Education Marketplace Development: Connecting Learners and Experts
Online education becomes the new normal for thousand of teachers & learners across the globe. We had to get used to the lack of in-person communication, opting for the most efficient ways to deliver learning.
The format of an online consultation between an expert and a learner becomes popular because of its convenience for both parties, speed of implementation, and flexibility.
Having done several pieces of research in the e-learning industry, guided by the best UX practices, and listening to the complaints of teachers and learners, the Jellyfish.tech team’s worked on an online education project which has risen in popularity during the pandemic.
- Bottom Line
The platform allows a user to become an expert in some area by uploading certificates, adding articles, filling a profile with all necessary information. The main goal is to enable experts to earn money by chatting with people and helping them solve their problems using expert advice.
Creation of a chat with the built-in billing system and expert profiles with the ability to follow and become a friend depending on the user’s profile type.
for expert status approval
Getting an expert status is impossible without uploading the education certificates and going through the verification to prove the credibility.
The support team does a manual verification of every user claiming to be an expert, reviews the certificate(s) and work experience to confirm their status. Thus, learners can be sure to communicate only with experts.
for easy & quick communication with an expert
A learner makes a deposit getting the credits ($1 equals one credit) to spend on expert consultations via chat or video calls.
This system is built with the WebSockets technology allowing a user to know fairly quickly a new chat message/ chat request/ video call confirmation, etc. has been received.
for more detailed consultations
Chat with an expert supports the function of video calls with the possibility to share the screen as well, in case a learner needs an in-depth consultation.
For expert and learner convenience, we’ve added the video to text converter feature: your speech during a video conversation could be automatically converted into a text.
to onboard and guide users through the application
When it comes to users’ onboarding, a chatbot could partially replace a human-being introducing the system and the way to interact with it to a newbie. Together with popups & tooltips, chatbot allows saving your employees’ time, reducing the routine workflow onboarding a new team member requires, and helps focus on the more important stuff.
giving the information on how does the platform work to the users
Inspired by Wikipedia, the structure of the knowledge base is similar to the wiki functionality.
Users may learn to navigate through the platform, find the answers to the frequently asked questions, check out the terms and conditions.
for introducing the platform into the learner & expert working system
Today’s applications do not exist in isolation. To ensure the best user experience, we should provide integrations with the services our customers use daily.
After a little discussion, we’ve decided to add the integrations with:
- Online calendars (Google, Calendly) to have the opportunity for scheduling the calls, chats, and set up the reminders, and choose the tasks due date, etc.
- Cloud storage (Google, Dropbox).
- Social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook) to enable social sharing functions and complete the users’ profiles.
for tracking experts & learners engagement and success
The Jellyfish.tech team built a live dashboard to show the user statistics via charts and diagrams.
The dashboard is used for tracking the expert activity, rating, learner’s success rate, the most popular subjects, etc. It’s also used by the platform support team
The statistics dashboard was made with the usage of d3.js and data visualization libraries in connection with Angular.
to set, track, & manage current and future tasks
Simple task tracker functionality is of use for both experts and learners. The board to add the current tasks, change their statuses (to do, in progress, done), set up due dates and reminders.
for easy and quick access to the platform on the go
We built a cross-platform mobile app using React Native for the frontend, and a combination of Python/ Django, DRF, PostgreSQL/MySQL for the backend. We also created the main REST API used by both web and mobile apps.
These technologies allowed us to release the first app MVP in 5 weeks, keeping on improving the product.
to upload & create the content easily
We added the basic content management functionality to enable users to work with the content directly on the platform.
For experts: the possibility to create, manage, and share all types of tests, add the articles, or upload any other extra materials: scientific works, manuals, source materials.
For learners: receive and open the files from experts, do tests online without leaving the platform.
encouraging users to teach & learn
Gamification elements help both learners and experts stay motivated and increase their loyalty towards the platform.
It wasn’t our main purpose to gamify the platform but small details from the game mechanics release users’ stress and make them laugh:
- Funny badges and levels for experts and learners;
- Incentives for a good job appearing on the profile;
- Personalization so that each user could express themselves.
Despite Jellyfish.tech started building the online education marketplace when it wasn’t mainstream, the platform’s functionality became even more popular for the e-learning industry and not only for it during the pandemic.
The point is the modular architecture of the application allows us to add new functionality per customer request following the recent trends, constantly working on the platform improvement. This model can be also applied in any other sphere.
This project proves the education can and should be simple, the e-learning application could be user-friendly, and learners could communicate with experts without pain.