Creating a FlexBook for Class

CK12 Frustration Level: 8

I spent the better part of the past two days creating a FlexBook to use as a textbook for a 6th grade math class. While most of the content available at CK12 is pretty good, putting it together into a usable form is kind of a nightmare.

The first choice is whether to use an existing FlexBook and edit it or to start from scratch. I ended up a bit in the middle. I created a new FlexBook and then added content from other FlexBooks. Some of the added content was entire chapters, which I then stripped down or reordered, and other content was from other locations at CK12.

Reordering content should be a fairly straightforward process, right? Ha! In the edit mode, you can add a chapter heading and then drag sections into the chapter and reorder them. The interface is so wonky, though, and it meant trying over and over to drag sections to just the right spot. Eventually, with a steady hand (and mouse) and careful aiming, it is mostly possible.

CK12 claims autosaving of edits. That is not really true. It looks like edits to content (changing the text of a “read,” for example) seems to save okay, but adding chapters or sections requires a dedicated click on “SAVE,” which then takes you out of the editing mode. This is problematic if you forget to save after reordering sections and choose to add new content. Then, when you click save, it will not have the new content, reverting back to the previous version.

Next, we can take a look at distribution of a FlexBook, a new nightmare of its own.

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