Vision & Culture

The CAPDM vision

Our vision is that one day all learning materials will be produced and managed holistically, using open content standards and single-source publishing methods.

CAPDM’s culture

We were fortunate to have the unique experience of producing the world’s largest non-tutored, online distance learning MBA programme, and managing its content over 14 years of commercial growth and success.

The Edinburgh Business School building, built from the proceeds of the successful distance learning MBA.

This programme comprised 45 masters level modules, 20 million words, 7000 illustrations and videos and 900 individual course components, together capable of delivering 4000 hours of interactive online study and assessment in four different languages. It was delivered in print and online to a global audience of tens of thousands of students in 160 countries.

Since then we’ve widened and deepened that experience by producing more than 30 further online programmes for a wide range of education-providing organisations over two and a half decades. This has enabled us to refine and optimise what we do, and to productise and scale it for others to adopt and exploit for themselves.

The ten key elements of CAPDM’s well-developed culture of learning engineering are:

  1. Be open
    Use open standards, formats and sources whenever you can to avoid proprietary lock-in. These in turn aid materials’ longevity and ease reuse.
  2. Be intelligent
    Work with information architectures and formats that include the subject-specific meaning you need such as learning objectives, reflections, answers and rubrics. In other words, use intelligent mark-up.
  3. Single source
    Develop single masters of each of your course components, and set up outputs from those for all the teaching and learning environments and formats you need. Avoid duplication of effort by updating only one source master for all uses.
  4. Batch publish
    Use automated production systems to typeset and publish your 700 page academic study texts in minutes. Batch generate thousands of interlinked pages in seconds to load into this year’s learning management system.
  5. Be independent
    Produce and manage your learning materials and knowledge outside of your delivery and administration systems. Invest in your content so that you’re ready to release it into delivery environments like Moodle, Canvas, D2L Brightspace or the one that hasn’t been released yet. Don’t ever develop your content in your VLE.
  6. Be flexible
    Be capable of supporting any course design your faculty needs for classroom, blended or distance study modes.
  7. Be efficient
    Use the cloud to centralise your learning materials repository, to equip your course developers to batch produce all your outputs, and to deliver your courses instantly and globally.
  8. Invest
    Develop permanent learning assets that your people can reuse and evolve indefinitely. Constant gardening.
  9. Be adventurous
    Try adapting and re-combining your assets for new pedagogies and technologies, to create higher quality teaching and learning experiences, or to meet changing needs.
  10. Own what you create
    Simplify future use, sharing and rewarding.

CAPDM has the experience and skills to design, develop, launch, deliver and sustain commercial programmes of online distance learning.

Further reading