Heavy and thick print textbooks that I was accustomed to while at school, are slowing beginning to evolve. A few companies are taking a fresh look at the way textbooks are designed, and published to enhance learning and comprehension.
One of the primary reasons for these companies to take a fresh approach is the adoption and availability of smart-phones, tablets and e-readers. These devices offer dimensions like video, audio, touch, and connectivity to the internet to recreate an entirely new learning experience. While price may be a barrier to widespread adoption of these devices among the student community today, declining prices will accelerate their adoption in future.
As textbooks are transformed from static, physical books into living ebooks that are continuously enhanced with curated content, they are likely to incorporate some or all of the features listed below:
- Capability for the instructor to add content: As text, audio-video presentations, and links to content on the internet. Boundaries for such ebooks are more likely to be amorphous with continuous addition of curated content over a period of time
- Ability to cater to different learning styles: Content can be presented in a variety of styles so that it suits the learning style of the reader. One learner may prefer an audio-visual style while another may prefer an interactive or engaging style
- Self-assessment: Capability to assess what the reader has learned at the end of each chapter or topic by presenting a quiz or test of some form
- Remediation: Based on the scores of these quizzes/tests, the ebooks could
- Adapt the learning level or pace the learning as appropriate by dynamically “staging” the content presented to the reader. They also provide additional reading material or links to enhance learning and comprehension
- Provide the capability to post questions to the instructor, expert or a study group and receive responses
- Sharing of notes: Capability to share notes with other students or a study group to facilitate better understanding, collaboration and help initiate discussions
- Alternate approaches to problem solving: Instructors are also likely to emphasize on different approaches to problem solving by enhancing the content with appropriate examples
iPublishCentral recognizes the need to develop the next generation “Text eBook” reader that provides the features listed above, with the capability to be used on a wide variety of devices. We would love to hear your thoughts on how the next generation “Text eBook” reader is likely to evolve and the functionality that it will provide to students.
Please write to us at – feedback at iPublishCentral dot com or pandith.jp at impelsys dot com.