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A Framework for Re-Purposing Textbooks Using Learning Outcomes/Methodology, Device Characteristics, Representation and User Dimensions
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As digital books begin to take center stage in our lives the importance of the old printed book still lingers on. A large number of the books printed on the paper media still have much to offer to readers for various reasons (e.g. less famous authors of prose, old books with interesting and original problems). To help individuals in digitizing and reusing their physical and digital books we decided to build a framework that will help people convert physical and digital books to other formats taking into consideration four dimensions: learning outcomes or methodology, target device characteristics, representation and the user. Our focus is on textbooks in history. Consequently, we do not consider some problems like math formulas. This work has the potential of helping people deal with the huge backlog of physical books that can become invisible as the digital books take off. To show that our platform can help in repurposing books for student study activities, we have developed some transformations. The transformations we have implemented shows that the framework can be used to add study aids to books, optimize books for a target platform (e-reader device and application combination), and supplement available features of a target platform and maintain consistency across various audio/visual devices and e-book formats. One of the important steps in the thesis was determining the study activities that we would support as examples in our implementation. We have chosen to implement support for the survey, question, read and review activities of the SQ3R reading technique. We have also implemented support for additional activities like search. The chosen activities and the support implemented for these activities are examples and are not meant to be complete. Another important decision point was to decide which target platforms (e-reader device and application combination) we need to support. We decided to choose a few representatives and leave the rest as future work. The target devices were selected so as to have a variety of device capabilities like screen size, display technology (e.g. e-ink, VGA), and user interaction styles (e.g. touch-based, button based) combined with application capabilities (e.g. audio only, visual only, audio visual, grayscale, and color). The devices selected were: iPad, iPod, iPhone, Kindle 3rd generation, Kindle Fire, Sony PRS and a laptop. The e-reader applications are the ones that are available for these devices.
Ciftci, Tolga (2013). A Framework for Re-Purposing Textbooks Using Learning Outcomes/Methodology, Device Characteristics, Representation and User Dimensions. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from