EVO Week 3: linear or non-linear? (Part 2)

That is the big question.
Whether ’tis better for the class to suffer
Pages and pages in outrageous fonts,

Or to take arms against a sea of apps…

Well, it depends. I’ve tried to imagine a series of different situations:

Linearity is immaterial, everything must be downloadable
CONTENT-FOCUSED GOALS Blended, with a mainly linear output
COMPETENCE-FOCUSED GOALS Mainly non-linear, including a variety of problem-solving activities
MIXED-TYPE GOALS man, don’t lose too much sleep! And rearrange your goals
MOTIVATED, CURIOUS CLASS Non-linear, they’ll love it
VERY POOR CLASS Non-linear, you and they have nothing to lose!
AVERAGE CLASS, WITH A HISTORY OF GOOD-TO-EXCELLENT MARKS Beware of your students! Go for a linear or at most mildly blended course: at your first mistake (at their first slip) you’ll have a line of angry parents in front of the school’s Director Room


What I’m going to select from Steve Katz’s list (A Digital Textbook Should Be More Than a Textbook) is the following:

  • Colourful
  • Video
  • Active links
  • Intuitive navigation (web-like)
  • Printable pages
  • Question and answer section



  • Both online and downloadable instructions
  • Easy navigation between pages (via thumbnails/breadcrumbs/ever-present Table of Contents)
  • Clear organization of material (next step always easy to identify)
  • Comprehensiveness (the student coming back from a bout of flu must find absolutely everything there)


Not so important but appreciated:

  • Rollover of terms to see the definition
  • Zoomable

5 thoughts on “EVO Week 3: linear or non-linear? (Part 2)

  1. Great post! Digital texts have come a long way since 2011, and I think your update to my post really hits the mark.

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