How digital publishing is changing higher education


The content in an app is downloaded once and lives on the users devices, even when they are not connected to the internet. An app is also easy to update and will let a user know that new content is available, which websites clearly can’t do.

That’s said, more progressive campuses have adopted digital publishing solutions to create apps or digital publications featuring compelling and interactive content, including commenting, social sharing, feedback forms, video, audio and multimedia, and in some cases, even take alumni donations or sell logoed merchandise.

Admittedly, there is some ambiguity surrounding digital publishing – it’s still a relatively new concept within education. Some are concerned that digital publishing will mean abandoning print, and that will jeopardize the more tactile connection schools have with their constituencies.

There is also a perception that digital publishing is outside the bounds of budget, skills and resources. While developing a powerful and effective mobile app isn’t trivial, there are digital publishing tools, such as Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), that make the entire workflow for mobile content – from design and development to deployment – much simpler than expected.

From a skills perspective, adopting digital publishing is a natural evolution. Because solutions, such as Adobe DPS, use workflows already used to create print publications, schools can leverage the existing skills of their staff.

Proven Success

The results of a digital publishing strategy – greater engagement with stakeholders, expanded reach and reduced costs – are compelling.

For example, digital publishing plays a large role in Ball State University’s immersive learning efforts. The school believes that engaging students in unique, high-impact learning experiences gives them the skills to deliver real-world solutions before and after graduation.

The university’s new Digital Publishing Studio – built on Adobe DPS – supports immersive learning by enabling students to design, develop and publish digital content and tablet applications. Undergraduates gain practical experience developing digital apps under the guidance of faculty and industry professionals.