Guide: Creating great courses with iTunes U

Since returning from the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute, I have been developing my use of two apps in particular. I’ve recently blogged about one of these apps, iBooks Author, but the second is iTunes U. Following the latest update, I believe iTunes U is a tool which can streamline the delivery of content in a 1:1 iPad classroom.

Having previously planned and developed courses for iTunes U, I always felt that there was something missing. It needed another app, like Showbie, to work alongside it in order to complete the cycle of a classroom workflow. However with the latest update, I believe some of our prayers have been answered! Many of the features, particularly assignment submission, are just what I’ve been waiting for. As a result, I’ve been creating courses over the summer ready to use with classes in the forthcoming academic year.


When my team of student Digital Leaders recently undertook an EdTech survey in my school, iTunes U was an app many individual staff and whole departments wanted to find out about. The problem was, they didn’t know where to start. I imagine this isn’t just the case in my institution either. So, based on my own experiences in using iTunes U and tips I’ve picked up along the way, I’ve put together an iBook to guide people through the process of creating high quality courses in iTunes U. If you would like a copy, you can access it below:

mzl.cyfzvwwuGuide: Creating Great iTunes U Courses by James Gibbons is available for free on the iBooks Store.

Version History
v1.0 – Focuses on getting started with iTunes U, creating high quality, engaging courses and advice on distributing and managing courses.

Planned updates
– Since the new features were released towards the end of the last academic year, I haven’t had chance to use them with a whole class yet. However, once I have, I plan on adding a chapter demonstrating a practical workflow for using iTunes U in the classroom.

I know that iTunes U isn’t perfect yet, but what app is? For example, the points based grading system doesn’t really work for me. Also, I cannot provide verbal feedback to students as easily as I can with Showbie. However, the huge leap forward made in the last update gives me hope and I’m excited to see the where the developers go from here.

mzl.cyfzvwwuiTunes U by Apple is available for free on the AppStore.

*all prices and links correct at the time of publication and are subject to change


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