Next Generation eText: Providing Greater Interaction and Individualization

Concurrent Session 6

Session Materials

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Brief Abstract

This session will use Purdue’s eText pilot as a case study for supporting innovative eTexts that encourage interactive and individualized learning.  It will also provide suggestions for creating next generation digital learning by incorporating technologies such as motion tracking, augmented reality, virtual reality, dynamic questions, and adaptive learning.


Sheree Buikema is an instructional designer working on the Course Design and Development team at Purdue University. Prior to that, Sheree taught in the K-12 system, where her focus was in language arts and high ability education. In addition to earning several teaching certifications, Sheree holds a Master of Education degree in Educational Psychology, with an emphasis on Curriculum, Technology, and Education Reform. Over the past 15 years, she has designed and taught multiple face-to-face and hybrid courses. She has also designed, developed, and moderated a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for K-12 high ability students. She has recently won Purdue’s Digital Education MVP: Instructional Design and Support Award for her work in hybridizing the Weekend MBA program. She has presented on several aspects of online learning and instructional design at national and international conferences.
Dr. Wanju Huang is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Learning Design and Technology at Purdue University. Prior to joining the LDT program, she was an instructional designer manager at Teaching and Learning Technologies, Purdue Online, where she led a team of instructional designers and video producers for course design and development. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (with a concentration in Technology) from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For six years prior to joining Purdue in Fall 2016, she was a lecturer and an instructional designer at Eastern Kentucky University. She has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses (e.g., learning theories and instructional design, educational applications of multimedia, statistics, critical thinking, and social intelligence) in face-to-face, blended, and online formats. Dr. Huang has published and presented research papers related to online learning and instructional design at national and international conferences. Her research interests include: technology for building online communities, online identities and communication, the educational use of augmented reality, and the effectiveness of faculty development programs.

Extended Abstract

This session will use Purdue’s Affordable Textbooks (eText) pilot program as a case study for the development of affordable and innovative eTexts. During this pilot program, Purdue University Libraries Publishing Division and ITaP's Innovations in Technology and Learning teams worked together with faculty to provide affordable and innovative alternatives for the traditional textbook. From Fall 2014 to Spring 2016, educational technologists and editors provided support for eText instructional design, accessibility compliance, simulation support, assessment options, copywriting, and Creative Commons integration.

Although many faculty think of eText as a digital form of a traditional textbook with a few links added, this type of eText does not support an interactive educational experience, and it doesn’t take advantage of several design elements that can be used to individualize learning.  However, when we consider issues such as ADA accessibility, platform initiated content file size restrictions, and lack of technical support to develop interactive elements such as simulations, it is clear that that there are many obstacles for reaching the truly interactive and personal educational journey that the next generation eText can provide.

This presentation will outline the faculty support model developed to create these successful eTexts through the eText pilot and will provide best practices and lessons learned from the program. We will discuss the limitations experienced during the pilot and explain how these limitations continue to stifle the creation of what we consider to be the next generation eText. Based on our experiences in online content development, our instructional design backgrounds, and our continued research in innovative pedagogical practices, we will provide suggestions for creating an educational experience for students in higher education that is supported by best practices according to Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).

We will provide suggestions for overcoming current eText limitations and for improving the quality of learning, and we will demonstrate how emerging technologies and open-source materials, software, and courseware are currently being used in eText development. We will provide examples of advances in motion tracking (e.g., Leap), augmented reality (e.g., Build AR), and virtual reality (e.g., Unity) and demonstrate how they can be harnessed to provide a truly interactive learning experience. We will also discuss how open-source courseware/learning management systems, such as LON-CAPA, are being used to develop, share, and house content, simulations, and dynamic questions that can provide more individualized and adaptive learning opportunities.

Handouts of relevant information will be provided.