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Best Practices: Book Resource

Best Practice Scenarios

Books are useful for displaying content that is lengthy, in-depth, and may be broken down into sections. The following scenarios showcase different ways that the Book resource may be used in your course site. For each scenario start by Adding a book. 

Scenario 1: Organize Course Administration/Texts

Instead of using the front page of your course site as a repository for all of your course information, you can utilize the book resource as a way of creating a single portal to a group of related information. For example, a common way of relaying information related to a course’s administration is for instructors to add labels to the top section of their course site in order to list information, such as office hours, contact details, course objectives, and a link to the syllabus.  This information is ideally suited for the Book Resource, which utilizes a chapter/subchapter structure to format related information.

Just as a course’s administrative information is easily structured into a book’s chapters, course reading material may be easily managed through a single book. Using the book’s chapter/subchapter structure, an instructor may use the chapters to organize reading materials by the calendar (e.g., week 1, week 2) or by the subject matter being covered (e.g., Leadership in Organizations, Crisis Communication). Links to readings are created by clicking the Link icon.  

Then add a URL for an article or upload one from your files in the Create link pop-up. 

Tip: You can link to activities, such as quizzes and assignments, within your own course site using this feature. To do this, copy the URL for the activity or resource you would like to link and paste it into the Enter a URL box. 

Scenario 2: Flipped Classrooms

For instructors utilizing a flipped classroom model in their course, the book resource is a convenient way to organize course material, such as lecture videos, readings, online assignments and quizzes, etc., that students must attend to outside of class. For instance, chapters may be used to divide the information and activities by topic, while the subchapters can be used to organize material within each topic.

The book enables instructors to embed instructional videos directly into the book’s page, keeping students on the course site as they do their outside coursework. To embed a video into a book you will need to copy html code into your book. Follow these instructions for embedding a video from YouTube into your Book.

  1. Copy the embed html code from the YouTube video (found on the YouTube site where the video is hosted).
  2. Enter the book in which you would like to embed video.
  3. Turn editing on from the Book’s Administration block.
  4. Click the edit (gear) icon of the chapter in which you would like to embed video.
  5. Click the HTML icon and place your cursor where you would like the embedded video to be placed within the content box.
  6. Paste the copied embed html code.

  7. Click Save changes.

Scenario 3: Student-Generated Content

In some situations you may want students to contribute content to a shared resource, or you may want to display student work in one easy to navigate location. The Book tool provides a good structure for compiling student work, however, as a default the book is not editable by students*. This means that if you use the book to compile student-generated content, then the instructor or students with the "editing TA" role will need to paste the student generated content into the book. Basically, the book module acts as an official place for the final edited drafts.

In order to compile students' work, you will need to create the book and chapter/subchapter structure first. Next, you will need to copy the student work from wherever they are working. Students cannot edit book pages, so it doesn't matter where the students create their drafts. The students might use a wiki you create for them within GauchoSpace or Google Docs to create their drafts, either individually or in groups.

You will want to copy from the HTML editor, which allows you to copy and paste everything at the code level. If you are copying from a workspace within GauchoSpace (e.g., the wiki) then you can access the HTML for the page with this button.

Students may save a copy of their work, or even the whole book, by accessing the Administration block on the side of the screen and clicking Print Book or Print This Chapter. This enables you and your students to print the book or specific chapters, either on paper or as a PDF to save it as a portfolio piece.

*Certain capabilities enable users to add non-checked files and HTML code containing JavaScript etc. This may be misused for cross-site scripting (XSS) purposes, with the potential to gain full admin access. These capabilities are intended for administrators and teachers only.

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