E-learning Mobile App Development: Costs and MVP Features

11 min read

Education, like many industries, is undergoing a transformative revolution. With the advancements in AI and VR technologies, studying is becoming increasingly engaging, enabling a personalized approach and interactive learning experiences. This personalized approach to education allows individuals to tailor their learning journey according to their own pace, preferences, and areas of interest.

The EdTech market is experiencing a booming growth rate of 14% CAGR, and there are no signs of it slowing down, at least until 2032. The demand for modern EdTech tools was greatly propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the closure of campuses, universities, and schools, the only way to provide education was to adopt distance learning and start investing in custom remote learning solution development. However, this is not the only reason for the current EdTech boom.

Key factors that might fuel such growth include:

  • The integration of artificial intelligence in educational software for more personalized learning pathways.
  • The expansion of EdTech in emerging economies with increasing internet penetration and a growing middle class.
  • Continuous investment in educational technology by governments, institutions, and private equity for improving the quality of education.
  • A rise in the demand for lifelong learning and professional development due to changing job requirements.

E-learning mobile app development in 2024 is a significant and promising investment in the future of education. As technology continues to integrate into our lives, there is an increasing demand for innovative educational solutions.

However, hopping on the bandwagon of custom EdTech app development requires a thorough understanding of technical and financial considerations to ensure the project's success and long-term viability. We closely collaborated with our tech experts to find out what it takes to develop a custom EdTech app in 2024. 

And here’s what we found out.

Reasons to start e-learning mobile app development in 2024

Starting an EdTech app in 2024 presents a compelling opportunity for entrepreneurs, educators, and technologists. Here are several reasons why venturing into the EdTech space is timely and promising:

Favorable investment opportunities

  • Growing market: The global EdTech market is experiencing rapid growth, attracting significant investment from venture capitalists, angel investors, and educational institutions.
  • Increased funding: There's an uptrend in funding for innovative educational solutions, driven by a heightened interest in digital learning platforms due to recent global shifts toward remote education.

Lots of room for innovation

  • Diverse educational needs: There's a wide range of niches from preschool to K-12, higher education, and professional development, each offering unique opportunities for technological innovation.
  • Emerging technologies: The integration of AI, VR, AR, and blockchain in education offers new ways to engage learners, personalize content, and secure educational transactions.

Enhanced accessibility to education

  • Global reach: Digital platforms break geographical barriers, making quality education accessible to students in remote or underserved regions.
  • Inclusive learning: EdTech can cater to diverse learning needs, including those of students with disabilities, through adaptive technologies and accessible content.

Changing educational landscapes

  • Shift to blended learning: The blending of traditional classroom settings with online learning is becoming the norm, creating demand for platforms that support hybrid educational models.
  • Lifelong learning culture: There's a growing recognition of the importance of continuous learning and upskilling, driving demand for adult education and professional development platforms.

Demand for personalized learning

  • Adaptive learning paths: Students and professionals are seeking more personalized learning experiences that adapt to their individual learning styles, pace, and interests.
  • Data-driven insights: EdTech apps can leverage data analytics to provide personalized feedback and recommendations, enhancing learning outcomes.

Advancements in educational research

  • Evidence-based solutions: Ongoing research in educational methodologies and cognitive science provides a solid foundation for developing effective learning tools.
  • Collaboration with academia: Partnerships with educational institutions for research and development can lead to innovative solutions grounded in pedagogical theory.

Sustainability and scalability

  • Cost-effective education: Digital platforms can offer more scalable and sustainable models for delivering education, reducing the need for physical infrastructure and resources.
  • Environmental impact: EdTech solutions contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing the reliance on paper-based materials and commuting.

Global education initiatives

  • Supporting UN SDGs: EdTech projects align with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those aimed at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all.
  • International collaboration: The global nature of the EdTech industry fosters international collaboration and knowledge exchange, further driving innovation.

E-learning mobile app development is not just a business opportunity; it's a chance to make a significant impact on global education. With the right idea, team, and execution, EdTech entrepreneurs can contribute to shaping the future of learning and education.

Essential features for your EdTech app 

To ensure the success of an EdTech app, the development process should involve a careful consideration of feature selection. This is crucial in order to meet the needs of its users, including students, educators, and administrators. 

Let's take a closer look at the key features that can contribute to the app's success:

User-friendly interface and design

  • Intuitive navigation

By implementing clear and logical menus, intuitive icons, and a well-organized structure, users can easily navigate through the app and access the desired features or content.

  • Clean layout

A visually appealing and clutter-free layout is crucial for keeping users engaged and ensuring a seamless user experience. By adopting a minimalist design approach, the app can create a clean and uncluttered interface that enhances readability and reduces cognitive load. 

  • Accessibility

To ensure inclusivity and cater to users with different abilities, the app should prioritize accessibility features. Implementing text-to-speech functionality allows users with visual impairments or reading difficulties to have the content read aloud to them. 

Additionally, offering color contrast options accommodates users with color vision deficiencies, ensuring that the app's interface remains easily distinguishable and legible for all users.

Tailored learning content and interactive features

  • Customizable learning modules

Customizable learning modules allow users to personalize their learning experience according to their preferences, interests, and needs. This flexibility ensures that the content can be easily adapted to fit different learning styles and levels, making it more accessible and engaging for a wide range of learners.

  • Interactive elements

By incorporating these interactive components, users can actively apply their knowledge, reinforce their understanding, and develop problem-solving skills, all while making the learning process enjoyable and interactive.

  • Multimedia support

Visual learners can benefit from the use of images and videos that provide visual representations and demonstrations of concepts. Auditory learners can engage with audio materials that present information through spoken words and explanations. This multimedia approach ensures that learners can access and process information in ways that best suit their individual learning styles, enhancing their comprehension and retention of the content.

Communication and collaboration tools

  •  In-app messaging

This feature allows for direct and instant communication between students, teachers, or even among peer groups. It provides a convenient and efficient way to exchange messages, ask questions, provide feedback, and discuss topics related to academic activities.

  • Discussion forums

 With this feature, users have access to a dedicated space where they can share their knowledge, ask questions, and engage in meaningful academic discussions. It promotes collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the exchange of ideas among students, teachers, and other members of the learning community.

  • Group workspaces

Designed to facilitate collaborative projects and assignments, group workspaces offer shared virtual workspaces where students can collaborate in real time. This feature allows for seamless coordination, brainstorming, and planning, enabling students to work together effectively regardless of their physical location.

Analytics and progress monitoring

  • Real-time feedback

Immediate feedback on quizzes and assignments is crucial for students as it helps them understand their mistakes in real time and learn from them. This immediate feedback not only enhances their understanding of the subject matter but also boosts their confidence and motivation to continue learning.

  • Progress tracking

Visual representations of progress play a vital role in helping both students and educators monitor their achievements and identify areas that require further improvement. Through visually engaging progress-tracking tools, students can easily see their progress over time, enabling them to set goals and track their performance. Educators can also use progress graphs and charts to assess the overall progress of their students, identify trends, and provide targeted support where needed.

  • Teacher dashboards

These dashboards provide comprehensive insights into student performance, class averages, and other relevant metrics that inform teaching strategies. By having access to real-time data, teachers can quickly identify struggling students, personalize their instruction, and implement interventions to support their learning.

Personalized learning paths

  • Adaptive learning algorithms

By continuously monitoring the learner's progress and analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, adaptive learning algorithms ensure that the learner is presented with the most relevant and suitable educational materials.

This personalized approach not only keeps the learner engaged but also maximizes their learning potential. With adaptive learning algorithms, education becomes a truly customized and effective experience, tailored to the unique needs and abilities of each individual learner.

  • Individual learning plans (ILPs)

With ILPs, learners have the opportunity to not only set goals for themselves but also choose the paths that best align with their interests and academic needs. By incorporating ILPs into the learning process, learners are encouraged to explore their passions, develop a deeper understanding of their strengths and areas for growth, and take charge of their own educational journey.

Integration with LMS and third-party tools

  • LMS compatibility

Thanks to integration with a wide range of Learning Management Systems (LMS), your app can ensure a smooth and unified learning experience for both instructors and students. By integrating with your existing LMS, you can easily manage your courses, track student progress, and deliver content without any disruptions.

  • Other third-party tools

This means that you can easily incorporate a wide range of content and interactive elements into your courses, making the learning experience more engaging and dynamic.

Scalability and security

  • Cloud-based architecture

By leveraging cloud infrastructure, the app can efficiently handle increasing numbers of users and growing data volumes. This scalability is crucial for ensuring a smooth user experience as the app gains popularity.

  • Data encryption and privacy

Adhering to legal standards for data protection, the app guarantees that user data is secure and kept confidential. These measures instill trust and confidence in users, knowing that their sensitive information is well-protected.

Additional features specific to different EdTech app niches

  • Language learning apps

Speech recognition for pronunciation practice, language games, and cultural notes.

  • STEM learning apps

 Virtual labs, 3D models, and coding environments to practice skills in a hands-on manner.

  • Early education apps

Parental control features, storybooks, and character-based learning for young learners.

This is just a basic list of features and functionalities. Each e-learning mobile app development may require a unique set of features based on its target audience and educational goals. 

The key is to prioritize those features that will most effectively enhance learning outcomes, improve engagement, and meet the needs of all stakeholders involved in the educational process.

Educational app development cost: Main factors to know

The educational app development cost can vary significantly depending on several factors. It is important to understand these factors for budgeting and financial planning purposes. Here is an overview of the main elements of e-learning mobile app development that impact the development cost:

Platform selection 

Developing for a single platform (iOS or Android) might be less expensive initially but building for both platforms simultaneously, especially using cross-platform frameworks (e.g., React Native, Flutter), can increase reach and potentially save costs in the long run.

App complexity and scope

The more complex the app, with features like AI-based personalized learning paths, interactive content, live classes, etc., the higher the development cost due to the time and expertise required.

Customization and integrations

Integrating with existing educational tools, platforms (e.g., LMS, payment gateways, social media), or APIs for added functionalities can increase costs due to the complexity of ensuring seamless integration and security.

In-house development or outsourcing

Hiring a full-time team offers control and dedicated focus but can be more expensive due to salaries, benefits, and infrastructure costs. Partnering with a trusted software development company can reduce costs and offer flexibility. 

The cost of building an EdTech app is influenced by various factors. These factors include technical choices such as the platform and complexity of the app, as well as strategic decisions related to the development approach and team location.

By carefully planning and considering these factors, it is possible to create a realistic budget that aligns with the project's scope and business goals. In the next section, we’d like to focus on how to estimate the costs required to develop an EdTech app.

Estimating the educational app development cost 

Peeling back the layers of educational app development costs, you might wonder what exactly goes into the financial investment. It's more than just paying a team to write code; there are multiple components that together determine the final numbers on your invoice. Let's explore these components to gain a clearer understanding.

Firstly, we have design, which is where user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) come into play. Crafting an app that's not only functional but also intuitive and visually appealing is no small feat. Design can often be a time-consuming phase, requiring expertise to ensure the app is accessible and engaging for its users.

Moving on to development, this is the core where the app comes to life through lines of code. The development phase involves front-end and back-end work, API integrations, and setting up databases. It's a detailed process with costs that scale according to the app's complexity.

Then comes testing. No app should hit the market without rigorous checks to iron out bugs and improve performance. Testing ensures quality and saves costs long-term by catching issues before users do.

Last but not least is deployment. Launching the app on platforms like Google Play or the Apple App Store involves certain fees and adherence to guidelines, which can influence the cost structure.

Now, let's delve into estimating these costs. Understanding the financial implications is vital for startups and institutions aiming to enter the EdTech space. But how much should one expect to invest from conception to launch?

A basic app with standard features like simple quizzes or flashcards might range from $10,000 to $50,000. Incorporating advanced features like artificial intelligence or machine learning can propel the cost to over $100,000

These figures give you a baseline, but remember the more complex the platform, the higher the investment required.

Strategies for cost optimization in e-learning mobile app development

In the realm of educational technology, creating a cost-effective app without sacrificing quality is like finding the perfect balance between economy and excellence. But how do we strike this delicate balance? The answer lies in smart planning and adopting strategic approaches throughout the development process.

  • Employing iterative development and MVP approach

The concept of iterative development partnered with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) approach is a game-changer in managing development costs. By focusing on creating a basic version of the app with essential features first, companies can test the waters before diving in. This method not only saves initial costs but also allows for feedback-driven improvements. 

  • Phased feature implementation

Adding every feature at once can be a costly affair. Instead, phased feature implementation allows developers to prioritize core functionalities and roll out additional ones over time. This strategy not only makes the development process more manageable but also spreads out the costs.

  • Choosing the right technology stack and development methodologies

Akin to choosing the right foundation and materials for a sturdy building, selecting the appropriate technology stack and development methodologies is crucial for cost-effectiveness. The right technology stack ensures that the app runs smoothly and can scale as needed without incurring excessive costs. Agile development methodologies, known for their flexibility and efficiency, can also prevent budget overruns. 

  • Embracing outsourcing for development

Outsourcing can be a financially sound decision when it comes to app development. By tapping into global talent pools, you can find skilled developers at competitive rates. However, it's important to choose outsourcing partners wisely, ensuring they align with the company's goals and quality standards. A successful outsourcing relationship can lead to substantial savings while maintaining, or even enhancing, the quality of the app. 

With ElifTech by your side, you don't just get a service provider, but a true development partner. Our experts can alleviate you from all the technical issues and bring your ideas to life.


By leveraging the outlined strategies and insights, you'll be better equipped to plan and execute cost-effective e-learning mobile app development projects.

Whether you're developing a straightforward educational tool or a sophisticated learning platform complete with AI features, the principles of cost estimation remain consistent. It's about balancing the scales of innovation and practicality.

The key takeaway is that successful EdTech app development hinges on thorough preparation, strategic thinking, and a trusted development partner. Contact us to discuss your EdTech project. 

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