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How to get students to read the (e)Book

We all struggle with getting students to read the ebook, so here’s a suggestion: place engaging activities into the ebook so that students have to go into the book to access them.


Our ebooks allow you to place such activities right into the spot in the book where they tie directly into the content. Here’s an example.


The activity


If you haven’t tried a little tool called ThingLink you really should. It easily allows you to place tags into images or video. You can place many kinds of interesting media behind tags which pop up when students click on the tags.


To get students more involved while watching a video, place a poll or a survey right into the video.


For this example, we’ll use the idea that women and men sometimes perceive aggression differently. Men often focus on aggressive acts that can be seen like hitting someone (called ‘overt aggression”) while women are attuned to less overt aggressive actions like two people arguing (“relational aggression”). Professors Meredith Kneavel, Joshua Fetterman, and Ian Sharp use a video of an altercation between Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig to make this point in an engaging and effective way.


I re-created their class activity using ThingLink. Students watch the brief cartoon and then are asked questions along the way.


In-Class and Online Versions:


Here’s the activity that can be used in class (it contains poll questions using PollEverwhere): rabbitBlur.jpg



And here's a version that you can use for an online class (the same poll questions, but this time created with Google Forms):




Now, how can you embed these videos into your ebook at exactly the right place? Here’s a brief video (no audio):



I think you'll be very surprised at what the Cengage ebook can do. Give it a try.


  1. Thinglink containing poll questions using PollEVerywhere
  2. Thinglink contianing poll questions using Google Forms.


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Photo credit: musicvet2003 on / CC BY-NC