The Science of Digitization

Interactive Learning for Kids

Case Study


After the first year of operation of the OXFORD Digital Library (see this case study) a customer had identified the need for digital English learning resources to address the ELT (English Language Teaching) needs of younger learners. They wanted the Bookworms series to be complimented with the beginner Dolphin Readers.

The Dolphin Readers were ideal for the job. The print books were designed with a range of pen on paper writing, association and puzzle exercises. They had accompanying audio CD-ROMs with the story read both as a narrative and a musical chant.

The challenge was to interprete the print books and their activities into highly interactive digital books that could be used everywhere on every platform and device and accessed from all browsers. There was also a requirement for additional interactive games to make the content more engaging.

The finished books had to be appealing to the intended target users, kids between four and eight, and deliver the required learning experience.


The solution was the Estel Labs left-right production|fulfilment cross.

The ODL digital library delivery system had been working for a year, so the work to be done there was create a catalogue for the new books and set them live.

The biggest challenge was the interactivity and individual page layout and design. The AZARDI Interactive Engine is a built in component with both the production system and AZARDI reader. It has nine interactive Question and Answer strategies, plus other games based tools available.

The books were to be delivered in a customized AZARDI reader. It had to be different from the Booksworms readers and had to be usable by a young person on a tablet as well as desktop computer or browser.

AZARDI is unique as an ePub 3 reader in that it allows books, or series of books to have custom interfaces. That means the navigation and interactive controls can be completely branded/customized for a specific book or series looks and the standard reader interface just disappears.

Underneath it is ePub 3 the whole way to ensure digital content production consistency and future value. The difference is the inclusion of what we call a Content Document Package or CDP. When detected by AZARDI in a controlled channel delivery context the CDP takes over from the standard, gray, boring AZARDI interface tools.

Effectively this...

 ...becomes this...

 ...or this...

...on a book by book basis.

All the tools and technology was in place off the shelf. The big job was interpreting print pages to compelling interactive pages.


The first job was getting the product stakeholders signed off on the interface and to identify the "pain points" in the conversion from print to digital.

Because all work is done in IGP:Digital Publisher this is detailed, but straight forward work. The HTML is done once only using the IGP:FoundationXHTML tagging patterns. Interactive Q&A instantly springs into life as soon as it is tagged because the AZARDI Interactive Engine is built into the production system.

The real work was the editorial changes to express interactivity rather than pencil exercises, and using a lot of CSS to get the required look and feel.

This was not just a straight-forward print to digital conversion. The customer needed to have a qualified editor control the text and ensure the pedagogical approach was correct for each of the hundreds of exercises.

Because IGP:Digital Publisher is a Web application the editors were able to connect from London, UK, while the India production team worked from Pune. Editorial and production worked hand-in-glove for the two months to ensure the end result delivered the required learning experience.

Production first pass had the content up and running. Then the editor did a pass through the content modifying the text as required and annotating other change recommendatons. Many of the pages were substantially changed and extended to increase their teaching value.

When production was complete and approved the books were delivered from IGP:Digital Publisher Formats on Demand to the digital library system in three packages optimized for each of the main controlled content reading environments: Online, Desktop and Tablets.


8,000 young learners around the world had access to some of the most compelling and interesting interactive ELT content available. Even now in 2017, six years later, the content is still being accessed around the world from any platform or device. 

The content is delivered under the publisher's control through the participating institutions websites on a subscription basis and the downloaded formats automatically expire when the subscription is complete.

What was at first regarded as an almost impossible complex and expensive task was implemented quickly, easily and affordably because the tools were ready and available to do the job, and made it easy for the participants to work together. 

The content is maintained in IGP:Digital Publisher ready to work into the future. Although it was created in 2012 the content can be output as a different format, extended or enhanced further at any time.