CAPDM in a Nutshell

About Us

CAPDM is a company of learning content engineers. Established in 1996 in Edinburgh UK, we are 100% self-owned and funded from the services we provide to universities, professional associations, publishers and learning corporations.

We have two core areas of expertise – single-source publishing using XML, and distance/online learning programme development. The former came from experience with publishing technical manuals for aircraft manufacturers in the 1980s; the latter came from producing the most successful non-tutored, online distance learning MBA programme in the world for Edinburgh Business School.

What can CAPDM do for you and your organisation?

  1. Design and build MOOCs and more sustainable programmes of online distance learning for you based on open standards and new, more cost-effective Cloud technologies.
  2. Help you to develop your own capacity to produce and maintain large numbers of high-quality online and distance learning programmes.
  3. Create competitive online learning environments and businesses for international markets.


Why are these of benefit?

Single-source publishing produces better quality learning materials more quickly. It:

  • unites all your print and online publishing efforts into a single, efficient solution for all media and delivery environments;
  • lowers the ongoing cost of updating and maintaining learning materials by 40- 60% over their lifetime;
  • creates valuable long-term materials assets that support knowledge management, blended learning approaches, efficient product localisation and re-branding, and strategic partnerships;
  • keeps you forever independent of your online learning delivery system;
  • introduces an effective knowledge/information management strategy into your organisation.

Developing flexible learning programmes with CAPDM that can be used at a distance provides:

  • an effective way to generate new business income. benefits from leveraging CAPDM’s proven experience in doing this for other successful online education providers, such as Edinburgh Business School and ifs School of Finance.
  • a shared development process that makes the best use of your people and assets while letting CAPDM contribute its expertise and efficient production technologies.
  • success that can be sustained through efficient ongoing updating and maintenance of your courses and programmes.

CAPDM’s contribution is independent of all the online learning environments you are using – we are delivery system agnostic. We can enhance any existing learning environment including Blackboard and Moodle, or build a custom one for you. The goal is to build better quality independent learning environments that:

  • have richer content and more effective assessments and collaborations.
  • have features that particularly suit independent distance learners and tutors.
  • allow the learning environment to be largely built and maintained outside of the actual delivery system being used – easing system update and migration, and enabling support for many different learning delivery systems.

Developing a profitable, international business in distance education requires you to get four key “ducks” lined up in a row – business, instructional, production and administration. This is hard to do, and CAPDM’s involvement from day one with the management team charged with this business development is highly beneficial.

Also, success does not come from launching one programme. It requires a sustained commitment to ongoing growth and business development. Having an experienced partner like CAPDM to support you along the way helps to secure the business investment, prevent costly mistakes, and maintain focus on the core essentials.

This all sounds expensive – is it?

At the start, the cost is about the same as if you already publish learning materials for two output uses – typically print and web. If you only want to print books with it, it is unlikely to be cost effective for you, unless you have other plans to get value from the knowledge assets created. It is very cost-effective if you need to deliver print materials for your programmes and provide rich online learning environments at the same time. It is also a very effective way to handle multilingual versions of the same material.

The approach we take becomes significantly cheaper in the long term because of the inherent efficiencies of single source publishing using XML, which is why other industries (aircraft, automotive) with substantial publishing needs have been using it since 1986. Batch production tools can generate thousands of accessible, high quality web pages in seconds, and typeset a 750 page academic textbook in minutes.

It does require an initial one-off investment to set it all up. However, this establishes a permanent and reusable capability for your programme or organisation, and we have creative ways to reduce that up-front cost too. The end result is that we build an efficient solution for you that equips your people with the services and technologies they need to be more productive and efficient, at a cost you can afford. It has to work for both of us, and we have to make it work together.

Okay, I’m interested, what’s the next step?

Use our Contact page,  phone us on (+44 (0)131 477 8630) or email – and let’s set up a meeting. Initially we can just have a chat about what’s involved and how best to include others in your evaluation of CAPDM. Usually this means getting the opinion of the key business, educational and IT people in your organisation. After that we may agree to pilot a course or programme to prove the concept and its value for you.