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Interactive Textbook: 1245433

Principal Investigator: C. Clemens
CoPrincipal Investigator(s): Bart Snapp, James Fowler, R. Brian Stone
Organization: Ohio State University

This project is providing open-source tools for converting LaTeX documents into interactive course materials. For students, who are now surrounded by interactive media, such materials are increasing demand for active learning and are leading to gains in educational outcomes. For researchers, the platform is providing quantitative data addressing the ongoing debate between pure and guided discovery and the debate over the effectiveness of inquiry-based and constructivist pedagogy. Since many STEM researchers and STEM educators are comfortable with using the near-ubiquitous markup language LaTeX, this project is making it possible for these content experts to broadly disseminate their scientific understanding and engaging course materials in a compelling and interactive way.

The project is enhancing the infrastructure for research and education. For example, using the platform, a researcher is able to measure exactly how much time and in what way a student engages with the various components of an interactive activity. From this data, the researcher is gaining insight into student learning, while the content author is receiving valuable feedback about what activities are particularly effective.

The project is being evaluated from the point-of-view of an industrial or UX (user experience) designer, addressing questions of author and student experience. The resulting content authoring tools are available as open-source software on the web. To ensure broad dissemination and to increase user expertise, a five-day workshop is providing training to content authors.

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