Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,099,010) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a easy-to-use, content authoring application for creating e-learning courses such as web-based education courses.
The app's graphical user interface would allow an instructor to management online course content. The instructor could create in-session and self-paced courses that could be delivered over a network to student operated client devices such as Macs and iOS devices.
The editing tools in the app could be used to create and edit pages of content for a course, including adding links and multimedia, information pages, posts and course materials. The user interface could also include a side bar that for displaying descriptors that can be used by the instructor to navigate pages of the course.
According to Apple's patent, the instructor could use the content authoring application to post assignments with or without materials. Different types of materials could be attached, including text documents, slideshows, video, digital photos, audio, and more. The instructor would also be able to open a student list with info on each student such as contact information (e.g., email address).
In the patent filing, Apple says that "since instructors may not be computer savvy, it is desirable that content authoring applications be intuitive and simple to use."