What Publishers Should Look at in Digital Learning Platforms in an Evolving Learning Landscape
March 10th, 2022
Digital publishing has witnessed exponential growth over the last few years, driven by the rapid digitalization of education. It has opened up exciting new opportunities for those involved in the industry. The global digital publishing market is estimated to have reached a value of $56.09 billion in 2021, from $51.06 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 9.9%.
If you are a part of the publishing industry, you would know that physical textbooks can no longer bring you the kind of success or global reach that eBooks can. Digital publishing is the future and there are several factors driving it forward.
Factors Driving the Growth of Digital Publishing
The digital publishing market is expanding in both the academic and corporate sectors. Here are some important reasons behind this growth:
1. Democratization of Education
Many renowned colleges and universities, including Stanford University and Harvard University, have started online courses for their students in subjects such as mathematics, computer science, engineering, personal development, art, and business. These courses have allowed students from all over the world to access digital versions of their course content.
Students can conveniently use these resources to build on their knowledge and skills, while taking online tests for certification. So, digital publishing is leading to what can be called the “democratizing of education” by opening the doors of learning for everyone, everywhere.
2. Rising Demand for Digital Content
The demand for digital learning and development of content is on the rise. It is estimated that over 80% of middle-skill jobs will require digital skills in the coming years. This shows the importance of digital literacy as an ongoing part of learning. Several large organizations have also realized the importance of online training to ensure that employees remain updated with the latest knowledge and skills in the industry.
Even for K-12 education, blended learning is becoming increasingly popular. A recent survey revealed that a whopping 97% of schools in the US had begun using digital technologies to personalize learning in some form.
3. The COVID-19 Outbreak
The pandemic highlighted the importance of digital content and accelerated the growth of digital publishing. In the face of schools being shut down, the demand for online learning and teaching materials increased manifold. It led to a sudden rise in global EdTech investments (including eBooks and other digital resources) and its overall market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.9% between 2021 and 2028.
4. New Developments in the Industry
The digital publishing industry witnessed the introduction of several exciting product innovations. As a result, publishing companies started focusing on integrating advanced technologies and features into their products to maintain a competitive edge in the market.
Some such developments are:
- Mobile learning: Digital content can be easily accessed on mobile devices from anywhere, and at any time.
- Micro-learning: The introduction of bite-sized content and its multiple benefits has increased the demand for such digital content.
- Immersive learning: Digital publishers are expanding their market by making their content highly interactive and immersive with the integration of multimedia, gaming, AI, etc.
- Adaptive learning: The use of modern data analytics is helping deliver personalized learning and making education delivery more effective.
How to Choose the Right Digital Publishing Platform
The right digital publishing platform will empower you to grow your business across geographies. So, here is a checklist for you:
1. Creation of digital-first content
The newer eBooks will not only feature more animation, rich graphics, video, and audio clips but also may have to be updated more often. You should choose a cloud-based digital learning platform with course authoring solutions that enable quick and easy creation, modification and updating of information. It should also allow easy integration of multimedia and gaming elements.
2. Support for compliances and regulations
Choose a platform that offers multilingual support, while being compliant with the local student privacy regulations, such as FERPA, COPPA and GDPR. It should also be compliant with industry standards, such as TinCan API, LTI, QTI, ePub 3, etc., for easy third-party integrations.
3. Take care of student data privacy
Protecting your intellectual property is quite a challenge online, where content piracy is common. A recent report has revealed that eBook piracy costs publishers approximately $315 million each year. So, choose a platform that offers robust digital rights and license management. It should allow you to support multiple subscription models, while preventing all types of piracy, including screen-grabbing.
4. Data interoperability for better learning experiences
There are a number of applications that students and teachers need to use in a remote learning setting. It is very difficult for teachers and administrators to determine the efficacy of various tools with data distributed across multiple systems. A learning platform should support a digital ecosystem with easy integration to third-party apps. This way, users are able to conveniently use your titles in their existing digital ecosystem.
5. Allow access to content in offline mode
It is estimated that nearly 16.9 million children remained logged out from instruction during the transition to digital classrooms because their families lacked home internet. To ensure digital equity, you need to offer offline access to content as well. This means your users can download content when they have internet access and then go through it offline at their convenience.
6. Actionable Analytics
Analytics are an important aspect of improving your distribution network. They allow you to gather crucial feedback on metrics such as content consumption, most viewed content, learning patterns, etc. You can use these insights to enhance the quality of your content. For instance, you can use rubrics or similar scoring schemes tied to learning to help students assess what they have learned after instruction. This can also allow teachers to create personalized learning paths and provide support where needed.
7. Consider the Cost of Ownership
Cost is an important factor when making a choice. You can’t choose a cheaper option today that may harm your reputation in the long run. On the other hand, you can’t guarantee that paying more will get you more features and benefits. You need to understand exactly what you are paying for. So, choose a platform that allows you to customize it for different users, with the facility to turn apps on and off as required. This way, you pay for only what you use, and so do your customers.
With an end-to-end learning platform like MagicBox, you can conveniently create learning materials compliant with the industry standards and state RFP requirements. Contact us to speak to our experts and get answers to your questions.