However useful and unique your educational content might be, a mobile learning app should have a set of characteristics that help engage users and prolong their active sessions within your software.
For a better vision of what it takes to build an app that will both effectively educate and retain its users, let’s have a look at the top 7 features you’ll need to implement. A language learning app will serve us as an example at some points.
Courses are at the heart of custom e-learning development. Putting aside bonuses like gamified experience, social aspects, and other engaging add-ons, the aim of such an app is to give knowledge.
The “one size fits all” approach is of no use when it comes to online teaching. Your users should be able to choose a course that meets their needs and capacities.
If your app boasts a lot of courses, help users make a wise choice by providing personalized recommendations. You can learn about their preferences by prompting them to tell some info about them in the form of a questionnaire, for example.
Take care that the course also covers the taught information from different angles. In our potential language learning app a program for a training level could include:
- speaking exercises
- listening exercises
- translation exercises
- tap and match exercises
From the technical perspective, any feature that implies speaking activities would require integration with a voice recognition system to assess the correctness of your pronunciation.
You can also enhance the functionality by adding chatbots, that would sustain a conversation with users to practice their speaking skills.
In essence, gamification functionality is not related to the integration of full-fledged games into an app. The point is to use game mechanics and elements to make app activities more involving through increased interactivity and motivation.
Gamification comes in many forms and shapes. In a language app, its manifestations may include:
- In-app currency (to purchase bonuses, lessons, etc.)
- Experience and levels gradation
- Achievement badges
- Motivation (engaging animations, sounds or even bonuses)
Engaging learners through gamification adds to users satisfaction, which is a win-win situation for both app vendors and students.
A learning mobile app is not only about well-structured courses and animated items, but about interactivity, collaboration and effective motivation.
A good thing is to create an atmosphere of a virtual classroom, where learners would communicate with other course participants and instructors online. This way they could share their experience on the course, study materials, links, and other useful info with others as well as chat on any topic they want. You can also enable users to create and join social clubs and customize their attributes.
Your app would also benefit from adding the capability for users to share its info with social networks to brag about their achievements in studying.
Take your time to make sure that limited Internet connection is not a barrier to access your app. In user-friendly software, your students can complete the courses even in a military bunker if the set of exercises is already downloaded.
With offline learning functionality, students should also be able to continue from where they left the training last. The app will integrate new results once an online mode is on.
A caring learning app is ready to watch your activity and remind you that you have a course to finish or have not opened an app for a day or two. It facilitates users’ motivation by showing how lazy they’ve been recently.
If you want to give your app the power to keep learning fresh and enjoyable, think of adding assessments. Provide randomized sets of questions so that learners are not asked the same things each time they encounter a knowledge check within a course. Different question banks can also help in preventing cheating and getting a more objective view of the progress.
A modern learning app should provide its vendors with detailed statistics on learning content and learners’ progress. The feature is beneficial in multiple ways. You can see how diligently your students actually use the content – not just doing the quiz and running through, but also how many hours they physically spent looking at the content.
Integrated analytics also helps you see which learning content is the most effective and which should be improved. For instance, when a large percentage of users make mistakes answering a certain question, it may mean that either an explanation in the course was poor or the question wording was not clear enough.
Study the behavior of your audience using analytics and adjust your app components according to their preferences.
- Courses are the primary part of a learning app. Make sure to range your courses according to user preferences and level.
- Don’t forget about the social aspects of your app. Add chatting capability and allow users to unite into social clubs.
- Make sure your app supports offline mode as users don’t always have a stable Internet connection.
- Remind users to keep studying through push notifications.
- Add assessments with randomized questions to get an unbiased view of their progress.
- Integrate in-app analytics to uncover the potential soft spots of your app and adjust its components to improve user experience.