Published: January 23, 2018

From Word To eLearning Medical Courses With An Online&Print Shared Workflow

Amir Salud, the leading medical education publisher in Spain, chooses Seinet’s content management platform Xtent to unify their production workflows and expand from print to a brand new online CANVAS campus.

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Marta Jimenez

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Amir Salud In Partnership With Seinet For eLearning Medical Courses

After more than a decade developing educational resources and methods for medical students, Amir Salud moves towards elearning in style. “We need to provide our alumni as many ways to succeed as possible”, especially in a rapidly evolving knowledge enviroment such as the medical one, Production Manager Carlos Calderón says.

Having targeted 17 different types of student profiles, they set themselves on the quest for a tool that allowed them to author and export their content to as many outputs as possible. Partnering with Seinet and bringing onboard their state-of-the-art content management platform Xtent, provides Amir the toolkit to turn the production around and power a brand new elearning environment for their content while producing, simultaneously, the traditional print ready PDF documents (ready for download or printed on demand). All this much faster and easier than they initially expected.

Supporting Word documents as an input format and most output elearning formats, Xtent allows editors and producers to simply ingest complex manuscripts created by authors. This content is then edited, managed collaboratively and easily reused from one subject unit to another, multiplying the formats in which it is finally published. With little effort and a short learning curve, the same content unit from one single production workflow can easily be turned into a Canvas module, while preserving the traditional output of the print-ready PDF.“We used to think that each end product required separate design and production workflow -a book designer and typesetter for paper, a web-developer for the elearning system, etc-, an assumption that delayed our expansion plans”, says Carlos, “now we can plan ahead and publish in formats we haven’t even thought of in the first place”.

Until that point, Amir’s production workflow was quite traditional: a finished Word draft would be submitted to atypesetter that, under Amir’s team supervision, would rework all its complexity with house design templates and finish it for final proofreading, approval and printing. “We needed to regain control and increase agility if we wanted to increase our quality and volume, while altogether bringing our content to elearning format”. Now, while starting from the same spot -the author-submitted Word document-, the process can be kept fully in-house, running at a higher pace and feed a LMS aside from print.

A Simple Process For Steady Innovation

The whole process is very simple, as to turn the Word document into a live and available e-learning course, it only takes about 3 hours per each 40-page-chapter, an impressive turnaround time considering these are often fairly complex scientific article drafts with many images, references, tables and even formulas. The Word document is ingested onto the platform, which converts it to a XML structure of reusable learning objects. This is an automated operation that allows each chapter to be deployed and composed in different layout types, to end up exported to several formats, including, of course, print-ready PDF files.

The quick turnaround of these first courses, along with Seinet’s team willingness to help and the software’s versatility and capability, prompted a roll-out whose impact  exceeded all expectations. “Our online Campus was planned to be presented in 2 or 3 months, but in 10 days we were able to have multimedia content available for students”, Calderón says. With the entirety of the content produced through Xtent, Amir’s online Campus is powered by Canvas. They are starting 2018 with more than 300 courses available, tens of thousands of pages about subjects ranging from Nursery to Specialty Physician. Their production time, end-to-end from Word to finished Canvas output and PDF, averages less than 3 hours per course and everything is available for reuse and upcycling. All in all, a huge productivity increase ending in an expending and innovative product offer.

Accessibility: Α Brighter Future For A Broader Audience

Aside from having their products entirely produced through this new workflow and available in 3 different formats –Canvas LMS, print-ready PDF and online PDF– the company keeps working on ways to improve. Using Xtent flexibility to tag and format for multiple outputs and interfacing with ResdSpeaker web service, they are launching a text to speech conversion that will turn their written content into audio for those students that want to listen to the medical lessons. These upcoming audio courses will greatly improve the whole learning experience and make it much more immersive, as students will be able to access the same content without the need of paper or a screen.