Better learning retention through engagement is the name of the game with this award-winning interactive Social Studies title developed for educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a leading global education company committed to addressing education’s dynamic challenges through individualized content, innovative technology, and a holistic approach that inspires achievement and a lifelong love of learning. We collaborated with HMH to produce content for Power Presentations, an interactive learning tool that teachers use in the classroom as an accompaniment to existing American History and World Cultures and Geography textbooks.
As we had worked with this team before (when the company was called McDougal Littell), we knew the company’s preferred workflow and approach to product development. There were up to a dozen interactive animations in the project spec, ranging in topic from the Great Wall of China to Revolutionary War Battle Tactics, Textiles During the Industrial Revolution, The Battle of Vicksburg, and so on. With this in mind, we agreed that a template-based approach would be most cost-effective. We worked with the HMH team to devise a structure that would support the different types of content necessary for each interactive.
Content types for these interactives included:
- Audio narration and sound effects
- 2D and 3D animation clips
- Photos and graphics
- Video clips
- Printable text for use in descriptions
We first prototyped a single title to assure both the concept and template structure were solid enough to support rapid development of additional interactives. After fixing bugs and functionality tweaks in the prototype we moved into production for the remaining topics, editing media elements and compiling end products in Adobe Flash. We also built functions for scrolling, printable text blocks in each topic to be read by screen readers for accessibility-compliance.