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Towards making EPUB 3-based e-textBooks a first-class mobile learning environment

Hajar Ghaem Sigarchian (UGent) , Ben De Meester (UGent) , Tom De Nies (UGent) , Ruben Verborgh (UGent) , Frank Salliau (UGent) , Wesley De Neve (UGent) , Erik Mannens (UGent) and Rik Van de Walle (UGent)
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Abstract
Students master courses by interacting with a multitude of learning objects. These interactions may include reading documents, watching explanatory videos, taking notes, completing assignments, and experimenting with physical objects. During these interactions, students often have to switch between different learning environments, including Web browsers, video players, textbooks, and workbooks. By integrating these different environments into a unified learning environment, we can save students' time. Moreover, thanks to an increasing adoption of tablets in schools and universities, we also have the opportunity to deploy this unified learning environment on a single mobile device, thus enabling anytime and anywhere learning. We refer to such a learning environment as a 'first-class' mobile learning environment. In this paper, we empirically investigate to what extent an EPUB 3-based e-TextBook can be used to facilitate a 'first-class' mobile learning environment. To that end, we created an EPUB 3-based prototype e-TextBook that has been enhanced in terms of both its presentation and representation, meeting requirements that are typically ascribed by the literature to mobile learning environments. Specifically, we integrated three interactive widgets into our e-TextBook that are able to (1) exchange information with each other (inter-widget communication) and (2) that are able to semi-automatically create new content (that is, that are able to act as semi-automatic content providers): a report maker widget, a sine formula widget, and a corresponding interactive graph maker widget. In addition, we integrated different types of learning objects into our e-TextBook, including multimedia objects, objects with augmented reality features (i.e., digital objects that allow for interaction with physical objects), and objects that offer contextualized content. Both the widgets and the learning objects can be used within a unified learning environment. Furthermore, we semantically annotated the learning content in order to improve its discoverability. We find that our e-TextBook complies with the requirements found in the literature. Moreover, our e-TextBook makes it possible to provide visual feedback on student actions, thus having positive effects on the learning process. In addition, our e-TextBook mitigates distraction by providing a unified mobile learning environment. Furthermore, the use of EPUB 3 allows for interoperable packaging of semantically annotated learning content. Finally, the use of EPUB 3 paves the way for mobile usage of learning content, and thus for anytime and anywhere learning.
Keywords
EPUB, Mobile Learning Environment, e-TextBook

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MLA
Ghaem Sigarchian, Hajar et al. “Towards Making EPUB 3-based e-textBooks a First-class Mobile Learning Environment.” Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning. NR READING: ACAD CONFERENCES LTD, 2015. 270–278. Print.
APA
Ghaem Sigarchian, H., De Meester, B., De Nies, T., Verborgh, R., Salliau, F., De Neve, W., Mannens, E., et al. (2015). Towards making EPUB 3-based e-textBooks a first-class mobile learning environment. Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning (pp. 270–278). Presented at the 10th International Conference on E-Learning (ICEL), NR READING: ACAD CONFERENCES LTD.
Chicago author-date
Ghaem Sigarchian, Hajar, Ben De Meester, Tom De Nies, Ruben Verborgh, Frank Salliau, Wesley De Neve, Erik Mannens, and Rik Van de Walle. 2015. “Towards Making EPUB 3-based e-textBooks a First-class Mobile Learning Environment.” In Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning, 270–278. NR READING: ACAD CONFERENCES LTD.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Ghaem Sigarchian, Hajar, Ben De Meester, Tom De Nies, Ruben Verborgh, Frank Salliau, Wesley De Neve, Erik Mannens, and Rik Van de Walle. 2015. “Towards Making EPUB 3-based e-textBooks a First-class Mobile Learning Environment.” In Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning, 270–278. NR READING: ACAD CONFERENCES LTD.
Vancouver
1.
Ghaem Sigarchian H, De Meester B, De Nies T, Verborgh R, Salliau F, De Neve W, et al. Towards making EPUB 3-based e-textBooks a first-class mobile learning environment. Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning. NR READING: ACAD CONFERENCES LTD; 2015. p. 270–8.
IEEE
[1]
H. Ghaem Sigarchian et al., “Towards making EPUB 3-based e-textBooks a first-class mobile learning environment,” in Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning, Coll Bahamas, Nassau, BAHAMAS, 2015, pp. 270–278.
@inproceedings{7035042,
  abstract     = {Students master courses by interacting with a multitude of learning objects. These interactions may include reading documents, watching explanatory videos, taking notes, completing assignments, and experimenting with physical objects. During these interactions, students often have to switch between different learning environments, including Web browsers, video players, textbooks, and workbooks. By integrating these different environments into a unified learning environment, we can save students' time. Moreover, thanks to an increasing adoption of tablets in schools and universities, we also have the opportunity to deploy this unified learning environment on a single mobile device, thus enabling anytime and anywhere learning. We refer to such a learning environment as a 'first-class' mobile learning environment. In this paper, we empirically investigate to what extent an EPUB 3-based e-TextBook can be used to facilitate a 'first-class' mobile learning environment. To that end, we created an EPUB 3-based prototype e-TextBook that has been enhanced in terms of both its presentation and representation, meeting requirements that are typically ascribed by the literature to mobile learning environments. Specifically, we integrated three interactive widgets into our e-TextBook that are able to (1) exchange information with each other (inter-widget communication) and (2) that are able to semi-automatically create new content (that is, that are able to act as semi-automatic content providers): a report maker widget, a sine formula widget, and a corresponding interactive graph maker widget. In addition, we integrated different types of learning objects into our e-TextBook, including multimedia objects, objects with augmented reality features (i.e., digital objects that allow for interaction with physical objects), and objects that offer contextualized content. Both the widgets and the learning objects can be used within a unified learning environment. Furthermore, we semantically annotated the learning content in order to improve its discoverability. We find that our e-TextBook complies with the requirements found in the literature. Moreover, our e-TextBook makes it possible to provide visual feedback on student actions, thus having positive effects on the learning process. In addition, our e-TextBook mitigates distraction by providing a unified mobile learning environment. Furthermore, the use of EPUB 3 allows for interoperable packaging of semantically annotated learning content. Finally, the use of EPUB 3 paves the way for mobile usage of learning content, and thus for anytime and anywhere learning.},
  author       = {Ghaem Sigarchian, Hajar and De Meester, Ben and De Nies, Tom and Verborgh, Ruben and Salliau, Frank and De Neve, Wesley and Mannens, Erik and Van de Walle, Rik},
  booktitle    = {Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning},
  isbn         = {978-1-910810-26-2},
  issn         = {2048-8882},
  keywords     = {EPUB,Mobile Learning Environment,e-TextBook},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Coll Bahamas, Nassau, BAHAMAS},
  pages        = {270--278},
  publisher    = {ACAD CONFERENCES LTD},
  title        = {Towards making EPUB 3-based e-textBooks a first-class mobile learning environment},
  year         = {2015},
}

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