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EBONI's guidelines for best practice in electronic book design comprise the results of a series of evaluations of a variety of electronic books. To provide cohesiveness to the project, a general methodology (or "Ebook Evaluation Model") was developed, and was implemented in varying degress by each experiment to ensure that the results of each evaluation were comparable at some level. This comprised various options for selecting material and participants and described the different tasks and evaluation techniques which can be employed in an experiment. See "Electronic textbooks: a methodology", presented at ECDL 2001, for an outline of the model (available in HTML or PowerPoint).

Examples of EBONI's evaluations include:

These textbooks differ markedly in their appearance, and the study aimed to find which styles and techniques are most effective in enabling students to find the information they require, and to record students’ subjective satisfaction with each book.

Photos of the devices used are available here.

  • A comparison of three electronic encyclopaedias: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Columbia Encyclopaedia, and Encarta. Versions of these are freely available online; again, they differ greatly in the styles and techniques they use to present information.

  • An evaluation of Hypertext in Context by Cliff McKnight, Andrew Dillon and John Richardson. This textbook was compared in three formats: print, the original electronic version on the Web, and a second electronic version, revised according to John Morkes and Jakob Nielsen’s guidelines for “scannability”. These guidelines suggest that the usability of Web publications can be increased by up to 50% by altering the appearance of electronic text so that it uses extra headings, large type, bold text, highlighted text, bulleted lists, graphics and captions and so on. They were implemented on an electronic textbook in the WEB Book experiment with some success, and were applied again here so that more detailed conclusions could be drawn.

EBONI home pageProject staff, Management and Steering Group detailsOverview of the projectProposal, progress reports, minutes and articlesCatalogue of online learning and teaching resourcesLinks to electronic book-related resources

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