How to create an Interactive eBook for training - the eWorkbook

Insights Blog How to create an Interactive eBook for training - the eWorkbook

As instructor led training moves online using Zoom, Teams or Connect, then there is a need created for supporting materials supplied electronically. Support materials that can be read offline as well as online outside the training course.

The easiest route is a PDF file. The principle problem of course is the protection of intellectual property from unauthorised copying and sharing. The solution for this is DRM (digital rights management) -  a system for protecting an eBook in conjunction with the eReader software. The DRM protected eBook can be distributed to learners via email with access via password. This can support the training the same way as a printed book.

The benefit of the printed book is that it can be more than just a text book, it can also be a workbook. The learner using the workbook to write in, answer questions, complete profiles, and engage with the book to develop a personal handbook for future use. The workbook is not only part of the instructor led course but becomes an extension of it and a future personalised reference. In this world of Zoom and Teams the question is how to replicate the printed workbook electronically – the eWorkbook if you will. Enter the electronic version using ePub3 interactive file formats.


ePub 3 Interactivity creates the eWorkbook

So how can you increase interactivity in your eBook? Here are some of the elements available to you via the Epub3 format.

               Questions: Enhance the learning experience by inserting questions into the workbook so that the delegate can test their understanding with interactive answers which can lead them straight to the chapters they seem to be having difficulties with.

Multiple choice questions, drag and drop or free form answers can be completed on the page and saved for future reference. And by giving instant feedback on questions via a pop up, the book can guide the learning.


Interactive eBook questions
Interactive eBook answers in pop up

Video and Audio: the Epub3 file allows the embedding of video within the book. Not just a link to a You Tube site but embedded video. This means that once downloaded via an App the video can be viewed off line. Of course links to other websites can also be embedded in the text to allow extended reading or reference.

Images with Detailing and Popups: images can be made interactive using ‘hotspots’ areas on a diagram which allow for popups and explanations. The result is movement and engagement on even the simplest diagram.

interactive ePub3 file

Forms: As well as using questions for delegates to create and save answers, forms can be created for submission to an email address. This can be done without leaving the ePub3 eWorkbook. This could be the submission of answers to a tutor or perhaps the course evaluation form submitted to a central repository

Interactive eBook form

The whiteboard: As well as being able to type directly onto the page it is possible to create whiteboard areas where the delegate can draw directly on to the page, using the mouse or. Or in the case of a touch sensitive screen, the finger or stylus.  This could be a free hand drawing on to a completely blank area or drawing over an image/matrix/diagram.

interactive eBook whiteboard

All of this interactivity is available via the ePub3 format – good news!. However, whilst some of the interactivity elements are straight forward most require a degree of coding knowledge. This is not a simple case of file conversion from a PDF. The interactive ePub3 needs to be designed from the ground up – but PDI are here to help you create the interactive eWorkbook.

By: David Platt