Textbooks, lecture slides, handouts, homework sets, lecture scripts, movies … learning content comes in many forms, but in recent years, most of this content is moving into the online realm. However, it still does not converge there.
Some learners are independent and self-directed, most are not. It is the role of educators to weave together content for their learners and guide them through logical sequences. However, educators cannot possibly create all of these materials themselves, so traditionally, they assigned pre-woven textbooks or ebooks written by groups of other educators. These come at a high price, both monetarily and in terms of pedagogical flexibility.
Increasingly, educators self-publish materials. The power of crowd-sourcing allows coverage of wide areas of scholarship using open and freely available content, which combined with licensed and commercial content would allow for more flexible, tailored, and integrated learning experiences. We are creating the venue to make cross-institutional content creation and sharing possible.