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More Information on eTexts

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The eText initaitive provides support for faculty to create e-learning materials. Currently, we support use of Moodle, Softchalk, PDF, and iBooks. Some authors mix and match. Generally, faculty consult with the Faculty Technology Center as they consider the various features they want in their eText and how students will interact with the material. We are happy to schedule a one-on-one consultation early in the process. Each container has its own benefits and limitations: 

 

Moodle

Softchalk

PDF

iBook

WiFi...Needed constantlyNeeded constantlyNeeded for video, links, etc.Needed the least
Plays on...Any deviceAny deviceAny devicePlays only on iPads and new Mac computers
Quizzes...Great and keeps track of individualsGreat but hard to keep track of individualsVery limited—best done by linking out to Moodle or Google formOkay but doesn't keep track of individuals
Video...Embeds fineEmbeds fineLink out to video—very hard to embedEmbed or include
Photo galleries...Link out to FlickrGreat galleriesOne photo at a timeGreat galleries
Made on...Any computerAny computerKeynote for macs. Ideally Indesign ($20/month) for PCs, but possible to do with Microsoft Office. You also need Acrobat Pro ($120).iBooks Author, only on macs
If you change each week...Changes are instantaneousChanges are instantaneousTell students to upload new version, but their notes stay with old versionIn principle, you can push changes if it is in iBookstore
Annotations...Almost imposibleAlmost impossibleSuperb—you can even write on itHighlighting and stickys
Design...Difficult to changeDifficult to changeThe sky is the limit, but takes expertiseVery good options, though not unlimited.
Faculty authors who are pursuing other containers (Kindle, ePub, etc.) for publishing additional versions of their eTexts should provide us with feedback on the benefits and limiations of those options.