The word “e-Learning,” or more commonly “online learning,” was first introduced, seeing the rising popularity of the duo “computer and internet.” People started using it to look up and enroll in schools, colleges, and courses, gather knowledge, advance their skill sets, etc.
e-Learning became very popular and almost a norm during and after the COVID-19 pandemic by keeping the education sector running amidst the worldwide lockdown, earning about a billion users. With subsequent advancements, e-Learning got new dimensions. Today it stands to deliver avant-grade learning experiences from toddlers and sophomores to the highest level of education one could attain.
The rising demand of e-Learning solutions
The education sector is ever dynamic and is such a sector which has smoothly adapted itself to the technological changes. Shelves full of books are now getting replaced by high-quality and rich online libraries. Initially, online tutorials had a rough patch but now its one of the most used methods for imparting education post COVID-19.
With the rising popularity and availability, e-learning platforms keep upgrading themselves by introducing innovative features like interactive quizzes, games, animated contents, engaging virtual lectures and simulations to stay competitive in the global market.
Digital learning content can be created from widely used authoring tools such as; Articulate Storyline, Lectora Inspire, PowerPoint, PDFs (in collaboration with Learning Designers) to make the academic and professional journey smooth for the learners.
Digital learning content is now not only used for college-level sciences and higher education but also at elementary school levels through EPUB conversion services. It is the e-Learning content solutions which makes it easy to develop and maintain content for digital learning in the field of education.
There are generally many dilemmas while choosing between the two most-used methods of e-Learning - e-PUBs and e-Courses. Let’s discuss their benefits and drawbacks to make it lucid for you to decide.
e-Learning with e-PUB
What is e-PUB?
e-PUB is the most widely preferred and used “open e-book format”, compatible with almost all reading devices. This versatile file format (.epub) can store multiple data like words, images, etc. and makes the content adjustable per the screen-types i.e., “reflowable”. It is even available under the name “fixed-layout” for supporting illustrations, animations, etc.
In digital learning, content publishing is remarkably competitive. Different e-Learning platforms try to offer experiences that will be impactful on the users. This is where EPUB comes in as one of the standard e-book formats with tools like CSS3, HTML5 for publishing e-books.
e-PUB helps creating interactive content for which many academic institutions revere this technology. It is easy to create and design engaging media-rich content covering diverse educational topics which has earned it the nickname, "EPUB for Education". Users now demand smart and interactive digital learning experience and hence e-PUB’s popularity.
Benefits of e-pub
As mentioned earlier, e-PUB is one the best education technology solutions that can be read from any reading devices like smartphones (iPhones, or Android), laptop, desktop, etc. Users have the advantage to read the reflowable content according to their screen size without having to pinch in and out.
e-PUB comes with the facility of data annotation which helps the users share the texts with public, take personal and group notes, etc. making the learning experience more exploratory and exciting. Annotation facility helps students understand group dynamics and learn collaboration with peers.
Eased up readability
The two types of EPUB layout- fixed and reflowable lets the publisher have the flexibility to play around with the content type and eases up the readability of the users. Fixed layout supports images, animations and illustrations by unaltering their sizes while reflowable adjusts texts in any type of reading screen.
e-PUBS offer its readers with content flowing in multiple columns within one single page just as in a newspaper. This feature fits a good amount of content in one single page but at the same time keeps it clear and readable.
Media-filled and abundant metadata
e-PUBs come with the facility of embedding audio, videos, hyperlinks, and other metadata along with the textual content. Enhanced metadata includes book excerpts, author bios, and media reviews that could potentially persuade someone to purchase your course.
Improved accessibility and hyphenation
This includes improved navigation within the eBook, providing readers with the ability to jump to specific chapters and pages. This helps in sustaining the attention of students who are already bored with reading chapters repetitively. Hyphenation help avoid tight or loose justification for text in page formatting.
EPUB is cost-effective compared to other methods, and it is very easy to create content. In addition, learners are in for a treat with its support for various features and interactive content experience.
e-PUB uses Digital Rights Management (DRM) which protects the content by keeping it encrypted against copyright or any type of data theft. This feature lets the user exert full control over knowing about any unlawful activity that is happening.
Drawbacks of EPUB
While many advantages are gained from ePublishing solutions, there are some disadvantages to be mindful of when it comes to EPUB:
Requires the prior knowledge of coding languages like HTML to create it
- e-PUB files may fail to maintain the original format as it was during the time of creating it.
- e-PUB designs are not meant for slow learners or people with other disabilities like low vision, blindness or dyslexia. Although it does possess a lot of interactive data but lacks accessibility.
- The tables and charts might vary in size from device to device.
e-Learning with e-Course
What is e-Course?
e-Course or digital course is any coursework (degree, certificate, etc.) taught online. They comprise of live classes which are much equivalent to in-person classes, pre-recorded theory and practical lessons, assignments, projects, topic assessments, discussion sessions, etc., but all over the internet.
Any learning material designed for the digital environment is an e-course. They support the delivery of an entire content through a specific software built for educational use. Digital courses are designed in such a way that learners who sign up for them can get the needed guidance, exposure and even a degree as a whole without having to physically travel to the institution or the organization.
It serves as a teaching and learning tool to enhance conventional education with virtual laboratories for students to study scientific concepts, timely assessments and evaluations, group discussion sessions, peer-reviewed assignments, quizzes, and interactive presentations, all in the comfort of one’s place via computer and the internet. Students and working professionals who have trouble taking in-person courses are the major chunks of users of e-Courses.
Benefits of e-Course
Duration, flexibility, and convenience
Digital courses offer learners to complete an entire course in much less time without compromising on the quality of the material. It’s open 24 hours, and users can access it anytime. They save ample time as the lessons, classes, and assignments are a matter of a few clicks. If working professionals wish to take up any course for their skill enhancement, they can do it hassle-free on the weekends.
The digital courseware includes simulation, games, and other interactive activities. This keeps the students engrossed and intrigues their curiosity to know and learn more. They learn faster when they get animated objects and interactive ways like quizzes and games to learn a particular topic.
The e-courses come with a range of packages with options to choose from. Learners can customize the topics per their needs and get on-demand content. Those academic professionals who want to try a unique approach to academia can use e-courses to impart knowledge and education.
Digital courses not just provide an interactive learning experience but also gives statistics on the user’s performance. This includes graphs that compare the learner’s performance with the peers, evaluate the assessments with proper metrics, and textual feedback, which helps the learner work on their shortcomings.
e-Courses are not just restricted to textbooks or degree lessons. We can find a digital courses on almost all topics nowadays. For instance, if you are a student or a working professional who wants to add to your skill set, you can take relevant e-courses. It has no bar in choosing topics for people who want to learn, be it co-curriculas.
Source of active and passive income
For teachers already associated with any institution, e-Courses are a brilliant source of passive income and recognition for them. They can either get associated with any e-learning platform or hire designers to build coursework under their name with copyright. e-courses are even the main source of income for many teachers who can teach by sitting back in their comfort space.
Cons of Digital Courseware
Technology-enabled learning is becoming the norm in classrooms, not just because they're interesting but for its affordability, such as scalability and inherent interactivity that can be leveraged to address the rigorous needs of the digital age.
- Although it comes with several assignments, students might take the help of the internet to crack the tests and get certificates.
- To keep the duration of the courses short, the study material is made compact, and many topics under that subject remain unexplored by the students.
- Unlike e-PUBs which can be created from pre-existing content, the e-Course content is huge and needs to be designed from scratch, which is hugely time and labor-consuming.
- Designing an e-Courses is costlier than designing an e-PUB as it involves framing the course material and content, designing, delivering, and publicizing it.
Conventional education will never go out of style, but clubbing technology with education can greatly impact learners. Books are generally based on more textual and less graphic content, but digitization can make it an engaging experience for both the learners and the academicians.
The interests and requirements of people vary. So it always depends on these crucial factors when choosing between an e-PUB and an e-Course. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, but both can be equally advantageous.
When looking to create e-PUBs, any random service providers cannot produce the desired quality or format. Only professional digital conversion services and ebook conversion services with the experience and expertise in this job can deliver you what you want.
Similarly, any random software designer cannot design an engaging and super-interactive e-Course. Only a professional developer with sound and up-to-date experience will fulfill your needs.
Hope this blog was insightful and helped you make a sound decision. Reach us for any digital or ebook conversion needs, and keep following us for more.