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The New E-Textbook: Flipping the Page to a New Paradigm

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Best of Computers in Education Division

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1324.1 - 25.1324.11



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Paper Authors


John Oliver Cristy Virginia Tech

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John Cristy is a master's student at Virginia Tech.

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Joseph G. Tront Virginia Tech

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The New E-textbook: Flipping the Page to the Next ParadigmElectronic textbooks are different from e-books in that they allow the user to go beyond justreading material on a computer screen. E-textbooks allow the user to perform all of theoperations typically performed with a hardcopy text in addition to some functions not possiblewith paper books. With e-textbooks users can annotate in the text with e-ink, mark importantsections, search over the e-ink or the text, look up items in online dictionaries or encyclopedias,perform interactive reinforcement drills, view simulations, and many other operations affordedby the computing power of the underlying computer and the reach of the internet connection.This project works to implement an e-textbook with as much capability as possible usingsoftware tools that are already in place. Although standalone readers have been built, most donot provide the features necessary to improve upon the traditional paper reading experience.Because Microsoft OneNote already implements some of the desired functions of e-textbooks,such as note-taking, and uses book-like document organization, it is a suitable base for this work.To implement the tool, an add-in is built to cause the factory version of OneNote to perform thedesired e-textbook operations. The e-textbook add-in looks to improve OneNote’s capabilities asa reader, especially on tablets and slates, while leaving in place its strengths in note-taking. Theadd-in also looks to simplify the transition from traditional publishing formats to the OneNoteformat.This paper will describe the operation of the new e-textbook, it will discuss the implementationof the e-textbook add-in for OneNote, and it will talk about the user experience for those who usethe tool. We will also provide information on how the effectiveness of the e-textbook will beevaluated in terms of its effectiveness in improving the engineering student study experience.

Cristy, J. O., & Tront, J. G. (2012, June), The New E-Textbook: Flipping the Page to a New Paradigm Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22081

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