The Future Textbook

Now that we can put textbooks on the web, how can we change them to make them better? How can we make them more dynamic, more adaptable to individual students, more sociable, or more informative? We've tackled some of these questions with Nb (http://nb.mit.edu/), a tool that lets students hold forum-type discussions in the margins of their online reading material. Nb is currently in use in roughly 25 classes at 6 universities. We have a long list of improvements to implement and assess in Nb, including social moderation, key-question highlighting, organization via tagging, chat and wiki functionality, support for sketching diagrams and other non-text annotations, hot-spot mapping for faculty, html and video annotation, and many others that students like you think of. Experience with Javascript and Django is a plus, as is good performance in 6.813/831.

Contact e-mail: karger@mit.edu