In today’s connected world, most students rely on both print and digital materials to guide their learning. In turn, education publishers are challenged to rethink and retool their workflows to enable digital-first development while continuing to support existing print models.
Last fall, Macmillan Learning found themselves at a crossroads. As their digital business grew, their existing eBook management and enhancement processes were stretched beyond their capabilities. Critical tasks such as importing and enhancing legacy content and publishing to standards-based formats were proving to be increasingly cumbersome and time-consuming.
“We knew our digital business had matured beyond our current processes, but we didn’t want to completely alienate our existing print business which remains core to our future,” said Ken Brooks, Chief Operating Officer, Macmillan Learning. “We began looking for a solution that would accommodate both models, as well as integrate with our existing application portfolio.”
After evaluating several solutions, Macmillan selected LearningMate FROST as the core framework to build enhanced eBooks. FROST’s out-of-the-box advanced authoring and management features and extensive customization and integration options ensured speed to market without sacrificing the features and capabilities that were important to Macmillan. LearningMate’s experience delivering consulting and specialty engineering services made customizing the framework even more attractive.
“We liked that FROST came with established features that met our requirements, but what we appreciated the most was FROST gave us the opportunity to shift our focus from developing core features to developing the customizations and process efficiencies that would directly impact our content quality and development time. We were not locked into a one-size-fits-all workflow. ” said Brooks.
Macmillan stakeholders were interviewed to evaluate current workflows and document functionality and system requirements; noted among them, integration with the company’s content management system (CMS) and better support for ePUB3 enhancement.
LearningMate enabled two-way communication between FROST and Macmillan’s existing CMS. This enabled Macmillan to export learning objects created in FROST to the company’s global repository for future re-use. Likewise, legacy files like flat ePUBs could be enhanced within FROST and then redirected to the CMS for safekeeping.
To meet Macmillan’s ePUB enhancement needs, widgets and in-page interactivities such as image pop-ups, videos, and assessments were quickly customized. FROST generated Canonical Fragment Identifier (CFI) links for accessing eBook snippets from the player. Standardized outputs through downloadable files were also created to allow Macmillan to publish ePUB packages to their defined specifications or push it back to the CMS with supplemental metadata. This enabled Macmillan stakeholders to quickly convert and enhance flat ePUB files before exporting for delivery to different channels, including a third-party eBook player.
“Macmillan’s highly customized use case of FROST is a great validation of LearningMate’s extensible and open architecture,” said Nachiket Paratkar, VP Higher Education at LearningMate, New York. “We built Macmillan’s version of the platform with new content widgets, custom in-page interactivities, video and assessment content types. We also worked with the Macmillan team to create deep links to their eBook content that will be leveraged by other content packages in their offering including exports to a variety of channels and a third-party eBook player. FROST at Macmillan is a unique platform that adds to the organization’s competitive edge in the market.”
Since developing its customized eBook enhancement and management workflow, Macmillan has increased productivity, reduced eBook enhancement costs, and significantly decreased time to market.
“FROST, as the backbone of our authoring and management process, has enabled us to quickly transition and strengthen our workflow to support next-generation learning by leveraging our existing corpus of content,” said Brooks, who plans to use FROST to enhance additional eBooks over the coming year. Macmillan also plans to continue its partnership with LearningMate to make further enhancements to meet new digital-first content authoring needs for a variety of digital products like eBooks and online courses.
About LearningMate: LearningMate partners with Higher Ed, Professional, K12 and corporate learning markets to deliver innovative, efficient and customized solutions around curriculum and media development, assessments, engineering and big data. With 6 locations across 4 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and India, LearningMate serves a global clientele of education publishers, traditional and nontraditional Ed-tech companies, K-20 schools, universities and career colleges, government agencies, non-profits, corporate learning and education consortia. The company builds on a strong foundation of learning design with progressive technology and engineering solutions to connect today’s learners, educators, administrators, policymakers and content creators with the information, tools, and solutions they need to be successful. For more information about LearningMate, visit www.learningmate.com or visit our Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages.
About Macmillan Learning: Macmillan Learning improves lives through learning. Our legacy of excellence in education informs our approach to developing world-class content with pioneering, interactive tools. Through deep partnership with the world’s best researchers, educators, administrators, and developers, we facilitate teaching and learning opportunities that spark student engagement and improve outcomes. We provide educators with tailored solutions designed to inspire curiosity and measure progress. Our commitment to teaching and discovery upholds our mission to improve lives through learning. Macmillan Learning includes both academic and institutional divisions. To learn more, please visit https://www.macmillanlearning.com or see us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN or join our Macmillan Community.