E-Textbooks

Texas A&M PE Courses Go Digital

The Physical Education Activity Program at Texas A&M University is incorporating digital textbooks to help engage students and prepare them for class activities. The course materials were created by Skyepack, a digital publishing company specializing in custom learning content that can be updated and adjusted on the fly.

The course materials include video demonstrations of the skills and rules of specific sports. When students are able to review the videos outside of class, it "frees up course time for active participation in the sport," noted Skyepack CEO Brady Kalb, in a statement.

The ability to adjust course materials as the semester progresses is key, according to Texas A&M Assistant Professor Chad Nelson, who was one of the first to utilize the digital textbook format in his Physical Education course in fall 2016. "I love being able adjust my course materials as the semester is in progress. If I have the chance to make the class materials more efficient for my students, then I am doing my part as the professor," he said. "In my experience, I have noticed some text be outdated or not relevant to the course, but Skyepack has honestly kept the information current and relevant."

Skyepack was originally developed at Purdue University under the name Jetpack, and then split off as a commercial product in 2013. Currently, Texas A&M has implemented the course materials in two PE classes and 13 classes in the Health & Kinesiology department, with more planned for fall 2018.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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