An interactive textbook combines content found in traditional, paper-based textbooks with the activelearning components possible in an electronic environment. With interactive textbooks, it is possible for students to gain immediate feedback on problem-solving exercises and to take advantage of other forms of active learning. Interactive textbooks represent an opportunity to expand, explore, and capitalize on new ways to interact with information.

Six key issues exist regarding interactive textbooks: social, legal, pedagogical, economic, technical, and content.


Interactive textbooks constitute a considerable challenge to existing norms of authoring, publication, and use of texts. No innovation is easily adopted as a replacement for a known technology. Some of the social barriers to the adoption of interactive textbooks include:

  • Not used to it—For example, an instructor might not assign an interactive ...
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