E-Learning Platform Development: Best Practices


Given the current growth of the e-learning market, it is reasonable to consider e-learning platform development. Udemy or Coursera are undoubtedly great examples to follow.. The sector is in a booming phase, with demand still increasing. Forbes predicts growth to $ 325 billion in 2025 ($ 107 billion in 2015). This extraordinary growth indicates the numerous benefits of e-learning over conventional educational approaches.

The online education sector is accessible for newcomers, provided they can offer engaging and top-notch educational materials. Currently, with the industry thriving and demand still growing, it’s an opportune moment to develop such a platform. Geniusee, with its expertise in tech development, could be your guide through the process. This article aims to shed some light on how to build a sophisticated online learning platform like Udemy or Coursera, based on Geniusee knowledge of the education technology market intricacies.

E-Learning Platform Examples

Before embarking on creating an e-learning website from the ground up, it’s essential to pinpoint the kind of platform you aim to establish. Typically, e-learning sites are classified into six distinct categories based on the services they provide:

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)

These platforms offer an array of courses provided by diverse sources, including educators, institutions, and various organizations. They operate similarly to marketplaces where sellers offer courses to prospective learners. Prominent examples are Coursera and edX, alongside niche-specific sites serving various industries.

LMS (Learning Management Systems)

LMS platforms provide essential tools for course creation, storage, and learner progress tracking. The market boasts over 700 LMS options, predominantly catering to corporate education, with some featuring advanced tools for tailoring content for different audiences.

Open-Source LMS Platforms

Similar to standard LMS platforms but built using open-source software, these allow for extensive customization and are adaptable to specific content and educational needs. Moodle and Open edX are notable examples.

MLMS (Modern Learning Management Solutions)

These platforms prioritize the learning experience, incorporating algorithms and tools designed to enhance educational efficiency. Certain MLMS platforms are grounded in specific educational methods. Examples include Docebo and Totara.

LMS Ecosystems or Learning Management Ecosystems

These initiatives aim to integrate the finest specialized solutions in e-learning into a cohesive ecosystem. An example is Notre Dame’s NeXus, which is developed on Open edX.

Custom-Built Learning Platforms

Tailored to particular educational offerings, these platforms are specially designed for specific courses or programs. Harvard Business School Online, created exclusively for Harvard Business School’s advanced business certifications, is an illustrative case.

Top E-Learning Platforms Overview

According to a report from Finances Online, which analyzes business software, the e-learning landscape has expanded to over 1000 Learning Management System (LMS) providers as of 2019. It’s crucial for businesses to thoroughly assess whether to invest in an LMS or to select an existing software solution for their training needs. Let’s see what distinguishes e-learning market leaders from others.


Originating at Stanford University by professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller in 2012, Coursera has burgeoned into a global platform. It partners with over 108 institutions across 24 countries, providing 815 courses in 25 categories and 22 languages. The service began with a focus on STEM but has expanded to numerous other fields. It stands out for its peer evaluation system and interactive student-teacher forums.


Udacity shines as a niche platform dedicated to computer science, established in 2012 by Stanford affiliates. It presents over 40 courses in software development and related fields, developed with tech giants like Google and Facebook. Courses are categorized by difficulty levels, and successful students receive free certificates, though the platform’s offerings are solely in English.


Udemy is a diverse international learning hub with over 15 million students engaging in 65,000 courses yearly. It covers a broad spectrum from technology to cosmetology, boasting both free and paid courses. Its flexible approach includes various course lengths, prices, and engagement levels, with a user-friendly website and mobile apps for easy access.


A collaborative effort by MIT and Harvard, founded in 2012, edX is a non-profit platform offering a wide range of subjects for free. With over 320 courses in 28 categories, it also enforces a structured schedule for course completion, rewarding successful students with certificates. As of mid-2014, it had nearly 2.5 million users.


SkillShare caters to the creatively inclined, with courses in arts, design, and more. It emphasizes practical learning over lectures, encouraging direct interaction between instructors and learners. The platform also allows skilled individuals to teach, potentially earning significant income while contributing to the community.

Key Elements for an E-Learning Platform

To develop an e-learning platform similar to Coursera, it’s vital to incorporate fundamental functionalities that cater to the platform’s various user types. An effective e-learning platform typically encompasses three distinct roles:

  • An administrator responsible for overseeing the platform’s operations and troubleshooting issues;
  • An instructor (such as a teacher or tutor) tasked with course creation and managing the educational content;
  • A student who engages with the courses, earns grades, and receives certification upon course completion.

The popularity of e-learning continues to surge annually, presenting a good opportunity for your platform to expand and engage a broader audience. Now is the time to take action — to launch your e-learning website to spread your expertise globally. With Geniusee, an experienced software development partner, you’ll be supported every step of the way as we leverage our experience in building similar education platforms to help you in your endeavor.

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