Quick Guide: Creating Interactive Materials for Anthology Content

Pair Original Activities with Third-Party Readings

Keep in mind that when third-party readings are licensed to appear in your course pack or anthology, that license doesn’t automatically extend to using language or images from those readings in interactive materials. Instead, any third-party content used in Active Learning must undergo a separate licensing review process, even if it has already been approved for inclusion in the book.

This licensing restriction means that author-editors should create original activities to accompany outside readings or should be careful to properly cite any content taken directly from borrowed readings. Any third-party content in activities should follow traditional academic citation standards, even when those same third-party materials are included (and already cited) in your text. This includes citations for the following interactive content that is sourced from the readings:

  • Quizzes, including questions and answers taken from a third-party text
  • Flashcards
  • Discussions
  • Text excerpts under 350 words
  • Skill-building exercises that repurpose third-party materials

Beyond these best licensing and academic practices, there are also practical reasons for these requirements. It’s important to use original wording and cite sources in case you decide to change any of your third-party readings for future editions, as noted below.

Additional resources: For further information about licensing restrictions and fair use guidelines, see Editor’s Toolkit: Writing an Interactive Ebook Anthology and Editor’s Toolkit: Copyright and Fair Use.

Reinforce Major Concepts

Cases arise where a reading may change or be removed from a project. This can pose some challenges for interactive content. If activities are tied closely to individual readings and those readings are replaced, then some activities will require editing, while others may need to be removed or entirely rebuilt. (Even individual quiz questions are likely to undergo revision when a reading is adjusted.)

To help minimize the amount of interactive content editing required when adjusting readings, consider the following strategies:

  • Develop activities related to concepts that reinforce the readings more broadly. For instance, write questions or exercises related to your original writing or separately approved multimedia resources of your own selection, such as images or videos. That way, these exercises and resources will retain their usefulness even if a reading changes in the future.
  • Focus more complex activities on important, evergreen topics. Invest creative energy in activities centered on crucial themes or topics that will likely be covered in related readings, even if those specific readings change. Ideally, the more complex an activity is, the more potential longevity it will have.
  • Choose activity types that can transfer to new readings easily or with minimal updates. Some of the easiest activities for you to revise are fill in the blanks, drag the words, and multiple-choice questions. Pairing activities like these with readings that may change will be helpful for later terms. See the next section for more activity recommendations.