Jay Petach

Jay Petach

eMedia professor creates interactive text to engage students with his text

Jay Petach, an eMedia professor at UC’s Blue Ash campus, created his own textbook to help his students both interact with their required text, as well as to promote textbook affordability.

What first comes to mind when you think of a textbook? Is it a standard, rectangular hardback book, with paragraphs of texts and the occasional picture diagram or illustration thrown in? Well, eMedia professor at UC Blue Ash, Jay Petach, is challenging that idea.

What started off as a YouTube series to introduce supplemental course material into his classes, has grown into something bigger; a full blown, interactive textbook.  Ever since Jay began teaching eMedia, he hasn’t stopped utilizing eLearning tools.  Now, he is an avid user of Blackboard and UC Box, all while searching for new ways to make his course content more engaging.

Often, this is done through the implementation of video into his course.  Jay actively uses YouTube as a teaching platform, and even embeds his weekly video uploads into PowerPoint presentations for his class.  Jay described that “audio on its own can be deadly,” but these methods of creating appealing video content have allowed him to take his classes to new levels. 

One such level was when Jay was faced with the challenge of making his course textbook more affordable, accessible, and interesting for students to interact with.  After recruiting help from the Center for Excellence in eLearning, he was on his way to creating his first ever eBook.

Jay then discovered ePub while attending a conference, and was able to reformat his textbook into a manageable size for his students to use. 

Not only does this eBook provide interactive content with embedded videos to speak and exemplify the text, but his students are now “about $140 bucks richer because they don’t have to buy a textbook!”

While Jay is continuing to collect feedback from his students, his efforts have proven just how far instructors are able to go when their passion for teaching is combined with the increasing amount of eLearning tools available to them.