EDUPUB Initiative

The EDUPUB focus is a single mission: to create a comprehensive model for the interchange and deployment of educational content— an interoperable, accessible, open ecosystem. Despite the clear benefits of digitally delivered educational content, the absence of a single standard approach to content architecture and required metadata has stymied publishers’ efforts to streamline production and focus on learner experiences, and has complicated platform providers’ efforts to support the richest and most effective features in digital learning. Without a common way of creating and displaying rich learning content, the amount of content from publishers is limited by lack of feature support by reading systems and platforms. The resulting limited content variability and lack of rich content creates business risks for reading systems developers. In response to this logjam, a discussion started around developing a standard output form for EPUB 3 for educational content, rather than creating more file formats. The rationale for this approach is firmly grounded in a list of guiding principles, including the following: • Leverage existing open standards, including HTML5, CSS3, EPUB 3, and best practices of the Open Web. • Create content that is semantically structured and relevant for education.
Give equal weight to metadata and structural standards. • Create content that is highly accessible. • Support structured authoring and assembly ecosystems. • Support collection of meaningful and useful learning data. Taking this approach, Pearson formally submitted a proposal to create an EPUB 3 profile specifically for educational content, based in part on Pearson’s baseline EPUB 3 output specification for semantically tagged learning content. In addition to Pearson’s profile, O’Reilly Media submitted a separate profile, based on their work on an HTML5 specification for book authoring and production. Finally, content architects at John Wiley & Sons submitted markup patterns designed around professional learning content for inclusion in a template developed in early 2013. However, the EDUPUB initiative is not exclusive to publishers. The challenge of developing and delivering rich, effective digital learning experiences is common to publishers, platform developers, educators, and learners alike.