Page 40 - Campus Technology, October/November 2018
P. 40

classes will be the first four sections listed with a big font that says an Apple device is required. Another goal is to develop a blended modality version of the course (an on- line course with required real-time, face-to-face sessions).
iComp was created in Apple’s iBooks Author, with tools such as Adobe’s Premiere and After Effects used to en- hance and edit video clips and Apple’s Keynote used to create interactive widgets.
The project team acknowledged that there are pros and cons to developing in an Apple-only environment. “The overarching con is that you can only engage on a Mac or iOS device in the fully interactive way,” LeMar said. And the advantages? “Basically everything else,” he said. “There is not a better e-book development platform out there. Nothing else allows you to incorporate audio and video so seamlessly,” he added. “It has great built-in features such as a popup glossary.”
The college is still working through whether to remain Apple-centered or become more device-agnostic.
The project required the e-book authors and instruc- tional technology staff to work through several issues on the fly. There were questions about permissions, intellec- tual property and royalties. “The biggest one for us was realizing that writing a textbook is different than writing an assignment or course notes,” Lakostik said. “Working with the instructional designers, we had to become the subject- matter experts and get their help in how best to explain the concepts. We had to negotiate roles and advocate for the importance of the project. It got changed several times,
and we wanted to see it through and have enough time to do it the way we wanted to do it.”
From the instructional design side, iComp was an interesting project be- cause it was the only e-book the team had worked on that involved four au- thors, each with their own chapter and own unique voice, LeMar said. But both the authors and design- ers described being surprised by the amount of work it took to see some of the digital learning objects from concept to completion. The process included composing multiple drafts of scripts and storyboards, searching for licensed images, recording audio and video, and editing and combining raw footage.
Now CSCC, which had never
before published a book, is working
through other logistical issues. The team’s intent is to have the iComp book available in the Apple iBooks store this autumn. It is not clear what the price point is going to be or whether it is going to remain free for students. “We are working through the nuances of requiring it for a course, and what it means for financial aid and for the bookstore,” LeMar said. “There are a lot of moving parts.”
Assessing the impact of the iComp book on student writ-
ing also may be difficult. “We try to have them be reflective about their work. When they submit commentary about the challenges they faced, what they learned and their writing process, we can glean a bit from that,” Lakostik said. “We did surveys of students at the midterm and end of semester and asked if this was helping their writing. The results were positive, but it was a small sample size.”
The iComp e-book features interactive widgets, videos and other multimedia elements.
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | October/November 2018
David Raths is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia.

   38   39   40   41   42