Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

ABC-CLIO Interactive's: The Civil Rights Movement in the United States. (Educator's Evaluation)

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

ABC-CLIO Interactive's: The Civil Rights Movement in the United States. (Educator's Evaluation)

Article excerpt

Civil rights is an issue many educators neglect in favor of less controversial topics. But with the new interactive encyclopedia, The Civil Rights Movement in the United States from ABC-CLIO, teachers and students have 500 articles and a host of multimedia materials to explore the subject in depth. More than simply an encyclopedia presented in digital form, the program's rich media and stellar visual presentation make it a worthwhile investment.

The design of the screen is exceptional -- crisp, pleasing and easy to navigate. Global navigation icons run across the top of each page, providing a simple and consistent interface. Using sound instructional design, all information is just a couple of clicks away, never buried deep within the program. But the articles themselves lack such attractiveness. While they are detailed and cross-referenced through hot links, they could use subheadings or other devices to help the emerging reader. For example, the absence of a find feature means users cannot easily search for specific text strings within an article. There are also no images within the text of the articles. Ample media links are given, but a simple picture with the main article to set the scene would be a nice addition. The program also lacks an introduction or tutorial. While easy to navigate, some beginning users may benefit from a nudge in the right direction.

These shortcomings are minimal, however, because most users can locate articles from other online and library sources. The media files and the overall design make this interactive encyclopedia a product students will enjoy using. The video clips are long and displayed at a large size. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. …

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