This man was bored of textbooks.

Photo: Rob Foreman

Ryerson professor creates a tech-savvy textbook

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By Sarah Jackson

Sheldon Rosen, a professor at Ryerson’s Theatre School, combined teaching, technology and creativity to invent a first-of-its-kind digital, interactive textbook.

Roadmap of the Creative Process is an online resource that will be available for Rosen’s creative performance studies students in October.

It’s filled with digital images, articles, Ted Talk videos and footage from his classes to delve further into what it means to be creative and think critically.

“It’s a digital, interactive textbook that articulates and demonstrates in words, pictures and visuals my ideas and experience with the creative process,” Rosen said. “There are loads of visuals in it because I think you learn more if it comes at you in different modes so you’re never caught in a single ‘I’m watching mode’ or

‘I’m reading mode,'” Rosen said.

Rosen used his experience from teaching at Ryerson for over 14 years and his eight years as the director of the playwright program at the National Theatre School of Canada to create the digital textbook. Miri Makin and Lee Chapman, graduates of Ryerson’s professional communications program, and Yasin Dahi from the Learning and Teaching office helped Rosen bring his project to life.

Rosen’s ambition for the online platform is to train students to create new jobs for a new economy and world by combining critical and creative thinking.

“To expand the creative process instead of letting technology overcome and numb the creative process is really innovative,” said third-year acting student Allister MacDonald, one of Rosen’s students.

Unlike your standard textbook, this one doesn’t have a last page.

“[Roadmap of the Creative Process] may never be complete, it is designed to be endless,” Rosen said.

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