A Quality Framework for Digital Learning

Defining Digital Courseware

Digital courseware is a solution with the potential to support student-centered learning at scale in postsecondary education. While millions of students use digital courseware today in their college courses, significant opportunity remains for effective digital courseware use to support new teaching and learning strategies, improve course accessibility, and drive improvements in learning outcomes for postsecondary students.

What is Digital Courseware?

The first step in building clarity around “digital courseware” is to establish a common definition for the category.  Definitions used around the postsecondary community range broadly, from e-textbooks, to clickers and projectors, to an LMS.  From our study of the market, including its historical evolution and where digital learning is headed, we define digital courseware as:

Digital courseware is instructional content that is scoped and sequenced to support delivery of an entire course through software built specifically for educational purposes. It includes assessment to inform personalization of instruction and is equipped for adoption across a range of institutional types and learning environments.

Specifically, digital courseware has three core elements:

  • Instructional content that is scoped and sequenced to support delivery of an entire course
  • Purpose-built software
  • Assessment to inform personalization of instruction

These three elements can be delivered in a single product or by the thoughtful integration of different products that collectively deliver a complete course.


A quality digital courseware implementation, with potential to support improved student outcomes, can be achieved through any of these models, depending on your course or institutional needs and digital infrastructure.