From the Blueprint Key, we moved to the development of 2 unique analytic tools. Analytic Tool I was adapted from the coding categories of de Jong and Bus (2003) and focused primarily on multimedia/ interactivity design features. This tool uses the entire e-book as the unit of analysis. It is organized into four categories—Book Assistants; Multimedia Illustrations; Multimedia Print; Interactivity—that reflect the major early literacy learning domains of Book Handling, Comprehension, Word Recognition and Cognitive Processing. The four categories include 14 elements that describe ebook design (e.g., presence of static and/or animated illustrations).

Analytic Tool II is derived from principles of instructional design described by Clark and Mayer (2008). The design goal of these principles is focused on learning in the online environment. Analytic Tool II uses the screen page as the unit of analysis. It focuses on five principles–multimedia, contiguity, redundancy, coherence and personalization—and 12 design elements that further specify the set of principles. It also includes an analysis of five graphic types that are used in multimedia design: decorative, representational, organizational, relational, transformational and interpretive.

Different analytic tools, we observed, revealed different design features of an e-book, and we concluded that to judge e-book quality may require a multi-purpose tool that examines both the e (electronic features) and the book (text features) of an e-book. Our goal is to help teachers, but the 2 prototype tools were too difficult for teachers to use.

We needed a tool that was easy to use and practical.

In the week leading up to my AERA 2011 Annual Meeting presentation, I will be sharing parts of the presentation on Raised Digital. The paper I will be presenting focuses on the development of my e-Book Quality Rating Tool and is part of a symposium titled E-Books as Instructional Tools in Preschool Classrooms: Promises and Pitfalls. The symposium will take place Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 2:15pm – 3:45pm, at the Doubletree/Madewood B.


Clark, R., & Mayer, R. (2008). E-Learning and the science of instruction. SanFrancisco, CA: Pfieffer.

de Jong, M. T., & Bus, A. G. (2003). How well suited are electronic books for supporting literacy? Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 3, (2), 147-164.