Title: From web-based learning to eText learning: teaching Sanskrit with an electronic textbook

Authors: McComas Taylor

Addresses: College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University, Acton ACT 0200, Australia

Abstract: The Australian National University has been teaching Sanskrit using a successful web-based model of content delivery since 2006. As the programme grew in sophistication and complexity, and as technology as evolved, five problems emerged: students expected greater mobility, the instructor needed stability of resources, demand for improved multimedia support grew, bandwidth was constraining content delivery, and there is a growing perception that course materials should be in the public domain. In response to these problems, the entire content of the first-year Sanskrit curriculum, incorporating over 1400 text, image, audio and video files, was shifted from a web-based learning management system to an electronic textbook in ePub format using Zipptek's Legend Marker. Copies of the eText were preloaded onto iPads which were distributed to over 20 students worldwide. In addition to solving the five problems such as mobility, stability, multimedia, bandwidth and openness, the eText has resulted in very high levels of student acceptance and may lead to higher retention rates and improved learning outcomes.

Keywords: language teaching; Sanskrit curriculum; iPads; tablets; web-based pedagogy; web-based learning; e-text learning; language learning; electronic textbooks; e-books; electronic learning; e-learning; online learning; higher education; mobility; stability; multimedia; bandwidth; openness; student acceptance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2014.059995

International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation, 2014 Vol.8 No.1, pp.16 - 27

Received: 31 Aug 2013
Accepted: 08 Jan 2014

Published online: 23 Mar 2014 *

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