Converting Print-Based Course Materials for Online Delivery
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As part of an ongoing effort to move from print-based, distance-delivered course materials to online delivery, Athabasca University is undertaking to convert files stored in an SGML-based print publishing system to XHTML-based files stored in a Content Management System (CMS). Besides the necessary tags for formatting, the resultant XHTML files will also be semantically tagged to allow the harvesting of individual components of the course materials for display in Learning Management Systems (LMS’s), course web pages, syllabi, calendar, and mobile devices. The design and editing of in-house course materials, both converted and newly created, will be managed through the CMS and will include team work spaces, automatic notifications, security, workflows, and publishing. This paper will discuss the planning that has gone into this project over the last 18 months, some of the challenges we are facing in changing from one mode of delivery to another, and the anticipated impact this change may have on the course design process and pedagogy.