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Evaluating electronic textbooks: a methodology Ruth Wilson and Monica Landoni ECDL 2001 5 th September 2001 The Visual Book The WEB Book EBONI’s methodology for evaluating electronic textbooks Outline

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slide1
Evaluating electronic textbooks: a methodology

Ruth Wilson and Monica Landoni

ECDL 2001

5th September 2001

outline
The Visual Book

The WEB Book

EBONI’s methodology for evaluating electronic textbooks

Outline
the visual book
Studied the application of the paper book metaphor to the design and production of electronic books

Found that users were able to rely on their experience with paper books to interact with the electronic book.

The Visual Book
the web book
Focused on the impact of appearance on the usability of textbooks on the Web.

Comparison of two versions of a textbook chapter:

Original version: very plain, one “page” per chapter, basic use of hyperlinks.

Revised, “scannable” version: chapter divided between 10 “pages”, heavier use of hyperlinks, extra headings, indented lists, coloured keywords.

Revised version was 92% more usable.

The WEB Book
eboni aims
EBONI aims to:

Evaluate the different approaches to the design of electronic textbooks

Identify and report on the individual requirements of students and academics in learning and teaching using electronic textbooks

Compile and promote a set of best practice guidelines for the publication of electronic textbooks

EBONI: aims
experiments psychology web books
Peter Kaiser. The Joy of Visual Perception. http://www.yorku.ca/eye/thejoy.htm

Eric Chudler. Neuroscience for Kids. http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/neurok.html

C. Robin Timmons and Leonard W. Hamilton. Drugs, Brains and Behaviour. http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~lwh/drugs/

Experiments:psychology Web books
experiments hypertext in context
Cliff McKnight, Andrew Dillon and John Richardson. Hypertext in Context.

Print

Original electronic version

Revised electronic version

Experiments:Hypertext in Context
experiments commercial formats
Rosa Ainley (ed.). New Frontiers of Space…

MobiPocket Reader

Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader

Microsoft Reader

Paperback

Experiments:commercial formats
experiments portable ebooks
HP Jornada

Franklin eBookMan

PalmPilot

Rocket eBook

Softbook

Experiments:portable ebooks
ebook evaluation model
Selection of material

Selection of participants

Selection of tasks

Scavenger hunt, memory tasks, high cognitive skill tasks

Selection of evaluation techniques

Questionnaires, observation, think-aloud, interviews

Ebook evaluation model
selection of material 1
Electronic books offer a diverse array of

material for evaluation:

Hardware devices, e.g. REBs, eBookMan, goReader

Ebook reader software, e.g. Microsoft Reader, Adobe Acrobat Ebook Reader

“Web books”

Selection of material (1)
selection of material 2
EBONI aims to identify design techniques which maximise information intake by users, in order to provide guidance to creators of digitised educational material.

Texts can be compared according to three parameters:

Format

Content

Medium

Selection of material (2)
selection of actors
Four main roles can be distinguished:

Participant

Evaluator

Task developer

Task assessor

Selection of actors
selection of tasks
Tasks are a way of bringing together participants and the test material in a structured manner. Three types are suggested:

“Scavenger Hunts”, or retrieval tasks

Memory tasks

High cognitive skill tasks

Selection of tasks
selection of evaluation techniques
Qualitative feedback can be obtained via:

Subjective satisfaction questionnaires

Behaviour observation

Think-alouds

Interviews

Selection of evaluation techniques
slide18
Technique complexity

Study X

Interviews

Think-aloud

Covert observation

WEB Book

Questionnaires

Task

complexity

Scavenger hunt

Memory tasks

High cognitive skill tasks

guidelines
Sophisticated experiments can be “mapped” to simple experiments.

Results of all evaluations will be comparable at some level.

Results will feed into a set of best practice guidelines for producing electronic textbooks.

Guidelines
contact details
Ruth Wilson: [email protected]

EBONI Web site: http://eboni.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/

To join the EBONI mailing list, follow the instructions at: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/open-eboni.html

Contact details
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