It's no secret that the course materials world is being turned on its ear, with new forms of content, delivery, and distribution. In a Thought Leader session Feb. 20 at CAMEX 2015 in Atlanta, GA, presenter Richard Katz gave a few glimpses of the disruptions facing course materials providers. Katz has been working on a new study, underwritten by the NACS Foundation, to map the current and future course materials ecosystem.
Among the disruptions identified in the study may be a major shift in the role of publishers. Already, publishers are tilting toward developing chunks of academic material, rather than longer book-length materials. Chunks can be better targeted to the objectives of a course and combined to suit the professor's needs.
However, the study's preliminary findings spotted a long-term trend (more than five years away) that may be even more disruptive: publishers may give away course materials. In this business model, publishers would make revenue from a variety of educational services ranging from courseware development to assessment and certification. Many textbook publishers already dabble in such services.
The ecosystem study report will be released in about two months.