7 Tips And Tricks To Use eBooks In eLearning
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How To Use eBooks In eLearning

eBooks are portable, printable, and multiplatform-friendly. When they first arrived on the literary scene they were merely electronic copies of the original text. Today, they are fully interactive and immersive, making them a welcome addition to eLearning courses. At a moment’s notice, online learners can download an eBook onto their laptop, tablet, or mobile device in order to explore the subject matter at their leisure. This offers the all-important convenience factor, thereby enhancing their motivation and participation. Here are 7 tips for using eBooks in eLearning.

1. Offer A Variety Of Formats

Online learners are accessing your eLearning course on a broad range of platforms. Therefore, you must offer your eBooks in a variety of different formats. Some eBook publishers prefer ePub, while others use PDF. It's best to survey your audience beforehand to narrow down your list of formats. In addition, research some of the top eBook converters, paying close attention to their supported formats. If you are going to offer your eBook on third-party sites, such as Amazon, then check their guidelines, as well.

2. Add Text-To-Speech Features

The thing that most eBooks lack is immersiveness. Online learners are being asked to simply read about the topic and then let their imagination take over. But that can be challenging for those who aren't creatively-inclined. That's when music becomes a valuable tool. Background audio, sound effects, and even audio narrations can make your eBooks more interactive and engaging. For example, instead of reading about what the eLearning characters are saying, you can offer them voice-acted dialogue. Bear in mind that your online learners are used to technology. It's not uncommon for them to jump into online videos or opt for amazing eLearning games. Thus, static eBooks simply won't suffice. They need to grab your audience's attention and appeal to their senses.

3. Find The Ideal Level Of Interactivity

While we're on the subject, adding interactivity is one of the most effective ways to make your eBook multi-sensory. In particular, it incorporates the all-important tactile elements that online learners crave. Rather than passively observing the subject matter while they read, online learners have the power to dive into the eBook story. They must click on links, drag and drop objects, and take notes in order to complete the in-book eLearning activities. For example, instead of telling them how to complete a task you can incorporate a link to an eLearning simulation. That being said, it's essential to find the ideal level of interactivity. Tech-savvy online learners may love media-rich eLearning activities, but others might just be looking for a good read. Survey your online learners to determine what they need and how you can provide it through your eBook. Pay close attention to their tech experience, knowledge base, and learning preferences.

4. Incorporate Skill-Building eLearning Activities

One of the most significant benefits of using eBooks in eLearning is that they can contain multimedia. eLearning professionals have the ability to incorporate eLearning videos, articles, and other eLearning aids within the document. Likewise, online learners also have the opportunity to upload their own creations based on what they've read. For example, an online learner is able to record a video summarizing the eLearning content to share with their peers. This improves their communication and technical skills, while helping others to enhance their understanding of the topic. In fact, you might even consider creating a social media page for your eBook where online learners can share their insights.

5. Include Links To Online Resources

Your online learners may require more information after reading a section of the eBook. This usually prompts them to scour the internet for helpful eLearning resources. However, you can include links within the eBook itself to make the eLearning process much more convenient. For instance, they can simply click on the link in order to watch a tutorial or read a related news article. You may also include a master resource list at the end for those who want to explore sub-topics. Divide it into categories so that online learners can quickly find the information they need. Also, periodically check your links to ensure that they're still active.

6. Include A Clickable Table Of Contents

This tip applies to all eBooks, no matter the page length. Online learners don't have the time nor patience to skim through the entire eBook looking for key information. As such, you must provide them with a clickable table of contents in the beginning that redirects to individual sections. You can do this by simply creating bookmarks throughout the document that link back to the table. In addition, make sure that all of your pages are clearly numbered and include the chapter heading. Online learners should be able to pause and then return to where they left off with ease.

7. Typography Is Tantamount

Some eBook publishers get creative when choosing their fonts. They opt for fancy typography that adds a certain flair. However, this may actually be doing more harm than good. This is due to the fact that certain fonts are illegible, particularly on smaller screens. For this reason, it's wise to stick with standard font types. Convey your creativity in other areas, such as adding appealing images or borders. If you do want to use non-traditional typography, then only use it in small doses. For example, make the chapter headers stand out or spruce up your table of contents with specialty fonts.

From eReaders to smartphones, eBooks in eLearning are accessible on a broad range of platforms. This makes them ideally suited for tech-savvy online learners who need constant access to information, even when they aren’t connected. Read these 7 tips and tricks to use eBooks in eLearning and create dynamic, interactive, and media-rich "must-reads" for your audience.

Are you new to the world of eLearning? Need to brush up on your ID skills? Check out our library of eLearning eBooks to get tips and insights from the industry’s leading experts.

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