Frankly speaking, it is not an easy question. Obviously, eLearning software development is not an easy task. There is a variety of features for online education to choose from and embody. Also, the development time for each of them differs from one other. This is why it is hard to tell exactly how long it takes to create an online course.
Nevertheless, there are various eLearning development calculators, which could help to estimate the development time. Of course, these calculations are approximate but it is enough to understand the estimated time needed. So, in order to answer the question “How long does it take to create an online course?”, we must first choose the application features for the exact case study.
It is obvious, that there are important application features that must be included in any eLearning software development list. For example, it is hard to imagine an eLearning product without the catalog of available courses or the “search” option. On the other hand, the need for the online-streaming feature or an AI-based test is not as essential as the “login” possibility, for example. This is why it is not a big issue if such additional features are not included in the functionality of the website. So, let’s try to define the main features for online education that must be included in the basic version of the eLearning website.
The most essential features are the ability to create and present the content. There is a variety of ways how to embody them. For example, the learning course can consist of only textual content, which may be insufficient for the full assimilation of the material. As an alternative, there may be additional video or photo materials, such as podcasts, or guides, that can help to better understand the subject of the lesson. Nevertheless, it is important to understand, that the creation of each additional feature requires more time and effort.
For example, according to eLearning development calculators we can assume, that the development time of textual content creation tools and blogs as its representation is approximately 240 hours. If we include audio and video formats we must triple the time, meaning that the development time will be 720 hours.
The second must-have option is the ability to communicate inside the course or app. What is the point of the learning app, when you cannot communicate with your teachers to ask any questions on the material or to pass your homework?
There is a number of possible implementation ways as well. The most common are forums, chat messaging, comments, and private emails. The production time calculator says, that the development time of such features is 160, 200, 60, and 40 hours respectively.
Last but not least is a feedback and grading system. It is hard to imagine a learning process without getting grades and an explanation of what mistakes you may have done. So, thanks to the eLearning development calculator we may say, that such application features as ratings and rewards will take 60 and 40 hours.
Also, let’s add the user’s personal profile page so that all the interactions and progress were saved. This will require additional 20 hours.
Summing up all the above, we can conclude that eLearning software development of a basic webpage for eLearning with just a few essential functions will require an average of 1280 hours. Nevertheless, we must understand that such calculation is very rough and ignores a lot of different factors that can affect the final time estimate. These factors can vary. It can be the qualification of the developing team, the platform they are creating the product for, technical issues, bug fixing, etc.
For example, the same calculation offers also an optimistic result of 1105 hours and a pessimistic one - 1495 hours.
But it is not a secret for most of us, that the basic version has no chance of competing with others concurrent on the market. Nowadays the market is overflown with different offers. This is why it is important to analyze the experience of an already existing product before developing your own. Let’s try to find out what features are effective in the Edutailors case.
It is an online school. Edutailors provide different online classes and online tutoring as well. It is a great example of how to compete, using the combination of basic and additional non-trivial application features for online education.
In addition to the foregoing necessary functions, the EduTailors offer the opportunity to study their subjects in two different languages: Greek and English. This helps to expand the target audience, as well as practice your knowledge of the languages. Usually, it takes around 80 hours to implement multi-language possibilities.
These are also important functions, that must be included may be in any product, especially talking about eLearning Software Development. The development time of these functions is around 40 hours each, so the time estimate of developing both must be doubled. In other words, it takes approximately 80 hours total.
The most important additional application features offered by the EduTailors are the ability to livesreaming the classes and save these videos. For example, it allows parents to track the studying process of their children. Also, it makes it possible to observe their in-class activity. As a bonus, it helps children to repeat the subject or the lesson topic by rewatching the stream.
Nevertheless, these are the most development time-consuming features. For example, according to the production time calculator livestreaming requires around 240 hours to develop, and enabling a photo or video gallery as well as the possibility to save the streams takes 40 hours.
Don`t forget about scheduled events and calendars to help students navigate. Both require approximately 40 hours per each, meaning that the total timer is around 80 hours.
Also, you may include the ability to real-time events which has 80 hours-long development process.
Of course, this list is not exactly full. We haven`t mentioned the creation of CMS, as well as other admin features and settings, because their development time estimate is almost impossible, without knowing exactly all the application features and options included in such a package.
Nevertheless, we can finally answer the question: “How long does it take to create an online course?”, that we asked at the very beginning. According to our eLearning development calculator results we can assume, that eLearning software development time varies from 1782 to 2411 hours, depending on different occasions and contexts, as well as the list of features included.
Also, software development time estimation works better when combined with different planning strategies such as MVP. To be short, MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. It is a simple strategy approach when a simplified ready-to-launch version of the product with the most essential application features available is being published in order to facilitate the marketing strategy and better understand the demands of the targeted audience, and find out if the current version of the product is ready to be used or it must be upgraded and changed. This can help to save resources and time finding out the strengths and weaknesses of your application.
As we can see, software development time estimation is not an easy task. There are dozens of different aspects to count on, most of them depend on the customer, not the developers. For example, such things as the duration of the courses also impact the eLearning software development time.
However, time estimate is an important procedure because, for example, it can help to calculate how much will it cost to develop your product, as well as to understand how much time will you need to produce it and choose the right tech stack in order to simplify and decrease the eLearning software development time.
It is obvious, that the eLearning development calculator must be used before the actual eLearning software development but after you have an approximate plan of your product and know what features for online education you want to choose. This will help to schedule the development stages, predict possible delays or issues that can occur, and deal with them faster.
Here, in Incora, we are dealing with such processes and our team will be glad to help you to create the best product possible. Moreover, we offer you a personal schedule and development plan, which correspond with your ideas and vision. We will not only help you in the software development time estimation process but also will provide you with a list of the best features for online education for your specific case. Besides, we can develop your product from the scratch, all we need - is your thoughts and the desire to voice them.
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