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Our Blog - Ebooks, Interoperability and Assessments

Are eBooks taking over from printed media? this paper looks at various at various statistics relating to eBooks usage in an educational or learning environment.

Interoperability and eBooks: Examining Assessment and Tool Delivery

Part 1 - 31 Jan 2017 - By Nikolas Stratis

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The following article is the literature review for one of our latest research undertakings involving the distribution of educational eBooks with interoperable assessment content.


EBooks are here to stay, the last decade has seen an exponential growth in the usage of eBooks for recreation and a growing trend in delivering educational interactive content via an eBook context.

The direction of eBooks and their employment for more complex scenarios of academic engagement leads to queries relating to the status of eBooks and their comparison to applications and platforms. The emerging standards have purpose to combat requirements for delivering complex interoperable tools and assessments to students undertaking studies and learning courses across a variety of a curriculum stages.

Identifying these standards and the potential growth of eBooks for more varied learning scenarios is the focus of this review. Evaluating the previous trends and current perceptions for pedagogical fulfilment when delivering content via eBooks and the unrelenting dissemination of printed media in favour of the more versatile and portable e-formats embodies the core drive for this study.


The purpose of this literature review is to provide a brief overview of the use of eBooks in education and a comparison of statistical data relating to the use of eBooks by teachers, researchers and students. The goal is to understand the direction and utilization of more complex interactive eBooks for the delivery of educational tools and assessment material and the future direction for the inclusion of such technologies when delivering pedagogical requirements.

Many academic librarians today have very ambitious goals to provide their users with effective access to eBooks. EBooks, it is recognized, can give researchers and students the information they need whenever they need it and wherever they are. [5]

The rise in popularity of eBooks walks hand in hand with the emergence of the mobile and portable device market, supplying light weight tablets and smart phones that can hold many Gigabits of information. However the love of printed media still plays a significant role in the scope for delivering eLearning content. The emergence of specifications such as EDUPUB drive the usage of books for assessment, complex interactions and tool delivery. This is not, however, without limitations and boundaries raising concerns for the cognitive results of delivering content via these means.

W. Kraan (2014) When does a book become a platform. Elaborates on the complexities and divergence between eBooks and standardized Digital Learning Objects which may be deployed to Learning Management Systems. The demands of forthcoming eBook standards offers additional sufferings for publishers of eLearning content with extensive technical requirements for distributable formats of their interactive digital publications.

Studies have shown that the rise of eBooks is predominantly based on the usage by the younger generation of readers, where the majority of older readers prefer printed media. EBooks live in the online space where students spend very large amounts of time. [5]

This emphasises the acceptance of the younger generation to engage with more modern technologies and their usage proliferation of these technologies when undertaking Learning courses for academic purposes. Within commercial industries the employment of such advancements in technology may be slower in adoption given the diverse age range of individuals within the given arenas.

The cognitive and pedagogical concerns for learning contribute to current debates as to the effectiveness of eLearning media when correlated against the printed book. It’s different when you read a book. When you read a physical book, or you read an e-book, the physical experience of reading that book is different. It looks different. It feels different. It even smells different. [27]