A featured student presentation, Helen Torigoe’s Developing an Effective E-Textbook for CS101 Students at UH Hilo: An iBook Instructional Module is an interactive demonstration of how emerging mobile technology could be utilized in education. Helen is currently a lecturer at University of Hawaii, Hilo for Computer Science (CS101). Her course focuses on Microsoft Office suite and HTML. She’s noticed a trend with a fewer students reading the textbook and coming to class unprepared. Helen wonders if her digital native students need a more engaging platform to learn the material. Thus, she developed a prototype of an interactive e-textbook for CS101 students at UH, Hilo and measured its effectiveness in increasing learning, motivation, and engagement.
First, Helen researched the criteria for effective e-book.
Next step, she considered device and development platform for e-authoring. She ended up choosing iBooks author since it’s free and easy to use. She then spent lots of time creating the iBook through iBooks Author.
Her iBook, “Web and HTML” is available via http://etext.weebly.com/. The iBook contains small chunks of content interspersed with interactive widgets: slideshows, YouTubes, labeled diagrams, quizzes, and a “try-it-yourself” HTML editor. The weebly site contains thorough tutorials on how to navigate through the iBook.
Based on the data from Helen’s project, the iBook did increase learning, motivation, and engagement with 93% of participants said “it all makes sense” or “I understood the basic concepts”. Interestingly, the interactive widgets that participants enjoyed most are the visual type: slideshows, videos, and images/screenshots. A majority (80%) also found the “try it yourself” widget to helpful or somewhat helpful. The design itself could be improved to strike a balance between content and simpler layout.
Most interesting piece of information is that more participants would consider e-textbooks and are aware of its drawbacks.
What’s on the horizon? Helen hopes to perform an action research while continuing the needs analysis, evaluation, revision.
There’s definitely been a growth in e-readers in the past year and this trend will continue to grow. Will educators be ready for the next generation of digital learners? or e-book natives?
Presenter: Helen Torigoe