1 Ecole Centrale de Nantes (FRANCE)
2 Audencia (FRANCE)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 7926-7933
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
The “eZoomBook” project is a blended-learning pedagogy for the promotion of reading through the structuring and development of “multi-scale” documentation: the “eZoomBook” platform makes it possible to create interactive documents leading to the creation of multiple abridged versions of a given document. This is achieved through a Wiki-like collaborative system of construction. The educational perspectives of eZoomBook are highlighted by a range of experiments carried out at Ecole Centrale de Nantes, mainly one involving high school students who were tutored by engineering students.

The eZoomBook platform allowed us to implement innovative pedagogies made possible by the platform’s unique features, including:
- a range of functionalities enabling users to create enriched documents, select quotes, write up summary lines and produce a multiple-scale document called eZoomBooks,
- an elegant facebook-like organization for the forming of groups,
- a user-friendly publishing and distribution system,
- a range of collaborative tools (for the sharing of documents)
- multiple connections to given databases (private and public resources)
The purpose of our workshops was to help French high school students – who had never read a book in English – improve their language and reading skills through the creation of a library of crowd-sourced eZoomBooks.

Our successive experimentations, with various groups of students – including the “BRIO” experimentation covered by FR3 television – show how our platform and its associated blended learning pedagogies have the potential to stimulate readers to read above their level, even when reading is practiced in a foreign language – as was the case with our “BRIO” students.

Our “BRIO” students are part of an equal opportunity program – they are upper secondary school students tutored by university students. In our eZoomBook workshops, we set our French “BRIO” students an unprecedented challenge: reading a full book in English! For them the difficulty was both in the language and the motivation to read a full book.

We wanted to enhance their reading motivation by the collaborative creation of “eZoomBooks” on the platform, that is through allowing our contributors to customize the length of documents and provide the end-user (i.e., their classmates and potential readers on the platform) with the means to “zoom in” or “zoom out” of the original document, thus giving readers a choice to read either the full version (always present on the platform) or modified shorter versions that contributors create using the eZoomBook tool and methodology.

Our experiment showed high outcomes in student performance and motivation, with 80% of the students giving an “excellent” or “good” rating to the project (see attached student survey). The eZoomBook project-based pedagogy has led us to reflect on blended learning as well as the balance between e-learning/classroom learning and collaborative/individual work. The eZoomBook platform is undergoing further development and it is now accessible to a community of researchers. Their input opens new perspectives for linking our new eZoomBook tool with the range of ICT-in-Education tools (Intranet, blogs, etc.) as well as existing open-learning platforms.