CD-ROM Textbooks Bring Teachers Home

Thinkwell takes modern textbook publishing and higher education into the digital age with its CD-ROM textbooks, which use video lectures by dynamic educators, graphics and animation to explain key concepts in various subject areas. The company currently has titles in biology, chemistry, physics, intermediate algebra, college algebra, precalculus, calculus I and II, government, micr'economics and macr'economics. Public speaking and psychology will be added in the near future.

Instead of being a CD-ROM version of a textbook or presenting text on a computer screen, each CD is an original work that consists of a series of 10- to 15-minute video lectures delivered by a college professor hired by Thinkwell to be the title's author. A Web site, where students can access notes from each lecture and complete exercises chosen by the professor, accompanies each title. After completing the exercises, students get immediate feedback and their scores are automatically sent to the professor. The automatic reporting system also enables professors to confirm which students are completing assignments and analyze problem areas. In addition, the Web site can be used for online discussions and e-mail. Professors can customize the electronic textbooks to coincide with their own course syllabi, resulting in a product that is specifically tailored to their course. Thinkwell, Austin, TX, (512) 416-8000, www.thinkwell.com.

Thinkwell takes modern textbook publishing and higher education into the digital age with its CD-ROM textbooks, which use video lectures by dynamic educators, graphics and animation to explain key concepts in various subject areas. The company currently has titles in biology, chemistry, physics, intermediate algebra, college algebra, precalculus, calculus I and II, government, micr'economics and macr'economics. Public speaking and psychology will be added in the near future.

Instead of being a CD-ROM version of a textbook or presenting text on a computer screen, each CD is an original work that consists of a series of 10- to 15-minute video lectures delivered by a college professor hired by Thinkwell to be the title's author. A Web site, where students can access notes from each lecture and complete exercises chosen by the professor, accompanies each title. After completing the exercises, students get immediate feedback and their scores are automatically sent to the professor. The automatic reporting system also enables professors to confirm which students are completing assignments and analyze problem areas. In addition, the Web site can be used for online discussions and e-mail. Professors can customize the electronic textbooks to coincide with their own course syllabi, resulting in a product that is specifically tailored to their course. Thinkwell, Austin, TX, (512) 416-8000, www.thinkwell.com.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2001 issue of THE Journal.

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