The Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) offers global top-tier general management, executive, and leadership development programs as part of the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Their personally transforming MBA and MBA (Executive) programs are consistently ranked in the top 100 globally and their online MBA, the MBAX, is ranked first in Australia. Kotobee's various solutions has assisted AGSM for several years, to provide an integrated ebook ecosystem to their students.

We interviewed Pradhiban Duraisamy, Educational Technology Manager at UNSW, to learn how Kotobee Author, Kotobee Library, and custom features offered their students and staff the potential to receive a new learning experience. Pradhiban was in charge of Digital Learning at AGSM at the early stages of utilizing Kotobee.

The Challenge

What challenges did AGSM face prior to using Kotobee?

As part of digitising course materials, AGSM converted text content into iBooks as well as coded widgets in iAd Developer. This widget coding was handled in-house by elearning and design specialists. Thus, this approach was not only sustainable, but the course content was platform specific. With iBooks our team couldn't rapidly make changes to meet the growing needs of students. We also didn't want the platform limitations to hinder students' learning.

With the introduction of iBooks, access to course materials was platform dependant. Then we came across Kotobee where we were able to reuse our InDesign files and create course content that gave us flexibility in many output formats.

What other options did you explore?

AGSM explored other ebook platforms, that were mostly into e-magazines, thus their platforms didn't meet educational requirements. For example, almost all of them didn't cater for students' responses to be shared.

What was most important to you when evaluating your options?

AGSM course content were InDesign files, which we wanted to reuse without having to recreate content on a platform. We were also looking for a product that not only will meet our business requirements, but also willing to adapt their tools and platform to meet our teaching needs and morph with students' learning needs.

The Solution

How did you hear about Kotobee?

Through web search.

What drove you to choose Kotobee?

We were attracted by Kotobee for its ability to import InDesign files and to seamlessly export multiple formats. The self-intuitive interface broke the difficulty barrier, and the notion that ebook creation is limited to technical experts. The Kotobee team was the first willing to listen to higher educational needs and accept that their platform could be enhanced.

Has Kotobee's support team contributed to your selection criteria in any way?

From the initial meeting, the Kotobee team valued our educational needs and technical enhancement suggestions. Their solution was also cost-effective, with no ongoing costs after the initial sale. Kotobee's customer focused approach is what enabled AGSM to be in business with them over years. Over the years, Kotobee has developed their platform together with AGSM to meet our increasing educational needs.

How difficult was the onboarding process with Kotobee, transitioning from an older system?

The design team who prepare course materials using InDesign adapted to Kotobee easier than iBooks. During the conversion process, few limited formatting and functionality hurdles of Kotobee were identified. However, these were addressed in following versions as Kotobee updated their platform with our feedback. Kotobee developed certain tools further such as widgets and image gallerues, that helped the design team to work more efficiently.

Is there a particular aspect of Kotobee that you rely on the most?

The ability to export in multiple formats, and the use of LTI to plug into our LMS.

The recent release of dashboards would allow for personalised learning. Students also rely on the in-built features such as highlighting, note-taking, and text-to-speech features.

The Results

How did Kotobee influence the success of your business? Any metrics would be useful.

The willingness to change from traditional learning methods is a continuous struggle we're seeing with students, which leads to mixed feedback. However, there was great appreciation for the offline access of our ebook library, which allowed learning to be conducted anywhere anytime.

In what ways is your competitive advantage enhanced?

The use of eBooks library at AGSM opened pathways to other online courses to use Kotobee to convert their materials to include interactive elements.

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