The Ball State Digital Publishing Project to Developing and Distribuing Multiple Media Texts: An Experimental Approach to the Future of the Book

By Jennifer A. George-Palilonis and Brad King.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Computers naturally and easily combine diverse media such as text, graphics, pictures, sound and video. However, interactive multimedia in education is still in stages of early development. Digital technologies have provided unprecedented possibilities for text and image use, which could be evidence that the greatest innovation of the computer and its educational value is its foundation in a visually based thought process.
The true power of interactive media--its ability to be immersive and experiential--necessitates a new way of approaching the development of educational “texts,” one that makes room for multimedia as primary learning materials. Emerging on-demand technologies have removed traditional restrictions for both creating book-quality "texts" which publishers and authors want to sell in campus bookstores, and developing a variety of digital subscription models which enable teachers to build customized, interactive lessons that students can access using multiple mediums (e.g., mobile devices, laptops). When done properly, these emerging on-demand distribution models -- both print and digital -- don't threaten the "text", they enhance its long-term viability by creating flexibility for each portion of the development and distribution chain.
This paper will chronicle the authors' experiences in exploring a variety of digital publishing models for different types of content, including fiction, non-fiction and multimedia texts. One portion of the project involves developing five multimedia prototypes that can be used in college classrooms and take advantage of a number of rich media opportunities, including animated/interactive information graphics, audio and video clips, still photography and traditional text-driven material presented in a more non-linear form.
We will explore how this kind of content is best designed, packaged and distributed through an on-demand publishing model. We will test these models through comparative learning research and develop a suite of publishing models that can serve as the foundation for a digital university press.

Keywords: Multimedia, Digital Publishing, Eletronic Texts, Animated Graphics, Experiential Learning, Interactive Learning

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.63-70. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 801.367KB).

Jennifer A. George-Palilonis

Journalism Graphics Sequence Coordinator, Journalism Department, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA

George-Palilonis teaches courses in graphics reporting, multimedia storytelling and media convergence. She began her career as a news designer for the Detroit Free Press in 1996. She went on to be the Deputy News Design Director at the Chicago Sun-Times in 1999. She has been teaching since 2001 and has spoken at more than 30 conferences and seminars. Her research interests include visual rhetoric, multimedia storytelling, media convergence and digital publishing. She has a Masters Degree from Ball State in Composition and Rhetoric and a Bachelor's in Journalism. She is also the author of two books, "A Practical Guide to Graphics Reporting" (Focal Press 2006) and "Design Interactive" an electronic textbook on basic design principles.

Brad King

Assistant Professor, Media Informatics, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY, USA

Brad King is an assistant professor of media in the College of Informatics at Northern Kentucky University.   Previously, he worked as the Web Producer/Senior Editor for Technology Review, an international magazine published out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he oversaw the transformation of the website from a static magazine home page into a vibrant daily news site complete with blogs, daily stories, and video. That job followed on the heels of his work as director of new media at Varsity Television and Wired News, where, along with his daily technology news reporting, he spearheaded the initiative to have daily and weekly audio programs.   King has been a journalist for 11 years, with his work appearing in over 20 publications, including the Wired, Technology Review, Oakland Tribune, Business 2.0, Variety,and the Hollywood Reporter. He received my Masters of Journalism from the University of California at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism in 2000, and received the Wired Magazine Excellence in Technology Journalism award.

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