We are well aware of how videos have been a powerful learning tool for years. In the year 2020, we have seen its widespread demand and adoption. Studies say that online study videos are the most common eLearning medium for K-12 classrooms while 91% of universities believe video content increases students satisfaction. In 2020, people learned multiple skills on YouTube with 91% in India learning things to do themselves. Now when you know how efficient an eLearning video platform can be, it’s time to consider branching out a bit. You may start considering new ways to explore the video learning market and build your own eLearning video platform.
For most of us, gaining knowledge is about collecting little chunks, snippets in day-to-day life. This knowledge is in the form of watching videos, accessing YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Everything comes to our mind quickly and in small chunks. People now learn in a way that is most natural and comfortable to them. For many people, learning from texts can be pretty challenging. Video and audio dimensions to eLearning content development make the learning more easy and engaging. This is the demand now, so let’s start with different terminologies & checklists to help you set up your own platform.
1. Choosing your Backend, Frontend & other Server-side setups
Even as a beginner you would have known that Web Development is a combination of two dependencies namely, Frontend Development and Backend Development. Both facets have their respective set of mechanisms, tools and technologies.
1.1- No Code or Little Code Methods
Also, there is not a necessity that you need to go through the coding part. You can even do all the course and website creation by choosing a content management system. Different CMS or content management systems are available, having a different set of approaches and scopes.
For example, you can use an application-based LMS like Moodle or CMS like WordPress and Joomla where you require little to no coding. We can also achieve customizations via themes and available plugins. You can even use ready-to-launch teaching sites like Teachable, Thinkific, and Kajabi which we have also discussed here.
On the contrary, if you are looking for specific customizations you can develop your own backend and frontend with a language of your choice. Frameworks like Django gives you access to unlimited customization and even the scope of integrating technologies like machine learning.
Note: As per data of the top 10,000 websites, nearly 10% are built using WordPress CMS and 75% of websites use their custom CMS.
1.2- Backend Development of your eLearning video platform
1.3- eLearning video platform Front End Development
In today’s world, the main objectives of front end development are responsiveness and performance. The website for eLearning should appear correctly on all screen sizes and resolutions. Also, it must use all performance improving compatibilities like lazy loading and page speed.
Some popular frameworks and libraries like bootstrap, AngularJS, React JS, jQuery, Flutter, SASS, Semantic-UI support front end development.
1.4- Other Server-side setup while building an eLearning video platform
To manage the users and other course or content information, a website for eLearning needs a database. The database stores the content of a website in a structured format to retrieve, organize, edit and save data. This setup runs on a remote computer known as Server. The most widely used databases are MySQL and PostgreSQL. Other databases like Oracle and Sybase are not preferred unless you have a very big infrastructure and also they are costly.
Other server-side setup includes setting up a server software like Apache or Nginx (preferred). Setting up CDN distribution and even a continuous deployment pipeline.
1.5- Important points to consider when setting up your own eLearning website
- LMS or CMS like Moodle, WordPress and Joomla are built as an application and are not object-oriented.
- Absolute beginners can start with options like Teachable, Thinkific and Kajabi.
2. Video Hosting & Security
eLearning videos require a considerable investment of time, effort and money. You cannot just limit it to the creation of videos. One must store videos online on a video hosting server that has very high uptime, is secure, encrypted and budget-friendly. It must also enable adaptive bitrate streaming and even stores your content in various locations. This is helpful when trying to reduce time to first byte and latency.
The biggest problem with putting your original or premium eLearning content on the web comes with potential video piracy. Also, we know that websites like YouTube and Torrent have an abundance of pirated videos from premium resources. There are video downloader tools that can easily download videos from a video hosting platform. In general, video content is pirated in multiple ways like password theft, password sharing, unauthorized download, copyright violation, screen recording, and much more.
2.1- Video Protection Methods
The best ways to secure your eLearning video content is through secure login, membership, protecting videos from plugins and downloaders, Domain (URL) whitelisting, Real-Time Messaging Protocol Encrypted (RTMPE), HLS Encryption, IP/GEO Restriction, Video DRM, Dynamic watermarking and Screen capture block.
We can easily address all of these security concerns by choosing secure video hosting providers like Vdocipher. Such providers not only address your security and piracy concerns but also provide you with flawless uptime, adaptive bitrate streaming and even distribute your encrypted content globally via CDN.
3. eLearning Content Development & choosing type of platform
Though we discuss creating your own eLearning video platform, we hope you are also informed about the MOOCs. After the analysis of your target customers, one needs to focus on choosing the type of eLearning video platform, be it LMS/CMS or MOOC.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are open to all which means people from across the globe can access or create courses on your eLearning video platform, making it an eLearning marketplace. In the majority of the cases, these courses are free and available all over the internet. Udemy is one such example. They even provide you with free branding and paid marketing opportunities.
Learning Management System or LMS comes with restricted access, meaning it is available only within an organization. LMS is designed for a specific customer and does not necessarily have a robust architecture like a MOOC eLearning video platform. The basic LMS architecture enables admins to upload learning content, assist and deliver lessons, enable notifications and share content with authorized users. LMS can be free, commercial, cloud-based, pre-written CMS, individual or enterprise.
3.1- Content Development for eLearning Website
Once done with choosing the right type, we should move forward with eLearning content development. For an eLearning video platform content development is crafting relevant course content based on your niche, audience knowledge, business goals, idea and mode of content delivery. Each video content and its accompanying text comes with its own piece of knowledge and information. These contents cumulatively form a course. A course may have video, audio, PDF and more.
The learning path is another term that is gaining popularity. It comprises of digital content formats or virtual classrooms aimed at delivering flexible structured learning. One example is self-paced digital content comprising documents, videos, webinars, and online assessments. This help users meet their learning goals and master the subject. Slide-based courses, training videos, quizzes, webinars, embedded or standalone videos, study material, ebooks, blogs, augmented reality (AR), case studies, interviews are some of the content development formats eLearning video platforms use.
4. eLearning Website or App or Both
Often learning apps provide a better user experience compared to a mobile website. Presentations, courses, videos become more responsive, menus and filters are smooth enough, better UI, there are other customizable options and more. But this does not mean all eLearning video platforms are doing that great with a mobile app. Apps are platform-dependent and nowadays, we need to access our data from any device and any browser, which is not the case with most mobile apps.
Most online learning platforms are designed for the web as it is platform-agnostic, open and ubiquitous. With the website for eLearning, you don’t have to install anything. Visitors will appreciate your app if nothing stands in their way to get the knowledge. The user flow must be smooth and attractive. Also, with every update to the chosen CMS and generic backend/frontend technology, web applications are getting more and more like apps.
Even platforms like Twitter are using PWA or progressive web apps and are experiencing more user influx and engagement. Thus, the choice of study apps or website or both depends on your expectations, requirements and developmental needs. A self-starter, after learning about the video market through YouTube, Moocs and similar giants might want to progress with the website first approach. Make the website responsive, implement basic SEO and video SEO, move forward with application development for enhanced experience to existing users and compliment the high influx with PWA.
5. Search Logic, Categorization & Filters
The easier users find video content and courses on the portal, the faster their user journey will be. This is where search, categorization and filtering can provide a huge boost to an online eLearning video platform.
Start with categorization as it will tell you what might be searched and filtered. Also, categorization requires you to make required headers like ‘tags’ in your database, which will require a migration. Planning for it and implementing it in the initial model setup stage will even help in data collection as well as better filter and search setup.
Website categorization defines the type of content on a specific web page. The use cases of website categorization are content filtering, brand safety, network security and firewall, ad-tech, parental control and more. The SEO of your pages becomes imbalanced without categories and pages start competing for the same search keywords. Category pages are an important area of opportunity for boosting organic traffic.
After categorization logic, start with product filtering, use category-specific filters as users prefer them over generic parameters. With respect to a particular course, the placement of an array of tags in your database helps filter more dynamically. Such filter mechanism placement in the initial stage also helps you implement deep learning and machine learning opportunities as more data comes in. Using multiple filters allows users to shortlist down to the smallest details. For the smooth experience of a mobile website, the developer needs to customize the CSS code to fit standard desktop filter displays into mobile-ready formats. Filter placement requires A/B testing to find the perfect spot on the web page.
5.3- Search Logic
Now when you have captured most user-specific choices by categorization and filters, there comes search. Search can be of many types like single word search, linear search, and full-text search, accompanied by different search logic based on various search algorithms with variable output. Different math equations used to calculate the closest and best match for a search term are the main reason for having variable output
If you are using a pre-created platform-specific service or an app-based CMS like WordPress, you will most likely stick with the inbuilt search logic. If you are planning to go with frameworks like Django, you have plenty of options available as python libraries to enhance your search and their respective logic. For advanced usage, do maintain a database of your search terms as they will help you enhance your search in future.
6. Complementary and Supplementary Recommendations
With numerous resources on a portal, users need to decide which courses or content to opt for. Hence, the recommendation system applies in the eLearning video platform to help learners get personalized services by identifying their complementary and supplementary preferences. Basically, there are three recommendation techniques, content-based, collaborative filtering (CF)-based and knowledge-based.
Content-based recommendation profiles users with their past behaviour and recommends content similar to their profile. The CF-based recommendation assumes similar users preferring similar content and generates recommendations with users collaboration.
We can apply the knowledge-based recommendation scenarios where the content is not frequently visited and that is why it relies mostly on the pre-defined knowledge structures like ontology. Ontology is a systematic knowledge representation that contains entities, and their relationships in a particular domain. It is also encoded by language such as web ontology language (OWL). Also, user queries can be further modelled and trained as new concepts if previously unavailable in the pre-defined ontology through enrichment.
7. Integrating Payment Gateway
If a platform’s eLearning model is a subscription or paid courses, there should be a convenient method for students to pay and tutors to collect their earnings. And when dealing with money, the payment gateway transaction must be secure and give users a seamless checkout experience. The most popular payment mediums are Debit/credit cards, PayPal Master/Visa/Maestro/Amex, and UPI. Most payment gateways like Razorpay and Paytm allows all of these mediums after complete verification and even allows you to accept international payments. An LMS will usually have it integrated and we can do the custom integration easily using the payment gateway’s API.
8. Support & Live Chat Features
Online customer support helps in better communication, solving user problems, collecting customer feedback and suggestions to fine-tune the system and solve unexpected issues. Online customer service answers customer questions by digital tools like email, messaging apps, live chat and social media.
Live chat support is now the most dynamic and popular way of communicating with customers. It’s the best way to go beyond customer’s expectations and satisfaction to gain higher traffic and conversions. In an eLearning video platform, text chat helps in maintaining smooth communication between attendants and lecturers. For a platform based on pre-recorded videos, implementing a Q&A section is better.
9. Social Sharing
Social sharing has enormous potential for social media marketing to boost sales and increase the visibility of a business. It is a cost-effective tool for increased brand recognition and promotion and can be used to convert customers. From the perspective of content marketing, social media helps in building links organically. Google uses ranking signals for search results linking by determining how much time the content is shared, liked, tweets or posted to social media. The ideal placement of social media icons is on the top half of the webpage or ‘above the fold’.
10. Business Model
Before starting the development process of your eLearning video platform, you should take into consideration the different ways of monetizing your content. One of the popular monetization methods is that of Udemy which charges as per the specific course. Some courses on such platforms are free, while others are in paid form.
The subscription-based model is one more commonly used monetization way. It is based on monthly payments or a one-year subscription with lower monthly rates. Many eLearning providers even implement a Paid certification model wherein, courses are free but students need to pay to earn certification of the course. Some eLearning business models run on sponsorships and advertising.
The login page is the first place to deliver the best user experience to a visitor with a website. For the same, it requires authenticating the user before giving access to a platform’s secured pages. Designing a website login page requires working on tiny details. Be it making the page responsive and not a pain to use, else lose users. Developers need to work on the bounce rate of their login page and make the transition smooth, easy, and error-free.
The login form should be simple, short with a clean design. There should be a clear distinction between login and registration forms and have options of logging through external accounts. There should be clear ‘Forgot password’ and ‘Remember me’ options.
Note: Do include ‘Sign In with Google’ & ‘Sign In with Facebook’ as a medium in sign up and sign in as data shows that they are the most used modes. Also, if making your own CMS then do check for logic on merging mail ids signed up using ‘Register’ input forms and using ‘Google’ or ‘Facebook’.
How VdoCipher Helps In Building Your Own Elearning Video Platform
A major part of setting up your own video platform for education includes the video infrastructure. This includes video storage, encoding for different formats and video quality, embedding, encryption, and more. VdoCipher takes care of all this and more. All you have to do is upload your video to our platform, once the video has been transcoded, you can just copy the embed code and paste it on your website.
On top of the video hosting, you get access to DRM-based security, which ensures that your videos are not downloadable by anyone. This puts a stop to piracy online, ultimately giving you a substantial boost in revenue. As new users would have to sign up and pay for your premium courses in order to access them. Other security features which further safeguard your premium content are Dynamic watermarking to deter screen capture, Screen recoding protection on iOS and Android. You can even block geolocation, IP address and put time restrictions as well.
What are the benefits of using LMS?
Centralized content, up-to-date courses, easy tracking & reporting, cost-saving and more. Other benefits include employee satisfaction, retention, better ROI on training, economical remote learning.
How VdoCipher offers video protection and piracy control?
VdoCipher offers Hollywood grade DRM encryption which prevents illegal downloads using any hacks or plugins. The other video piracy features offered are dynamic watermarking, server to player package, screen capture restriction in mobile apps and customizable online video player.
How does a Progressive Web App (PWA) work?
A PWA is a web application installed on your system. It works offline in times of no internet connection. On Chrome, when you visit a website having PWA, you will be prompted to install the app. The advantages of PWA are mobile-like experience, offline availability, reduce loading time and give a better user experience.
Build Your Own Elearning Video Platform With VdoCipher
Host your eLearning videos with Vdocipher and put a stop to piracy of your videos with VdoCIpher! At VdoCipher, we ensure the highest DRM-based security for your videos. We'd love to hear from you, and help boost your eLearning platform.
I have traversed through the digital wilderness, honing my skills in technology and marketing including the latest trends, tools, and techniques. My passion for innovation has driven me to experiment with tech-based marketing in the eLearning, Media, and Security sectors.