In this paper, we present a case study for the use of an interactive online textbook (online text) for the purpose of conducting an online course at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). The online text and associated software – McGraw Hill Connect, provides an excellent electronic framework for conducting all the homework assignment, quizzes, interactive reading assignments as well as exams online. Conducting an entire online course on such an electronic platform is an innovative idea, and such an experience has not been documented before. Various features in the online text enable the instructor to design the assignments to ensure better understanding of the course material. Similarly, the quizzes and exams can be set in such a way that the chances of cheating and copying can be reduced even in the absence of proctoring. This paper discusses how various features in the online text software have been effectively employed for the purpose of setting up and grading the assignments, quizzes and exams, and efficiently teaching the online course. The most interesting aspect of our course is that in spite of being a completely online course, various features of the online text software have been implemented, that it would closely simulate quizzes, exams etc. as conducted in an in-class course, and student-instructor interactions as would occur in a typical in-person meeting during office hours. Finally, student feedback related to their experience with the software is reported and analysed.
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