An Innovative Approach: Electronic Textbooks By CMS Drupal

An Innovative Approach: Electronic Textbooks By CMS Drupal

Ilko Tsonev Iliev (Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen, Shumen, Bulgaria) and Svetlana Zhelyazkova Vasileva (Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen, Dobrich, Bulgaria)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/ijtem.2014070102
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The Content management systems (CMS) automates and facilitates the process of adding and modifying the contents of the Web sites, organization, control and publication of a large number of documents and other content, such as images and multimedia resources. CMS is attractive for specialists in various fields of human activity who want to publish on the Internet, but have little knowledge in computer programming and web-programming in particular. The article views some opportunities provided by CMS Drupal for designing and making electronic textbooks, in an example of electronic textbook on Spreadsheets.
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Lately there is almost no university, which does not opens majors in distance learning form. It is a fact, that many professors on theirs web sites of the universities continuously publish study materials and teaching aids to help students. In most cases, the published training materials are “static” - as PDF files or text files that have included pictures and charts. But Internet provides many more options than the electronic form of printed books and supplies.

The electronic book, unlike others edition, has the following attractive features (Vul, 2013):

  • A more detailed structure of the course in general and of the content of the course;

  • The course is divided in small blocks (pages);

  • Interactivity - the opportunity to change the presentation of the material depending on the actions of the learner and also the opportunity to change the trajectory of training, user-friendly navigation system, allowing the student easy to “move” in the course;

  • Availability of various illustrations - drawings, pictures, charts, graphs, photo, audio and video fragments, animation and other multimedia applications;

  • Availability of glossary (autonomous reference material) and links to glossary developed for a course separate from its modules;

  • Availability of subsystem and control various practical activities to reinforce the knowledge, self-control and evaluation of the knowledge embedded in the electronic textbook (tests, exercises, creative, individual and group assignments, etc.);

  • Developed system of links (hyperlinks): internal hypertext structure of the theoretical material in the conceptual part of the course (links to definitions) and the logical structure of the exhibition (sequence relationship between the parts); external in the textual material of various electronic text and graphic educational materials and Internet sites: literary and scientific sources, electronic libraries, dictionaries, reference books and other educational and scientific resources available online, including to remote databases, numerous conferences worldwide via the Internet.

There are a huge number of specialized programming environments and applications to create electronic textbooks. In this report, we examine electronic textbooks made on Internet sites. They have the following advantages (Vul, 2013) compared to the printed and the ones distributed through electronic media such as CDs and other media: the possibility to include specific fragments modeling the course of physical and technological processes; the possibility of integration in the textbook of audio files, in particular, the convergence of the process of working with textbooks and listening to lectures of that same professor; the possibility of integration in the textbook fragments of videos to illustrate certain points of the book; incorporation in textbooks interactive fragments to ensure operational dialogue with the learner; full-scale design of multimedia textbooks, including natural language dialogue, organized at the request of the student videoconferences with the authors of textbooks and consultants and others.

All this, plus an extremely wide availability, allows us to develop electronic textbooks realized as web sites on the Internet, using it as a development environment, as well as an environment for distribution and “carrier” of information.


Advantages Of Content Managament Systems

In the last few years, have had appeared a large number of specialized environments for the implementation of electronic textbooks, used mainly by universities e-learning systems. But all of these specialized environments meant for the professors-non programmers are either paid or do not provide opportunities for the manifestation of the creative imagination.

From our experience in the development of training and educational sites (Nikolova, Vasileva & Iliev, 2013) we can conclude the very best opportunities that provide the Content management systems (CMS) for design and realization of electronic textbooks.

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