. Artificial Intelligence as Tutors Artificial Intelligence instructors can help learners anytime. It becomes easily performed if an E-learning app uses such features as data analysis and in-app statistics. Knowing your users’ needs and problems, you can make your app more accessible and attractive. Learners often love AI tutors because they quickly adapt to their needs and are just fun. Increase in Big Data Analytics As you could notice, collecting information about user activity is crucial for any E-learning app’s success. That’s why big data analytics was one of the main trends in 2020 and becomes even more significant in 2021. Gamification Learners of all ages enjoy learning through game elements, receiving awards, and competing with their peers. Gamification will be one of the must-have features of an E-learning app in 2021.
Most popular questions

What are the types of E-learning systems?

There are three main types today: E2C – education to consumers (for students), E2B – education to business (for corporate training), and E2E – education for educators (for teachers).

What are the best E-learning websites?

We recommend checking out the following sites: Coursera, Udemy, KhanAcademy, edX, Skillshare, upGrad, and Open University. They are very advanced from the point of content quality and user experience.

What are some trends in E-learning app development?

As of 2021, these trends are still relevant:
  • Personalized Learning
  • Microlearning
  • Mobile Learning
  • AR and VR
  • Artificial Intelligence as Tutors
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Gamification
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