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Digital content management is a critical part of effective e-learning. With the wider use of digital repositories of learning objects and greater sharing between colleagues who teach online, managing digital contents effectively becomes a part of the teaching skillset.

Managing contents involves

proper file labeling (contents, file types) and naming protocols; accurate metadata (learning objectives, learning experience, languages, optimal learner level); clear intellectual property (IP) management; defined ownership; policies for use, and digital content managment and updating (to new technologies as software and hardware evolve).

Managing backups of the files to protect against digital corruption would also be important.

Raw vs. Processed Files

Raw digital imagery, audio and video are important to maintain for the least lossy captures of data.

Processed files are important for learner use, but these may be too processed to be usable in different circumstances.

Content Versioning

It is important to "version" contents, to know which form is the one that is used for a particular course. In some curricular builds, it's simple enough to differentiate the latest version from earlier ones. However, if there are other types of versioning--such as between languages, learner levels (for example: high school freshmen vs. college freshman), cultural sensitivities (materials for deployment in one region of the world vs. another), and so on--then there is added complexity.

Intellectual Property

The ownership of digital content is critical. A one-time copyright release for content should clearly not be confused with an into-perpetuity release. While many universities and colleges create their own content in labs, studios, and other locales, those that have limited copyright releases should not let that content out into the digital content stream. Only works that are in the public domain or that are open-source and royalty-free should be used. The point is not to create liability or to encumber the universities or colleges with legal risks.

Digital content that involves video and/or audio captures should come with media releases by the subject(s) of the videotaping and/or audio-taping sessions. This way, there's clear "provenance" of the content.

Updating Content

To keep content meant for learning up to date the information has to be timely and reviewed often. Also, the technology should be updated to the most recent version. While technologies are often backwards compatible, virtually none are forwards compatible without additional software downloads or adjustments.


In e-learning, there is often "tag-along" files for accessibility. These may be transcripts, alternative text for images (in addition to the embedded text with the imagery), and others. These will be important to keep connected to the digital learning content.

Also, instructor handbooks may include additional information that is not published but stays on the back-end for facilitating transfer of the digital learning objects or curriculum.


Digital content may be stored on servers that are accessible via the web. Protected information often is stored on highly protected servers without web or net access.

See Also


For Complete Article: Content_Management

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