Table of Contents

    How to build an app like Coursera?

    • October 28, 2023
    • 5 min

    As a result of the widespread spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, the educational system has undergone dramatic change. These days, it's not enough to just listen to teachers, take notes, and do homework; students need to be able to think critically, creatively, and collaboratively. What was previously only possible inside a classroom's four walls is now possible from any place in the world with access to a computer and the internet.

    As a result of the proliferation of educational applications available online, students now have more flexibility in their schedules and access to educational materials from any location. There are a handful of e-learning programs that immediately spring to mind when the topic is discussed: Coursera, Simplilearn, Udemy, etc. All of them are open online courses. These applications are very well-liked among both students and teachers all around the globe because of the many advantages they provide. Such applications not only provide a steady stream of instruction but also aid in remote training and monitoring of pupils. In this post, we'll learn how to develop an e-learning app like Coursera or Simplilearn.

    Must have features in an app like Coursera

    Here are some of the most useful functions for a MOOC program like Coursera.


    The best mobile app developers will advise you that there must be three user types in your app like Coursera. Students, instructors, and administrators. Let’s know what each of these three user types must have:


    • Financial and identification details
    • Curriculum History and Attendance
    • Details regarding any awards, such as points or certificates, that have been received
    • Purchase record
    • Wishlist
    • Individual Preferences
    • Options for contacting the Admin


    • Financial and identification details
    • Developing and sharing options for lessons.
    • Tracking dashboard displaying relevant information about their class
    • Options for contacting the Admin


    • Add and modify the block list
    • Adjusting lessons
    • Compile data analysis reports
    • Can assign user roles
    • Can change the membership plan
    • In charge of newsletter and notice management

    Searches and Recommendations

    It is the most crucial step in developing any e-learning program. Websites and education apps have extensive course catalogs that can only be navigated effectively with an efficient search and filtering system. Users should have a number of options for finding the desired course. For example, simply typing the term into the search engine’s index lets them find the course. Furthermore, recommendations should be based on the importance of each category, filtering and arranging data.

    Course Creation

    The program itself should provide a teacher-friendly interface for creating and managing courses, tests, and other assessment methods. Slides, videos, text, code exercises, quizzes, PDFs, audio files, and more should all be possible to create, write scripts for, and contribute to the platform. There has to be a single page for each course into which data and features may be added. The page should include information like the outline of the study program, biographical details about the author, instructional resources, course duration, evaluation, and ranking.

    While our talk centered on the course overview page, it’s important to remember that a well-designed course will also include things like pre-recorded videos with subtitles, quizzes, assignments, a forum, and maybe even gamification features to keep students interested.

    Payment Gateways

    Due to the prevalence of paid course offerings and certification fees in an app like Coursera, a thorough understanding of the payment gateway integration process is essential for accurately calculating the cost of creating an e-learning platform. In addition to traditional payment methods like credit cards and debit cards, users may now integrate P2P payment systems like PayPal, Venmo, and others directly into the app.


    Teachers need access to a dashboard from which they can monitor a variety of metrics and draw conclusions. In most cases, a dashboard will provide data about the course, tracking of enrollment, progression, and revenue.


    Notifications are a key mobile app design tip that increases conversions. You should build the app’s notification system so that users are constantly informed on matters of importance to them.

    Progress Tracking

    Users will benefit greatly from knowing how much they have learned so far and how much more work is ahead. Furthermore, allow users to view a dashboard for every course they get enrolled in.

    The cost of developing an app like Coursera

    The process of developing an app includes requirement analysis, market research, UI/UX design, coding and implementation, testing, launch, and maintenance. Thus, the cost of developing an app like Coursera completely depends on the features you need to add and the development company’s location and experience. Furthermore, if the features to be added are more complex, then the development time would be longer. This means the cost would be more.

    The cost of developing a mobile app that is similar to Coursera would be approx. between $20,500 for the first phase launch or MVP. This is the very minimum you should expect to pay, but if you add more advanced features to your app like AI, AAA animations, or blockchain, the development cost estimate will rise.


    It’s an immense task to develop an app like Coursera, but it might change the face of online education forever. If you want to be successful, you need to pay attention to the following areas: user experience, content curation, community building, and revenue. Keep your platform up-to-date with the newest trends and technology. App’s success is founded on its capacity to respond to changes in the e-learning business.


    What are the essential features of an app like Coursera?
    Key features include user profiles, course listings, video lectures, quizzes, assignments, discussion forums, progress tracking, and the ability to earn certificates. Features for instructors to create and manage courses are also crucial.
    How to source educational content for the platform?
    You can partner with universities, colleges, and educational institutions to provide their courses on your platform. Alternatively, you can allow independent educators to create and upload their courses.
    What technologies to use to build an e-learning app like Coursera?
    You can use a combination of web and mobile development technologies such as JavaScript (for web), Swift (for iOS), and Java/Kotlin (for Android). Backend development can be done using technologies like Python, Ruby on Rails, or Node.js. Consider using a cloud infrastructure provider like AWS or Azure.
    How can I engage and retain users on my platform?
    Engaging users involves providing a seamless learning experience, fostering a sense of community, offering gamification elements, and personalizing content recommendations. Regularly update content and encourage instructors to engage with students in discussion forums.
    What is a viable business model for an e-learning platform like Coursera?
    Common monetization strategies include a subscription-based model (monthly or annual fees for access to all courses), a pay-per-course model, a freemium (with premium features), and corporate partnerships for B2B sales. Coursera also partners with universities to offer accredited degrees, which is another revenue stream.

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