The 2013 Horizon Report identified tablet computing as a key emerging technology in Higher Education (HE). Laurillard (2007) states the iPad, has sold more than 85 million units up to the first quarter of 2014 and is predicted to sell over 377 million units by 2016. Literature exploring iPads and the creation of innovative iPadagogy facilitated through the use of iPads appear to be gaining ground, Hopkins (2014).

Discussions around whether or not the tablet computer is a game-changer and if it can it provide a transformative experience for teaching; learning and assessment are being explored within the HE sector, Cidre.(2014). The use of iPads as a dynamic learning tool and the use of iBooks as a dynamic learning resource for providing content may need to be considered.

Front Cover of Fire Safety ibook

Front Cover of Fire Safety ibook

Draft iBook available SELECT HERE

The iBook is seen as a useful Open Educational Resource (OER) ‘openly available for use by educators and students, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees,’(Butcher, 2011). The iBooks’ content and all of the interactive features can be easily accessible in any Apple device as the iBook app can be downloaded for free from the app Store. A lite version can also be created for access in Android devices as a PDF file.

Van der Ventel, (2014) explores the iPad usage model for development of e-textbooks. Using the iBooks author, available free from the app store, the app enables you to create ibooks, which go beyond the normal pdf format. Van der Ventel, (2014) further states the textbook becomes a dynamic entity enhanced by multimedia such as high-resolution graphics, videos, interactive diagrams and 3D objects. Widgets can be included in the book, which allows setting up questionnaires, multiple-choice questions, interactive graphs and many features that are more dynamic.

Brand et al (2011) found that those who borrowed the iPad and used ibooks had better grades.  However Brand et al (2011) suggests the results may seem to invoke notions of the Hawthorne effect (also referred to as the observer effect) in which a novel stimulus generates increased arousal and thus, for some, better performance.

Overall the writing and creation of a dynamic learning resource using iBooks author is an ongoing process, it is important to maintain high standards and quality of presentation throughout and gain feedback for improvement.


Butcher, N. (2011). A basic guide to open educational resources (OER). Vancouver: Commonwealth of Learning & UNESCO.

Brand, J. Kinash, S.Mathew, T., & Kyordyban, R. (2011). iWant does not equal iWill: Correlates of mobile learning with iPads, e-textbooks, BlackBoard Mobile Learn and a blended learning experience. In Ascilite 2011 – Changing demands, changing directions. (pp. 168–178). Hobart: Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching, University of Tasmania.

Cidre, E.(2014). Using iPads as a dynamic learning tool to develop skills in graphic communication and enhance spatial awareness. IHE 2014 – 1st International Conference on the use of iPads in Higher Education. 1 (1), 7-11.

Hopkins, P. Burden, K . (2014). iPadagogy: iPads as drivers of transforming practice in teaching education. IHE 2014 – 1st International Conference on the use of iPads in Higher Education. 1 (1), 11-24.

Laurillard, D. (2007). Pedagogical forms for mobile learning: framing research questions. In N. Pachler (Ed.) Mobile learning – towards a research agenda (pp. 151 – 173). London: WLE Centre.

Van der Ventel, B. (2014). The use of the iPad in a first-year introductory physics course. IHE 2014 – 1st International Conference on the use of iPads in Higher Education. 1 (1), 65-78.


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