Integrating publisher texts into your online pedagogy and delivery

January 2017 Issue

CAPDM Newsletter


CAPDM Discussion

Integrating publisher texts into your online pedagogy and delivery

Image: Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Yale University

Dear Reader,

In Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing for 21st Century Learning (Routledge 2013), Beetham & Sharpe argue that “pedagogy is about guiding learning, rather than leaving you to finding your own way […] our digital native students may be able to use technologies, but that does not mean they can learn from them.  Being able to read and write never meant you could therefore learn from books. Learners need teachers.

We so agree with this, but there are implications for the asynchronous, self-paced online and blended learning now offered by most of our universities.  Surprisingly for this day and age, many universities are actually simply providing reading options via e-texts as recently highlighted by a recent public tender from a  major UK university.  Worse, some institutions still just provide their students with collections of scrappy PDFs, Word files and PPTs, and eschew the very publisher texts that they would use on-campus.  Publisher texts are almost certainly of a proven, high quality, but their value can be enhanced if integrated into an appropriate online pedagogy and delivery.

For many years CAPDM’s university clients have been working closely with the major publishers, integrating publisher content seamlessly into their own online delivered programmes as a component of a well-defined, rich online pedagogy.  These clients do not require their students log into various publisher web sites, but instead they include these publisher materials as a natural component of an holistic content base augmented with their own study guides, formative and summative assessments, and general learning environment functions.  All courses within a programme look identical, conform to the client’s institutional style, and support the same pedagogy.

CAPDM has helped one client – a major UK university – to broker such content licence arrangements with no fewer than 22 publishers.  Despite this diverse range of content sources all their online courses have the same seamless look and feel.  This is a huge step up from simply providing an array of diverse e-texts.  By developing and controlling their rich content base clients continually develop their online pedagogy to extract more value out their materials (of which the publishers texts are a high quality, but static component) and from ever closer integration with the functionality of evolving delivery environments.

So e-texts are a component of future deliveries, but they are not 21st century learning on their own.  CAPDM’s clients are able to continually rethink their pedagogies for a digital age, but this is still not the norm.  Only last month we had a meeting with one university who were planning to simply allow their students to ‘google’ their own content – honestly!  Where does your institution lie on this spectrum?  CAPDM would be only too willing to help you make the move towards Designing for 21st Century Learning.

We would be delighted to discuss any ideas and comments with you. Please do get in touch.

Email me now.

Ken Currie
Director, CAPDM Ltd.


About the author
Ken Currie has been working with universities for over 25 years developing their strategies and businesses in online distance learning (ODL). In the early 1990s, he was the key designer/developer of the globally successful Heriot-Watt online MBA and undergraduate Management Programme, and has continued to develop ODL businesses with other institutions in the UK and beyond. In recent times he helped to initiate ‘Global Online’ at Edinburgh Napier, and the ‘One World’ MBA at West of Scotland universities, and currently works closely with the University of London’s International Academy.


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This newsletter was originally sent by CAPDM Ltd. on the 19. January 2017.

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