We are now at a point in our journey towards the digital classroom where there is constant talk of concepts such as adaptive learning, personalised smart content, learning analytics and classroom management tools. In reality when we think of the normal process of creating editorial content, we also have to consider how this content will coexist with a complex and changing ecosystem.
We believe that content is increasingly a “living environment”, not a SCORM piece or similar which is located in an LMS and exists in a static manner. The teachers, and most importantly the students, spend most of their time working with a pedagogically structured content. A piece of content that increasingly looks less like a paper book… as it should be.
Talking to many teachers we find some pitfalls; great difficulty when managing digital content, problems adapting to the reality of their class and their students and to understand what they do with the content.
We must ask ourselves if digital content is just an online version of the book, and nothing more, then are we truly harnessing all the opportunity that a shift towards a digital strategy can bring?
Today, thanks to Learning Analytics techniques, it is now possible to provide additional capabilities directly to the content. Hence we include tools in the content allowing the teacher, for example, to manage the classroom, monitor students’ progress and track their activity in real time. And all without the need to perform complex tasks in the LMS or VLE but directly from the content. In fact by de-coupling the content from the platform we can allow teachers to focus on their core task of teaching the class, and technology can move towards becoming an enabler, rather than a hindrance.
The teacher can now:
- Assign tasks and exercises to their students.
- Monitor students’ progress, motivation, confidence, effort and other metrics of interest.
- Analyse progress on competencies defined in the content.
- Communicate with students in an effective and relevant way.
- Modify content by adding and hiding content depending on the context.
And the big advantage, all this is done from the content regardless of where it is located, either in a CMS, an LMS, downloaded on a tablet or in an app.
What is the interest of the publisher in all this?
It will finally be possible to know what content is relevant, how it is used by teachers, and to have data that were hard to extract until now and relegated to the platform. Data to make efficient decisions about future content, repositories of resources and learning methodologies.
And most importantly, publishers no longer have the need to create exclusive proprietary platforms, and the content may be used in any context, expanding its dissemination, without losing editorial control. Management applications in the content provide added value to the book and facilitate the process of evolution and adaptation to the students.