The changing face of learning materials: What you need to consider when digitising your content.

In our last blog, The Technological Revolution: The emerging trends in education technology, we talked about how AI and virtual reality are reshaping the traditional, on-campus approach to teaching and learning. 

And although not every technological advancement can be as bold as AI and virtual reality, small steps into a new digital approach are most definitely the way forward.

According to Pearson Education, 84% of teachers, administrators, and students think that shifting to digital can solve the challenges of education, with 82% agreeing that digital is the future. 

And this transformation towards digital learning is impacting all aspects of education, including learning materials and content.  

The changing face of digital materials 

The changing face of education can be seen all over the world. Among the things to be digitised, learning materials and resources are a top consideration for universities and the education sector. 

According to the 2016 Digital Education Survey,  75% of educators believe that digital content will replace textbooks by 2026. And this was before the threat of the global pandemic on traditional, face-to-face teaching approaches. 

A recent green paper by Emerge Education, Jisc, LearningMate, the University of Coventry Provost Ian Dunn, and Associate principal digital learning and director of QM Online at Queen Mary University of London, Gideon Shimshon, explores the changing nature of teaching and learning. 

Based on research interviews with more than 50 university leaders, education technology founders, and higher education experts, Technology-enabled teaching and learning at scale: A roadmap to 2030 provides insights and advice for universities and start-ups on the future of technology-enabled teaching and learning. 

One key theme that the paper focuses on is Resources – the core materials used to enable teaching and learning. These materials are used by students before, during, and after class and are the backbone of the curriculum. They include textbooks, supplemental readings, videos, webinars, and more. 

The direction of travel for resources and digital materials

Over recent years, we have seen rapid growth in ebooks and digitised, interactive course materials.

Gone are the days of lugging heavy backpacks filled with textbooks for each subject, as electronic formats can be easily accessed from mobile devices and computers. 

In the US, the sale of digital textbooks is predicted to surpass 25% of new textbook sales for higher education in the next five years. 

Ebooks have also been developed with the inclusion of interactive elements such as videos and quizzes. This interactivity enables students to enjoy an engaging learning experience for better outcomes. 

However, universities don’t need to replace one with the other, as educators can use elements of both to provide a full, rich teaching approach. Instead of recommending long textbooks, academic staff can customise and focus on a variety of learning approaches and materials to suit the student’s needs and the subject matter.

As well as providing more interactive course material, universities have been seeking out the support of providers, such as LearningMate, for our experience and expertise in translating offline resources into online content. 

We use our 20 years of experience to break down learning into small outcome-focused elements that support better impact and personalisation of learning. We also use smart analytics to see how students are progressing with their learning. This can really benefit both students and the academic staff to provide better support or offer alternative teaching methods.

So, what are the opportunities for resources and digital materials?

  1. Improving access: Digital libraries need to be a priority for UK universities. Their rich and engaging approach is what students are looking for from their learning experience and are most definitely the future of learning materials. Making them easier for students to access and increasing the number of digital libraries ensures that students have the ability to study from anywhere. 
  2. Building courseware: There is a need for solutions that support academics to transform and reshape their digital and course materials. With easy-to-use tools, recommendations, and learner analytics, academics will be able to create meaningful, actionable, and personalised learning for their students.
  3. Digital course creation: While some universities will create their own courseware or pay for ready-made resources, other institutions are going for complete transformational change. These kinds of changes often need the support of external experts with experience in this field. 

And here at LearningMate, we’re experts in the field of online teaching and learning. We’re at the forefront of these advancements and are already supporting our clients to transform how they present their content and use their platforms for better learning experiences. 


Now is the time to immerse ourselves in a digitised future. One where content and learning materials can be accessed at the touch of a button from any device, wherever you are. 

The opportunities for creating engaging, immersive, and interactive content just keep coming, and universities, academic staff, and students are open to new ways of learning. The future of digital education can only get better. 

For an informal chat about how we might be able to provide a solution or support you in your journey to future-proofing your teaching and learning approach, contact us at

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