Tagged: ebooks

iBooks, look and feel and marketing

We had a really productive meeting with UCS Marketing the other day, where we walked through our e(i)book design, and discussed (when compared to other UK HE offerings) are there any branding considerations? The answer was to look at branding the front cover, and using the UCS Web Publishing Guidelines for fonts and colours. So, this make this part nice and straight forward.

The next stage is to review a number of Open University ebooks on the iStore / iTunesU to inform our good practice design ideas around layout, and user guidance. I’m hoping to have this review completed by 6th August.

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Feedback on i(e)book design

Firstly, a thanks to those who downloaded the i(e)book I mentioned previously and fed back their thoughts. It seemed to have been well received and respondents thought it was engaging, especially around the level of control and the good use of audio and images. Someone mentioned they liked the conversations with experienced staff, and the use of instructional videos.

A few pointers to bring into the second version is to

  • make the audio more consistent, as the volume changed depending on the piece. This is not a surprise as they were recorded on different devices, in different places at different times. Oh, to have an AV room 🙂
  • make the videos (annotated talk over powerpoints) larger so the material is easier to read. In fact, I should include instructions on how to display the video full screen.
  • the use of interactive questions seemed to create problems. Especially, around the click here for more feedback. To be honest, it would be really useful if they rolled feedback options into the question. However, given the constraints, I look at the page design and instruction information.

Thanks again … really useful feedback 🙂

Enhancing the learning design (or maybe just the interactivity) in our (proof of concept) ebook

As mentioned in a previous post, we have been exploring the potential use of ebooks to distribute content and integrate the learning activities with our institutional  learning platforms. The intention is the ebook will provide an active learning space which is feedback intensive which the student can access anywhere, while the reflective and collaborative learning will be focused around the ePortfolio or VLE.

The latest version (iPad), for testing is available from:

The questions I’m particularly interested in finding answers:

  1. Could you explain how engaging you found this ibook?
  2. How intuitive did you find the navigation?
  3. In terms of the functionality and interactivity, what did you like?
  4. In terms of the functionality and interactivity, what didn’t you like?
  5. In terms of the functionality and interactivity, how might we improve this resource?

If you’d like to be involved and input your thoughts, the online form is available from

kindle: the start of the journey

Well, the Elevate Team are the proud owners of a new kindle – the reason for purchasing one is because of the growing interest in from our distance learners, library etc., around e-books. For me, the key scenario would include;

a chapter reviews, where I have a key recommended text, which I’m reading, bookmarking and making notes on. I then want to share these with others in my group (using a google doc) to develop a critique as a piece of work to be submitted. So, w.r.t a kindle, how do I do this? will it let me do this?

The baby is charging on my desk, so the next step is to start working out how to take notes, annotations, and upload these to share learning spaces.

Also, I’d like to undertake a old fashioned desk study and identify how have people been using Kindles in learning and teaching?