Creative project looking for great name

I have been struggling with what to call our projects so I figured I'd turn to the creative, knowledgeable group of e-learning heroes on this site for inspiration.  A number of years ago, we stopped writing books and started packaging the material as interactive guides using first Presenter and then Storyline--and now Storyline 2!  We have created projects on family therapy, what to do after being dumped, working with tough teenagers, etcetera.  We have previously labelled them online guides, but inevitably someone starts referring to the material as an e-book or a DVD, which gets me all out of sorts considering the amount of interactivity we have put in the project.  I mean, when's the last time you could do anything with an e-book except read it, or a DVD except watch it!

Yes, they are e-learning, but that doesn't mean anything to the professionals we work with.  So we're looking for a name that will encapsulate the wonderful experience of using one of our projects rather than reading a book to get the information.  Ideas, anyone?

10 Replies
Frances Steinberg

Hello, Nicole.  We love the idea of interactive learning guide--and even titled one of our projects An Interactive Guide to Family Therapy--but the confusion still reigns.  There must be a new word or acronym out there that best describes this type of product to avoid the confusion!  Maybe call it an interactiv-e?  An e-wand that makes all your learning come true?  e-nlightened anybody?

Frances Steinberg

I agree that the key is the word "interactive".  But if you look at the interactive books that are available, the word just means that you can scroll, listen to some audio, or see some video.  What Storyline creates are more Do-Books, because you're actually doing something, but I don't think that's the best term.

Matthew Bibby

Interactive is definitely the key word.

I've seen the term 'enhanced' used a lot more recently in relation to interactive ebooks. Maybe 'Activity based' something... but that doesn't really capture the interactive side of things. It's tricky. 

Is there a way that you can provide a demo (even if just a short video overview) of your projects, that way the terminology might not matter as much?


Frances Steinberg

Thanks for your input, Matthew.  We generally make a movie about the project, showing all the interactive features, what it's about, etc., but somehow people still struggle to have a frame for the concept because it's foreign to them.

Came up with the term io-book this morning, for interactive online book.  I think it's both close enough and far enough from e-book to give the user something familiar and unique.  What does everyone think?

Matthew Bibby

I think it is a great term Frances, however, I don't know that it will mean much to your learners. Also keep in mind that IO is a term used in computing (Input/Output) and is also latin for in illo ordine, which translates to 'in that order'.

If people still struggle to frame the concept, you may want to do more than provide a video overview. Perhaps an approach like this that specifically highlights the features may help?

Frances Steinberg

movie example

Thanks for the link, Matthew.  Although it drives me a bit crazy when Apple talks about interactivity, when apart from moving images and zooming in, they technically aren't doing anything.  I'd love to see a revolution where hordes of Storyline program developers convert the texts into something truly interactive.

We actually put similar explanations in the movies we produce about the products.  Part of the problem is that a lot of our target audience is 40+ in age and can't grasp the possibilities.  An interesting example is that we have a version of our Interactive Guide to Family Therapy placed on a flash drive--a number of universities use it as a "text"--of course, the professors at one school told their class that is was a DVD and most of the students freaked because they didn't have cd-rom drives in their laptops.  Of course, that was better than the psychologist who ordered the flash drive, which comes as a credit card usb, and despite our pop out and insertion instructions kept complaining there was no slot big enough on their computer to stick the card into.

I think if we advertise it as an io-book, explained the reference, explained why it isn't an e-book, at least they'd have something to call it instead of referring to it as a website or e-book?

Matthew Bibby

Ha ha ha ... reminds me of a person I was helping once who didn't know how to right click a mouse (and yes, it was a standard mouse). 

Apple are great at making normal stuff sound like it is something really special, but I wouldn't be too quick to discount how interactive some of the new iBooks are.

I've been more than seriously impressed on a few occasions. Especially when people start building interactions using tools such as Tumult Hype and then embedding those in the books. 

Back on topic, I can understand why this is tricky. Maybe don't worry too much about what it is called and focus on showing people on how to use it? (E.g., this isn't an activity you print out or a DVD that you watch, but an interactive activity that you can explore online etc.)

Good luck!