Seeing as the iBooks author is so good for the making of textbooks that can be used for study purposes, it is good to see that Apple put in the interactive widget that allows you to add review questions. The way that this works, is that at the end of a chapter or section you can add a widget that allows you to ask questions about the content of that chapter or section. It is kind of like a little test for the reader of the book. The questions can be multiple choice and work with images as well as text.
There are a couple of ways of using images with the questions, it could be that the images are used to give the reader a hint of what the correct answer is. On the other hand it is possible to set it so that the reader has to decide which picture is the correct answer for the question that is given. Whichever way you go about doing this, the questions are not going to be terribly hard and are really there, only just to aid the movement of the information into long-term memory. The user is not given a punishment for getting too many wrong answers.
A better learning experience with teacher created iBooks
One of the really interesting things about using iBooks is that if you’re not going to sell the iBook, that is you are going to give it away, it is perfect for a teacher to use iBooks author to create iBooks that are only going to be used within their own class room. With this in mind, the teacher can be really specific in terms of the review questions that are asked at the end of the section or chapter. What would be really nice and handy would be if it was possible in a future version that readers would have to again a certain level in order to be able to move forward to the next chapter.
Configuring your questions and answers
If you are using images within the questions, then all you have to do is to drag and drop the images where you want them. Whether you’re working with images or text answers, it is possible for you to set them up so that there is more than one correct answer to the question. This makes the test a little bit more interesting as you will be wanting to make the reader do some thinking rather than just guessing, as you can so easily, when you are doing multiple-choice.
Using the touch screen facilities for a better review section
I quite like the questions where you have to drag a label onto a target. This is quite good as the user of the test doesn’t have to do any writing. It is perfectly possible to have for example, an image with three things within the image and the user has to attach the label to the correct place. It is very easy for the reader of your iBook to get through and finish a test like this. The idea is really just so that they should know that they have understood a sufficient amount of the content. There is also a similar type of review question where images have to be dragged on top of other images.
Books created by iBooks Author a perfect fit for education
These review questions that you can add by means of the widgets available in iBooks author, are just part of the complete package that you get with using electronic books for your teaching or learning experience. It has to be much better than the old dead tree version of textbooks. Even though you can’t take a pen and write in the margins you do still have the ability to create notes that will apply to a specific part of the text. The whole of the book is searchable, which is better than just having an ordinary book with its table of contents and perhaps an index at the rear. I am honestly quite surprised that this change to electronic books is not happening faster. Of course part of problem is that there is more than one format for electronic books. Publishers don’t want to let go of the system that they have at present, but in the end I think they will be unable to stop progress from happening.
Is an electronic book harder to read?
Electronic books are not for everybody, only yesterday I spoke to a student that was getting all excited over the arrival of some old-fashioned textbooks. I asked her which she not rather have a books for her learning. Despite her dad being a geek, she told me that she liked to have books, has she found them easier to read. I will have to have a talk with her again and point out more of the benefits of electronic books