2018 has been a big year for all of us at Gutenberg Technology, and an even bigger year for MyEcontentFactory (MEF), our collaborative authoring platform.
In 2017, we completely rebuilt MEF so that it’s easier to use, more reliable, and more powerful than ever. Our goal was not just to improve it, but super-charge it. This year was all about leveraging that power to build increasingly helpful functionality for our customers by creating outstanding features! We wanted to:
- Make you feel really at home in MEF from a usability standpoint;
- Give you the ability to centralize all of your processes in a single system;
- Enable you to cut costs by producing and publishing content with us;
- Help you release new products to market in a fraction of the time you’re used to.
So as a little reminder, and also because we are proud of what we accomplished this year as a team, here is a wrap-up of our greatest hits over the year.
Our authoring platform for creating rich content is our best achievement, and some refined features are 2018 “specials.” First things first, we have implemented a spelling and grammar check, as we realized that was a must-have. Same goes for auto-numbering pages; you shouldn’t have to do that manually.
We also made the real-time collaboration interface much smoother thanks to block-locking; if and when someone else is editing, you won’t be able to make any edits yourself. This avoids confusion and loss of work by colleagues.
Lastly, we now empower you to tag content modules for several kinds of usage. For example, educational content often comes with a student version and a teacher version. You can now tag content modules on specific themes to be available only for teachers, students, or both in a single project. After tagging, you can choose to export the project content based on the tags you’ve established.
We implemented new modules to better manage content creation, content design, content search and workflows.
We have released a beta version of our Courseware module, and we firmly believe that it’s the future of publishing and education combined. Reusability and granularity of content for publishers and instructors is key and we want to let them create personalized learning products for different learning goals, using the same content base. In the first inception of this new product feature, a content editor can export a page from a project as a single Learning Object (LO), which will be easily reusable in other projects in MEF, and which can be distributed to any GT Courseware (LMS) distribution channel on the workspace. Within GT’s Courseware platform (LMS), instructors can then mix and match the different LOs that were either distributed by the publisher or that they have created. Once ready, the instructor can assign it to a whole classroom, learner groups, or a specific selection of learners depending on their current abilities, the learning methods they are most enabled by, and/or learning objectives.
To provide MEF users with the capacity to create, customize, manage, and update their Project Themes, we have created a Theme Library. This new feature empowers you to further customize your products with ease, which is also now possible at the element and patterns level. You can also collaborate on the theme design using the Theme Editor to achieve an optimal design standard. Design is key to successful content, so we hope this helps!
When you have a lot of projects in our platform, you need to be able to search through content. From the MEF top-navigation bar, you can now search across all workspace content of any type (projects, activities, or media). Enter a text string and optionally adjust where to search, whether by title, content type, or metadata (all, by default).
We know that a content project can become confusing if colleagues can continue to edit sections of it that are already finalized. To give you the ability to track, allow or prohibit changes, we have implemented a project workflow feature set. You can now lock, unlock, or see versioning of the project at the page, chapter or part levels.
Imports, Exports, Integrations
A long anticipated feature, we launched our PDF export at the beginning of the year! It’s now easier than ever to create a printable version of your documents.
We have also improved the import module by allowing you to import documents in bulk. You can even upload EPUB 3 files you’ve created elsewhere! You won’t be able to modify them in MEF, but you can push them to your audience right from our platform.
Lastly, we developed a beta integration with Moodle, which will set the stage for further standard LTI and API integrations in 2019 and beyond.
Webreader and Apps, GT Courseware (LMS) and Bookshelf
As you may know, we provide our customers with pre-set web and mobile apps that are customized with their branding. After authoring great content in MEF, you can push it to our bookshelf, Android App and iPhone app. You may also use GT Courseware (LMS) features in them, if you want to design an interactive digital learning experience.
To improve the whole experience, we managed to sync user inputs such as notes, highlights, bookmarks, etc. throughout the 3 interfaces for a seamless experience on any device. There’s also an offline access to assets mode that we have developed, for the content to be available not only on any device, but also anywhere once you have downloaded it once.
On the GT Courseware (LMS) platform, we activated a notifications system and made content metadata available as filters.
All in all, we are quite proud of our platform and how it empowers our customers. That said, we’re not stopping here!
A new year is on the way, and our next area of focus will be mainly polishing all of these new features and optimizing their performance and quality to deliver the best experience. We’re also excited to soon provide you with ready-made content and templates, and ability to publish from MEF using standard API integrations but we’ll share more on that later.
Want to help shape the future of GT and MyEcontentFactory? We’re listening! Give us your feedback on what industry best practices you'd find most useful, and we'll build that content over the coming months. We hope you have a safe and happy New Year!