Nov 27, 2023

How to build a website like Outschool

Outschool is an online marketplace that offers live, interactive classes for children ages 3 to 18. This guide will demonstrate how to create your own educational marketplace similar to Outschool.

Introduction: Why build a website like Outschool

The success of Outschool, an online marketplace for live online classes, can be attributed to several key factors. Firstly, Outschool offers a wide range of classes taught by qualified instructors, allowing learners to explore diverse subjects and pursue their interests. Additionally, the platform provides flexibility in terms of scheduling, enabling students to attend classes at their convenience. Moreover, Outschool's user-friendly interface and interactive learning environment create an engaging experience for both students and teachers. Lastly, the platform's emphasis on community building and feedback mechanisms fosters a sense of trust and accountability, contributing to its overall success as an online marketplace for education.

How does a website like Outschool work?

For buyers, Outschool is a user-friendly marketplace that offers a wide range of educational courses for children. They can browse through various subjects, age groups, and schedules to find the perfect class. Buyers can read detailed course descriptions, view teacher profiles, and access reviews to make informed decisions. Once they find a suitable class, they can easily enroll their child and make secure payments through the platform. Outschool ensures a seamless experience for buyers, providing a convenient and reliable platform for their children's educational needs.

For sellers, Outschool is a thriving marketplace that offers a platform to share their expertise and earn income. Sellers can create and list their classes, setting their own prices and schedules. They have the freedom to teach subjects they are passionate about, reaching a global audience of eager learners. Outschool handles the marketing, payments, and customer support, allowing sellers to focus solely on delivering high-quality classes and fostering meaningful connections with students. Sellers receive feedback and ratings, building their reputation and attracting more students. Outschool provides a seamless and supportive environment for sellers to thrive and grow their teaching business.

What is Outschool's business model?

Outschool is an online marketplace that connects learners, primarily children and teenagers, with a wide range of teachers offering various classes and courses. The platform operates on a commission-based business model, where teachers create and list their classes on the platform, and Outschool takes a percentage of the revenue generated from each enrollment. This model allows Outschool to provide a diverse and extensive catalog of classes, covering subjects such as math, science, arts, and languages, while also ensuring that teachers have the opportunity to monetize their expertise and reach a global audience. By facilitating the connection between learners and teachers, Outschool creates a mutually beneficial ecosystem that promotes lifelong learning and empowers educators to share their knowledge and passion with students worldwide.

Outschool, an online marketplace, generates revenue through a commission-based model. The platform connects learners, typically children, with a wide range of teachers offering various classes and courses. When a learner enrolls in a class, Outschool takes a percentage of the transaction as a commission fee. This fee is deducted from the total price paid by the learner, ensuring that Outschool earns revenue for facilitating the transaction and providing the platform for teachers to showcase and sell their classes. Additionally, Outschool may also offer premium services or features to teachers or learners for a fee, further contributing to their revenue stream.

Key features of Outschool

The most important functionality of a marketplace like Outschool is to connect learners with a wide range of educational offerings and facilitate the process of finding, booking, and participating in classes or courses. Some key functionalities include:

  1. Course Discovery: Outschool should provide a user-friendly interface that allows learners to easily search and discover classes based on their interests, age group, subject, or other relevant criteria. This includes robust search filters, categories, and recommendations.

  2. Class Listings: Sellers (educators) should be able to create detailed class listings that include information such as class description, learning objectives, schedule, pricing, prerequisites, and any other relevant details. This helps learners make informed decisions about which classes to enroll in.

  3. Booking and Enrollment: The marketplace should enable learners to easily book and enroll in classes of their choice. This includes features like availability calendars, class capacity management, waitlists, and secure payment processing.

  4. Communication and Feedback: A marketplace like Outschool should facilitate communication between learners and sellers. This can include messaging systems, Q&A forums, and the ability to provide feedback and reviews after completing a class.

  5. Scheduling and Notifications: Learners should have access to their class schedules, reminders, and notifications about upcoming classes, changes in schedule, or any other relevant updates. This helps ensure a smooth learning experience.

  6. Learning Resources: The marketplace can provide additional resources to support the learning process, such as downloadable materials, supplementary readings, or access to online platforms for collaborative work or assignments.

  7. Customer Support: A marketplace should have a responsive customer support system to address any issues or concerns raised by learners or sellers. This can include live chat, email support, or a help center with FAQs and troubleshooting guides.

  8. Trust and Safety: Ensuring trust and safety is crucial in an online marketplace. This includes features like user verification, ratings and reviews, moderation of content, and policies to handle disputes or issues that may arise.

Overall, the most important functionality of a marketplace like Outschool is to create a seamless and user-friendly platform that connects learners with a diverse range of educational opportunities while providing a safe and reliable environment for both learners and sellers.

Building functionality like Outschool from scratch would involve significant development efforts and costs. The expenses would primarily depend on various factors such as the complexity of features, platform compatibility, design requirements, and the size of the development team. Additionally, costs would include backend infrastructure, database management, payment integration, user authentication, video streaming capabilities, and content management systems. Considering these factors, it is difficult to provide an exact figure, but it could range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the scope and scale of the project.

How to create a successful alternative to Outschool

  • Conduct thorough market research to identify gaps and opportunities in the online education space.
  • Develop a user-friendly and intuitive platform that offers a wide range of courses for learners of all ages and interests.
  • Collaborate with experienced educators and subject matter experts to design high-quality and engaging course content.
  • Implement a robust review and rating system to ensure the quality and credibility of courses and instructors.
  • Offer flexible pricing options to cater to different budgets and provide value for money.
  • Provide a seamless and secure payment system for both learners and instructors.
  • Implement a comprehensive search and filtering system to help learners easily find courses based on their preferences.
  • Offer personalized recommendations and suggestions based on learners' interests and previous course selections.
  • Foster a strong sense of community by incorporating discussion forums, live chat options, and networking opportunities.
  • Continuously update and expand the course catalog to keep up with evolving educational trends and demands.
  • Invest in effective marketing strategies to raise awareness and attract a diverse range of learners.
  • Prioritize excellent customer support to address any issues or concerns promptly.
  • Establish partnerships with schools, organizations, and institutions to expand the reach and credibility of the platform.
  • Leverage technology to enhance the learning experience, such as incorporating interactive elements, virtual reality, or gamification.
  • Provide opportunities for learners to showcase their achievements and receive certifications upon course completion.
  • Regularly gather feedback from learners and instructors to identify areas for improvement and implement necessary updates.
  • Maintain a strong focus on data privacy and security to ensure the trust and confidence of users.
  • Foster a culture of inclusivity and diversity, ensuring that courses cater to learners from different backgrounds and abilities.
  • Continuously innovate and adapt to changing market dynamics and learner needs to stay ahead of the competition.

Successful Outschool competitors

  1. Udemy: Udemy is a popular online learning platform that offers a wide range of courses, including some for children and teenagers. While Outschool focuses specifically on live, interactive classes, Udemy offers pre-recorded video courses. Outschool's emphasis on real-time interaction and small class sizes sets it apart from Udemy's more self-paced and larger-scale approach.

  2. Khan Academy: Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization that provides free online courses and resources. Unlike Outschool, Khan Academy primarily focuses on academic subjects and offers a structured curriculum. Outschool, on the other hand, offers a broader range of classes, including both academic and non-academic subjects, and allows for more flexibility in terms of class selection and scheduling.

  3. Skillshare: Skillshare is an online learning community that offers a variety of creative and practical courses. While both Outschool and Skillshare offer live classes, Outschool's primary focus is on children and teenagers, whereas Skillshare caters to a broader audience of adults. Outschool's specialized approach to children's education sets it apart from Skillshare's more general course offerings.

  4. Coursera: Coursera is an online learning platform that partners with universities and organizations to offer a wide range of courses. Unlike Outschool, Coursera primarily focuses on higher education and professional development, offering courses from renowned institutions. Outschool, on the other hand, caters specifically to children and teenagers, providing a unique platform for interactive learning experiences tailored to their needs.

  5. is an online education platform that offers college-level courses for credit. While both Outschool and provide online learning experiences, focuses on higher education, offering courses that can be transferred to accredited colleges. Outschool, on the other hand, focuses on K-12 education and offers a wider variety of subjects and class formats, including live interaction with instructors and peers.

Options to develop a website similar to Outschool

Creating an Outschool-like online marketplace is a significant, costly endeavor. However, nowadays, there are numerous ways to construct a marketplace without a large budget.

The option you select depends on:

  • The features you believe your marketplace requires
  • Your technical abilities (or those of your team)
  • Your budget
  • The time available.

The various methods to build a marketplace include:

  • Utilizing WordPress and plugins
  • Developing on existing open-source software
  • Employing a combination of no-code tools
  • Using a dedicated no-code marketplace SaaS tool
  • Developing on top of an API-based marketplace SaaS tool

In addition to considering your skillset and budget, it is crucial to think about the speed of learning. Launching your Outschool-style platform quickly enables you to rapidly understand your audience. These insights assist in creating a platform that users prefer over other existing solutions.

Sharetribe's marketplace software is designed with this iterative learning process in mind.

Initially, we assist you in launching an Outschool-like platform in just one day, without any coding. Use the 14-day free trial of Sharetribe's Build plan to get your marketplace ready fast. After the trial, you can subscribe to either continue building or launch your marketplace and go live.

Once launched, you can learn what additional features and functionality your platform needs to cater to your audience. You may want to completely change the design and workflow, integrate various third-party services, or develop a mobile app. With Sharetribe, you can easily customize all these changes and more, either independently or with assistance from our Expert partners.

At Sharetribe, we have been constructing marketplaces for over ten years. Our experience and expertise are available to you through our content resources, which you can access and utilize regardless of your chosen platform-building method.

Best of luck with your Outschool-style business!

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