The growth in popularity of interactive eBooks is one of the most significant trends in the publishing industry. Though eBooks may have started as PDF versions of physical books, their interactive features have established their identity as a unique learning tool.
Global revenues generated by the eBook segment are forecast to increase by $1.2 billion between 2023 and 2027. By 2027, the eBook market will be valued at $15.3 billion.
Today, eBooks are available across many genres, such as fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books. The education sector is also tapping into the potential of eBooks to add value across various levels of education. Publishers are leveraging the advantages of digital textbook platforms like KITABOO to produce high-quality interactive eTextbooks.
Let’s understand the value of interactive eBooks and how publishers can produce and distribute effective, quality products in this category.
Table Of Contents
- Design element
- Learning approach
- Building Accessibility
- Additional functionalities
- Reduces Learning Barriers
- Enables Collaborative Learning
- Introducing Interactive Assessments
- Allows Tracking of Content Engagement
- Safeguards Publisher Revenues
What are Interactive eBooks?
Early PDF-format eBooks integrated text, images, and hyperlinks. On the other hand, interactive eBooks are more dynamic as they include several touchpoints that audiences can interact with – from videos and slideshows to podcasts and GIFs.
In a way, interactive eBooks are reinventing the traditional reading experience by making interactivity a key focus area and increasing engagement. Interactive eBooks are now used in education to build learner engagement and effectiveness.
Let’s understand how they compare with physical textbooks.
Interactive eBooks vs Physical Textbooks
Interactive eBooks are gradually replacing traditional physical textbooks at every level of education. Let’s understand some key differences between the two formats.
Besides text, a physical textbook consists of static supplementary content like formulae, images, tables, etc. On the other hand, interactive eBooks integrate text, images, videos, audio representations, infographics, virtual reality presentations, animation, interactive quizzes, and more.
The cost of printing physical textbooks is significantly higher due to the effort and time involved in the publishing process, the cost of physical distribution, and the rising costs of paper. On the other hand, eBooks are much more cost-effective to produce, market, and distribute.
Reading is the primary mode of engagement when navigating physical textbooks. However, not all learners retain knowledge effectively through this method. Interactive eBooks provide alternative modes of engagement. For instance, learners can listen to audio representations, watch videos that simplify concepts, and revise through quizzes. Hence, learners can learn through their preferred mode of engagement.
Interactive eBooks have accessibility features to provide equal education opportunities to learners with disabilities or restrictions. Important features include alt-text for images, video and audio transcriptions, metadata tagging, text-to-speech, bookmarking, annotations, text highlighting, screen readers, voice recognition, and easy font size adjustment.
eBooks come with additional functionalities to enhance the learning experience, including the following:
- Search and highlight content
- Optimization across all devices
- Connectedness to related concepts across the web
- The ability to participate in collaborative learning
Physical textbooks possess none of these functionalities.
Physical textbooks are heavy, and learners struggle to transport them, especially school-going learners. Interactive eBooks are stored on the cloud or your device. Hence, they can be accessed anytime, anywhere, without needing to lug them around.
Benefits of eBooks in the Education Sector
Here is a look at how high-quality interactive eBooks can transform the learning experience and make it more inclusive and engaging.
Reduces Learning Barriers
The traditional education system is fraught with geographical, language, accessibility, and learning barriers. Interactive eBooks eliminate several of these barriers in one stroke. For instance, eBooks are ideal for virtual learning for those with mobility or location challenges.
The accessibility features of interactive eBooks bridge gaps for learners with disabilities and learning challenges. They also allow publishing in languages where the script flows from right to left, thus opening up learning to speakers of those languages.
Enables Collaborative Learning
Various functionalities of interactive eBooks allow teachers to nurture a collaborative learning culture. For instance, users can highlight specific sections of the book and leave comments for students, and vice versa. They can also easily connect students to related content and walk them through multimedia learning experiences.
Introducing Interactive Assessments
eBooks feature interactive assessments at regular intervals. Learners can test their knowledge after smaller chunks of learning activity before moving on to more complex concepts. This testing approach encourages self-evaluation and builds more accountability into the learning journey.
Allows Tracking of Content Engagement
Publishers can access real-time data to gauge the effectiveness of their eBook content. They can receive insights into the following:
- Number of users engaging with content
- Time spent on the eBook
- Time spent on all pieces of content
- Time logged in and logged out
- Which content formats are popular, and vice-versa?
- What are learners searching for?
Safeguards Publisher Revenues
Publishers can also use a digital rights management system by leveraging digital textbook platforms like KITABOO to create, publish, and disseminate interactive eBooks safely. Such a system allows publishers to offer access to authorized users only, thus safeguarding revenues. It is also relatively more challenging to plagiarize eBooks, thus allowing publishers to reap the full monetary benefit of their efforts.
Interactive eBooks demonstrate great potential to enhance learning effectiveness when used in the context of education.
For instance, a research project indicated that a cohort of 59 students who used an interactive eBook registered a mean score of 81.69 in the given assessment. On the other hand, a cohort of 59 students who did not have access to the interactive eBook registered a mean score of just 64.75. As the study indicates, high-quality interactive eBooks have the potential to create a strong impact in driving learning outcomes.
Publishers in the K12 domain and beyond can consider partnering with a technology specialist to access the right technology to grow their educational eBooks vertical and drive growth.
Education publishers leverage state-of-the-art cloud-based digital textbook platforms like KITABOO to create, publish, distribute, and market interactive eBooks to their audiences worldwide.
To know more, write to us at KITABOO@hurix.com.
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