As the educational paradigms are shifting from classroom learning to online learning, the mode via which education is being imparted is also witnessing innovation. Online learning goes beyond a simple lecture explaining the topic while the students are mindlessly scribbling in their notebooks. There are quizzes, polls, discussion forums and many other interactive activities and because online courses are taken by people who are genuinely interested in learning, they appreciate the creativity and try to make full use of the opportunity. Since this sector is being subjected to constant developments, we need to be abreast with our knowledge of technology. This means that as the technology for eLearning is being updated, we need to update ourselves as well.
It is common knowledge that Adobe Flash was commonly used for online learning before the introduction of HTML5. As HTML5 was created to support ePub, a drastic change was witnessed in the quality of the digital content being formed for the purpose of online education. HTML5 was preferred because it made eLearning available across all mobile devices. This increased the level of accessibility, flexibility and its interactive features have attracted more and more users.
When online learning started witnessing the shift of its content from eLearning to mobile learning or mLearning, technological updates facilitated its easy use on mobile devices, both online and offline. A king part involved in this domain are now highly inclined to create ePub for mobile learning.
Some benefits of using ePub for mobile learning are
- ePubs can be used for many things like data collection, authoring and peer review.
- As ePubs are IDPF approved and have validated specifications, ePub documents are accessible across different devices and platforms.
- The learning content provided by ePub is very interactive and of high quality.
- You have the option of protecting your ePub against theft by adding digital rights management (DRM).
- ePub is very flexible and can be tailor made to a person’s needs. Text can be enlarged, typeface can be changed and the view can be changed from horizontal to vertical and vice versa as well.
- Mobile learning promotes green living. When we learn through videos and read digital documents, we are cutting back on our paper consumption. Therefore, mLearning is good for the environment.
As the top benefits of ePub3 conversion have been highlighted, you might be even more inclined towards creating an ePub for eLearning. Also read some more benefits of ePub3 conversion that you must be aware of.
Some tips to keep in mind while venturing out to do the same have been given down below
- Gaining knowledge of CSS and HTML is going to be the need of the hour. You might know the bare basics of CSS and HTML but their usage with ePub differs slightly. This is why you should read up on them and make sure that you are up to date. By this, the epub layout design that you create appears appealing as well.
- For ePub, many technical considerations have to be addressed. Sometime TrueTyle fonts or .ttf are not supported on all reader devices but, OTF or .oft fonts are. So, you will have to convert your font accordingly. Also, make sure that you obtain a licence or permission to utilise the fonts that you are choosing to use.
- Certain things have to be kept in mind while creating your ePub. Use a uniform font family. All the links should be highlighted using the same colour.
- It is a matter of fact that if formatting used in an Epub is not pleasing to the eyes, the reader gets annoyed. This is why there should not be a stark contrast between the text colour and the background colour. The text should have appropriate margins and the text body should be of size 12.
- As much as possible, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) should be used. They give a better effect when compared to bitmap images irrespective of the size that they are scaled on. The pixels in a bitmap image tend to scale in a poor fashion. SVG images scale better because they are vector images.
- Always go from bigger to smaller. For instance, when you have to choose a cover photo, go for the biggest size tablet screen on which such image would be viewed. When a small screen cover image is given, when it is enlarged on a bigger screen, it tends to pixelate.
- Authoring tool selection is very important. Sigil and Calibre are two good programs that are used to create ePub. It is up to you to choose the tools right for you. There are other options to choose from as well. For instance, Adobe InDesign and ePUBee Maker. The aim is to choose the right fit for you so that you manage to make the least number of mistakes or virtually no mistakes at all. Since ePub creation is a little technical, there are some websites where you can read the most frequently asked questions and maybe those would help you with your doubts.
- Visuals of the ePub content aren’t the sole criteria to make the document user-friendly. There is a possibility that a user might be doing text-to-speech playback. The markup language used must be helpful to all the readers. Visual aesthetics is just a part of the ePub package; in fact there are lot more factors to be taken care of.
- Many e-readers are available to choose from. Mantano and EPUB Reader offer a lot of flexibility to the user with regard to choosing the appearance of the eBook and this must be exploited for achieving maximum benefits while keeping epub conversion cost minimal.
- Multiple page numbering is not going to work in the author’s favour. It is recommended that the default page numbering is used otherwise inconsistency in page numbering might crop up which can be grave issue and readers won’t appreciate it.
Interactive eBook conversion or creating an ePub with enhanced features from scratch requires a lot of detailing for it to be a good end result. The above mentioned points need to be kept in mind because the technicalities involved are such that they can easily confuse and discourage you from making your own ePub. In case, you have tried but have not been able to get the result you would like to see, you can always outsource all your ebook formatting services and related requirements to a professional company that specializes in the same. When you outsource epub conversion services, there are no more tensions and you can focus more on your more valuable business areas.