December 2, 2020

Until the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, online education was considered crucial only for students enrolled in distance learning courses. However, these days most schools, colleges, universities, and private educational institutions have moved to digital classrooms due to the coronavirus lockdown. The role of the educational institution’s website has transformed. The organization’s website is the first point of contact for parents and students. It creates a first impression of the institution’s image and reputation.  No matter if it’s a high school, college, university, or other institution, having a portal that’s user-friendly for students, parents, teachers, and prospects is crucial. Its absence can result in a devastating impact on the organization’s reputation.

Rather than just a single page digital notice board for existing students and parents, the portal should serve as a personalized resource for prospective students to visit and explore. 

Here’re three of the most appreciated types of educational websites:

Educational websites with video content 

A school or college’s web home page should definitely offer video content featuring a welcome message from their head honcho. Website visitors also expect a glimpse of premises, classrooms, and little-bit information about successful students. 

Video content has been in great demand since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides online classes, trainees also prefer watching content from Ted Videos, TeacherTube, Discovery Education, Masterclass, Khan Academy, etc.  So, schools and colleges prefer updating study materials in video format and links for videos from the above content creators. Sharing video snippets from daily online lectures on the portal can help institutions in creating a brand identity. 

Digital library A Digital library is another popular type of educational portal.  Some universities have a dedicated section for a digital library on their primary website.  

Educational institutions share research papers and other study materials in a text document, audio, or PDF format.  Some portals offer the content for free, while others secure it behind a paywall. 

How-to-websites 

Portals like EHow, HowCast, WikiHow, AskVG, etc. are the most appreciated How-to-websites. Colleges and higher education institutes have their version of such portals to assist students with videos and photos. These platforms can help trainees in understanding how some stuff is created and how things work.

Assurance for parents that courses and syllabus meets the highest levels of quality 

Websites have covered a long journey from a static welcome page to dynamic online spaces that offer a glimpse of online lectures, school campuses, study materials, and so on. Trainees, guardians visit the institution’s website to check up-to-date info on courses, calendars, physical/virtual class information, and news from the campus.Parents with limited resources wish to opt for courses that cover subjects of their child’s interest. Plus, they also want to know if it can improve income potential and overall career prospects. Thus, guardians appreciate educational institutions that provide all the course-related details on their websites.

On the other hand, educational institutions can use their web portals to attract new trainees. By sharing syllabus details for various programs and their significance in professional careers, organizations can assure students that their courses meet the acceptable quality level.

Complying with regulations 

Information concerning various courses, online admission, and access to different exam results, fee structure, and university policies need to be updated on the website.  Publishing academic profiles for every faculty member and guest lecturers can also create a good impression about the organization. Some countries have made it legally compulsory for every educational institution to share syllabus details for every course offered, fee structure, and a list of regulatory boards/accrediting bodies that have approved the organization’s syllabus. Specific regulations also make it mandatory for the institute to ensure the website remains accessible for individuals with disabilities. 

Due to the pandemic, regulatory bodies worldwide may not have the capacity to visit and oversee details for courses offered virtually. However, they still need to make sure the necessary level of quality is maintained. Websites with educational videos, how-to-websites, and digital libraries managed by schools, colleges, and universities make their jobs easy.  It also enables them to monitor online admission procedures and ensure the concerned school or college follows fee-related regulations. 

Considering the user-experience aspect is important 

Several experts pointed out that optimizing the website for mobile browsers has become a necessity even if the institution has apps. Depending on the type of educational website and content, developers will either optimize one well-organized page or create several focused pages for mobile device users. 

A constant need to update and upgrade 

Experts suggest an average educational institution with 19,500 students at multiple branches should receive at least 4,504 visitors each month to check their calendar! 

Today’s internet users have an unforgiving nature due to high expectations and short attention spans. Poor experience on a mobile browser and slow load times can demotivate visitors. Stats suggest that 88 percent of users may not prefer returning to a website in case of a bad experience.

The online world is all about offering the best user experience to visitors. The education institution needs to go with an agile web design approach. They must be willing to learn and continuously update their portal to display in-demand content. Constantly analyzing trends and data to check what’s working for others remains crucial. 

Monitoring performance and optimizing from time to time can help the website convert visitors into students or donors. A trustworthy website development company can help in choosing the best flexible technology capabilities for the portal.

People may judge the organization based on the website’s aesthetics 

An education institution’s website design can impact the organization’s credibility.  A portal with outdated design and features can result in un-engaged prospective families, disappointed stakeholders, and frustrated guardians as well as trainees. The website needs to be redeveloped after every five years. Plus, it requires component upgrades and specific modifications after three years. Firms that provide web development services can conduct an audit and suggest changes. They can analyze performance, aesthetics, and point out factors that are doing better along with elements that need attention.

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