E. Guler, C. Guler, S. Gumus

Anadolu University, Open Education Faculty (TURKEY)
Nowadays, technological advances have an influence on every field of our life. As a result of this influence, the publishing field is developing rapidly too. The shelf life of books has become shorter, and the contents start to be renewed within a few years. The publishing is passing from published environments into digital environments. E-learning environments have started the use of interactive books. With books provided in the e-learning environment, updates can be made quickly. Within e-book, video, sound, animation, simulation, game, assessment tools can be integrated. With multiple environment objects added, books turn into interactive e-books. There are a lot of advantages provided by interactive e-books. These are: portability, simplicity, interactivity, readability, updateability, durability, accessibility, ability to be personalized.

Organizations providing traditional open and distance educations, such as Open University-England and Anadolu University-Turkey, produce and distribute millions of printed education materials to the students each year. The information changes rapidly even before the production and distribution phases. The process of printed book production and distribution to large masses seem to be very costly for organizations.

In order for interactive e-books to be attractive, effective and productive for e-learning environment, the books should be formatted differently from the book printing format. Designed software is of great importance for organizations willing to form contents of interactive e-books in the production process to be printed. Shall interactive e-books be provided from mobile equipment or desktop equipment? These questions should be answered. Interactive e-books design softwares having various characteristics can be chosen to make an environment independent production in a very short period of time. Technical infrastructure sufficiency of an organization is important for choosing softwares to be used. Choosing softwares suitable for education material to be produced and e-learning design will increase productivity. Interactivity tools used in the production process, printout types, file size, production period are of great importance in terms of educational organizations.

Nowadays, two popular kinds of software are used in interactive e-book design. These softwares are Apple iBooks Author and Adobe InDesign, and tools provided. These softwares have both advantages and disadvantages.

The purpose of this study is to introduce results of this assessment work comparing tools developing the contents quickly in accordance with the needs of ODL providers. In this study, softwares that can be used in production of interactive e-books in e-learning environments shall be compared, and their priority/limitedness shall be assessed. At the same time, interactivity types provided by software and interactivity production process shall be investigated. This comparison shall be made in accordance with printout types, technical competence need, cost, ease of use and publishing environment criteria. This information shall be analyzed in accordance with tool assessment information obtained from five independent assessors.

This study shall guide those, who wish to produce digital publishing for e-learning environments, in making a choice in accordance with their needs. This presentation can be useful for those, who will prepare interactive e-books for e-learning environments.