EPUBs Vs Digital Courseware: Which is the Best eLearning Content Solutions for Higher Education?


EPUBs or Digital Courseware

There are lots of different ways to impart knowledge and education in the present-day world. You can choose between unique media formats and forms of content delivery. There is an enormous market for eLearning, especially in the higher education sector.

You probably have a subject or theme in mind for which you need to create education technology solutions. You may have difficulty choosing between the two widely used formats: eBooks and digital courseware.

Table of Content

In this post, we will try to identify the best format for your content distribution. We will help you choose between the two forms of online higher education: ePUBs or digital courseware. You can also use our reliable eLearning content services to create your online courses fast and accurately.

The Growth of eLearning in Higher Education

With the challenges of COVID-19 lockdown, there have been courses that publishers are creating digitally. Many have already converted their physical books into PDFs or EPUB format.

The higher education sector has also undergone some major changes to adapt to the changing times. Many universities and colleges are already investing in technology to improve the way they educate.

This has pushed several campuses to become digital because of the pandemic. Each student is now learning online using digital and remote learning. Among the best ways to impart knowledge, digitally is through ebooks or content published in ePUB formats.

These are the traditional ways of eLearning to access information through a desktop or a mobile device. There is also digital courseware that requires creating the learning material from scratch.

Let us find out which eLearning method is the future of higher education. We will start by introducing a little about each form.

EPUB in Education Sector

There is a lot of competition in content publishing and authoring in higher education. There are many processes, practices, tools, and technology that promise impactful learning experiences. One way institutions deliver interactive content to teachers and pupils is through ebooks.

EPUB is a standard eBook format for digital publishing. It provides many tools of the modern web like HTML5, CSS3 for styling, and Javascript for interaction. Both educators and students can access such digital content through any electronic device and use it to enrich their knowledge.

You may also find many faculty members, academic institutions, and publishers are already embracing this technology. With ePUBs, they can design interactive and media-centric content for higher education.

Some centers for education also refer to it as “EPUB for Education” or EDUPUB. It is a content framework that combines different standards and tools to create complex, media-rich, and interactive courseware. This makes learning easy and fun for all students.

Advantages of the EPUB

  • Multi-Device Support: You can read an eBook from any mobile device like smartphones, laptops, iPhones, and Android.
  • Easy Augmentation: Creating an ePUB file is just like creating a document file. The format makes it easier to collect, author, and annotate content easily.
  • Low Cost: You can create an ePUB cost-effectively, saving you a lot on the overall cost of creating an eLearning courseware.
  • Media-Rich: You can create digital content full of audio, videos, hyperlinks, metadata, and numerical information. It results in keeping the attention of the reader and makes learning fun.
  • Copyright Protection: EPUB provides digital rights management (DRM) to protect your document against theft. You can easily control who can view, edit, copy, or print your content.
  • Flexibility: There are two types of ePUB content. One is fixed-layout, and the other is re-flowable according to each user’s needs and preferences. This allows a learner to read as they see fit. They can change orientation, typeface, or zoom text according to the screen they are using.

Disadvantages of ePUBs

  • Design Limitations: Publishers design most ebooks without thinking of their readers during the creation process.
  • EPUBS Lack Accessibility: Suppose a student has a learning disability like dyslexia, blindness, or low vision. They may not read a digital version of a textbook full of complex graphics, data tables, and biological processes.
  • Have Limited Activities: Most eBooks do not have any inter-activities. They ask you to complete simple activities like worksheets or checklists. There is no follow-up or feedback for incorrect responses. They don’t involve you in the learning process.

Digital Courseware and Higher Education

With the changes in technology, many educators are looking to improve the quality of their learning and teaching methods. They need to keep in mind the affordability and accessibility of the students.

We often find that imparting knowledge is easier when the courseware we personalize to a student’s needs and objectives. Face-to-face interaction with the learner used to be the best way to instruct a student. This may not be relevant in today’s times, as students have access to more flexible learning experiences through the internet.

Digital courseware has been helping educators around the globe to deliver personalized, scalable instructions. It supports the delivery of an entire course through software that developers build specifically for educational purposes.

It is a type of instructional content that includes assessments and inter-activities that you can personalize for each student. It is an innovative way to impart instructions. Many learning environments and institutions can easily use digital courseware as part of their curriculum.

There are mainly three core elements of digital courseware:

  • Software that developers design according to the student
  • Instructional content that you sequence and scope to deliver an entire course.
  • Personalized assessments to impart instructions

Advantages of Digital Courseware

There are a lot of reasons that influence the adoption of digital courseware over ePUB file format. Here we list a few of them:

  • Time: The time taken to develop digital courseware is much less than converting printed textbooks to ebooks. You would have to scan each page one at a time or use an automated conversion technology like optical character recognition (OCR).These are all really expensive and also inaccurate, leaving room for a lot of errors. This means spending more money on correcting mistakes manually.

    Many eLearning content solutions providers have their process to create your digital courseware. This takes less time to create your content, as developers already have the tools and technology they need.

  • Interactivity and Engagement: It is a proven concept that students learn faster when they are more engaged with the digital content. EPUBs provide such features, but with limited scope. We usually consider it as a digital version of the printed book.

    There are not as many eBooks available with interactive features as compared to eCourses for higher education. Digital courseware is more suited for interactive purposes. It provides a lot of areas for student engagement.

    This increases their attention to the area of learning, time spent on activities, and active participation. As a result, their performance improves across all subjects and educational sections, even in higher education.

  • More Flexible: You can create digital courseware with simulation, gamification, and other activities. This encourages student engagement and learning.
  • Personalization: There needs to be a unique approach to learning, even in higher education. It is essential to have technology that can help weak students master core skills and learn at their own pace.

    Digital courseware provides a custom learning experience for each student. It provides personalized learning as customizable, editable, and on-demand content. Teachers can also offer effective learning as the student progresses in the course.

  • Assessment: Digital courseware offers many solutions for a teacher to get a better understanding of their students. They can monitor their progress using activities and other tools.
  • Analytics: You can use digital courseware to collect data about the student. It can help an educator understand the learning capabilities of a student to improve teaching methods.

Disadvantages of Using Digital Courseware

  • Availability of Content: You will have to develop the content entirely from scratch. There are no tools or software to convert your eLearning content into digital courseware. You need to allocate a lot of time and effort to create your eCourse.
  • Cost: It is much costlier to create digital courseware for your institution. You will create the material, design it, and select a platform for the delivery of the courseware. Educators will have to invest a lot throughout the process. The total cost will be much higher than just converting textbooks into digital forms.
  • Expensive Material: Digital courseware may cost the students a lot compared to traditional printed books. They are 50% to 60% more expensive and may require special software and platform to run the application.
  • Complex Process: It is difficult to convert textbooks and an entire year’s syllabus into an application. It requires a professional education technology solutions expert that can help you build the courseware.
  • Learning Curve: Digital courseware acts as a standalone product that delivers content to a student. It also uses a learning management system for distributing content. It may take some time for students and professors to get used to the new technology.

SunTec India – A Reliable Partner

Are you able to create great digital publishing courseware and ePUBs all by yourself? Are you looking for ways to get this done faster? We will love to help you out with all of it. SunTec India is a 25+-year-old organization with over 1500+ full-time employees. Our professionals work 24*7 to provide you the best higher-ed publishing services. Our team tries to understand your concerns and create solutions according to your needs and budget allocation. You can even pick your team with us. SunTec India also has the following advantages:

  • ISO-certified operations for quality and accuracy
  • 100% data security and confidentiality
  • Premium services from highly skilled professional
  • We help to cut your overall cost by 60-40%
  • Custom solutions as per your preferences
  • Quick turnaround time and 100% accuracy
  • Scalable outsourcing model


So, what type of digital publishing end product will you create? Hopefully, now that you have some information about the two of the most popular higher education technology solutions, you can answer that for yourself.

The information in this post will help you steer in the right direction and clear up any confusion on the differences between publication methods. You can choose between ePUB format or digital courseware according to your requirements.

If you are ready to dive in and start designing, you can check out our post, How Does The Future Of Educational Publishing Look Like?. It will help you learn about strategies for successful educational ePublishing.

You can also read about How ePublishers can Capitalize On the Rise of Mobile Learning. It will give you some insights into creating great engaging content for students in colleges and universities.

You can even contact us for a free consultation and high-quality content creation. We offer best-in-class, affordable, and accurate higher-ed publishing services to clients across the globe. You can send us an email at info@suntecindia.com for more details.

SunTec India Blog

The SunTec India Blog

Brought to you by the Marketing & Communications Team at SunTec India. We love sharing interesting stories and informed opinions about data, eCommerce, digital marketing and analytics, app development and other technological advancements.