The James Goold House Publications Religious Education Texts Project is an agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. The agency was started in the late 1990s by then Archbishop of Melbourne George Pell to create textbooks for Catholic school students from prep to Year 12. When first published, the To Know, Worship and Love (KWL) textbooks were mandated for use by Melbourne Catholic schools and later mandated in Sydney when Pell moved to the city.
From the late 2000s, sales of the textbooks decreased as the second-hand market grew. There was interest to move to a digital platform that would allow easy updates to the delivery of the book content, while enabling interactivity.
According to Pat Sully, executive director, James Goold House Publications Religious Education Texts Project, the project had several critical criteria for a digital solution. “We needed a solution that would allow us to easily update the content and boost sales,” he says. “Digital was clearly the best path to take.”
A move to digital editions would allow the project to increase the interactivity of and engagement with the textbooks, but it presented several challenges. The digital textbooks needed to be available for use on different devices used by schools, including on iPads and a traditional desktop web browser, but with restricted access. With specific textbooks available by year group, students should only be able to purchase and have access to their relevant text.
“We also wanted to continue to utilize our existing resellers, who have strong relationships with schools,” says Sully. “It was important for us to allow them access to sell any digital products.”