Digital Content Delivery
The following information is a summary of two pdf documents from Digital Content Delivery Trends in Higher Education by Mark R. Nelson, National Association of College Stores and ECAR and one pdf on a research seminar on digital content delivery by the same author.
Digital Content Delivery in Higher Education Volume 2006: Issue 9, Issue 20
Seminar on Digital Content Delivery
The instant production of materials as needed, which can includeslides, class materials, custom course packs, e-books, digitally delivered textbooks, and other course materials. In this approach, rather than printing textbooks or course materials in advance, content is sent to the destination in digital format. At the destination, the bookstore or other agent collects the agreed-upon price for the content, plus an additional amount for printing costs, labor, and profit. The content is then printed on the spot, typically with high-speed printers.
More information on POD
Digital Custom Publishing
Custom texts might include two chapters from one textbook three fron another, and a collection of journal and magazine articles or case studies. This approach to producing course materials is of particular value in academic disciplines in which change is rapid and remaining current is a challenge. Faculty members have greater control over course materials and can tailor them to their own pedagogical styles.
Custom course packs are nothing new, but digital publishing has introduced important developments. “Content chunking” or the offering of “microcontent” by Amazon.com and publishers allows students to purchase a portion of the content, such as a chapter or a set of pages. Students can buy a chapter or smaller chunk of content on demand for use electronically or via pay on delivery.
Models under development include artificial intelligence elements intended to generate problems or exercises to match a student’s current level of comprehension or that assist a student with problem spots based on observed patterns in a student’s responses to study questions. These tools will eventually be able to provide professors with individualized suggestions for helping the student improve.
Learning objects are instructional modules of reusable digital content that supplement or enhance student learning of course-related information.
Course Management Systems (CMS)
CMS vendors are currently working on the next generation of CMS, which may more often take on the name “learning management system” (LMS). The LMS will take greater advantage of the availability of learning objects and will be more specifically designed to enhance student learning.
Digital Resources and Libraries
More libraries are moving toward fully digital collections. Digital repositories and digital –asset management systems (specifically, content management systems) are intended to help libraries cope with the growing digital collections at their institutions. Ultimately, these tools will interface with course management systems, learning objects, and e-book databases.
Emerging Next-Generation Technologies
Two examples of emerging technologies are the hardware and software that work with e-books, and the development of new collaborative communication tools such as wikis and the next generation of the Web as conceptualized by the Croquet Project (see Collaborative Communication Tools below).
The Future of E-Books: Better technologies for reading and working with digital content will be developed, including new directed audio technologies.
Collaborative Communication Tools: An emerging technology trend is the increase in communication tools designed to support collaborative knowledge projects among teams or groups of people. One example is a wiki. Through a wiki, individuals can contribute content that is then edited by any other individual. The Croquet Project is another example of new applications to enable group or team-based content sharing and knowledge development.