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Interview with Dr. Chris Tisdell: One of Bookboon’s Most Popular Authors

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Find out why the author desided to create YouTube Workbooks instead of the classic textbook formats.

Dr. Chris Tisdell is one of Bookboon’s most popular authors, with his eBooks reaching over 10 million people in 200 countries. His passion for learning and innovative approach to online education have inspired a worldwide audience to understand mathematics and gain the quantitative skills needed for their future careers. Here you can read the full interview…

1. Please tell us about your journey before arriving at the UNSW.

I was in the music industry for 10 years prior to joining UNSW as an academic.  This consisted of performing as a DJ across Australia, organising and promoting tours for local and international acts, and producing music.  I also ran a small mail-order record store for 5 years.  Although this seems very far from what I am doing now, it gave me the skills to read and understand an audience, which is also central to being an effective communicator.


2. What gave you the idea of making a YouTube Workbook instead of the classic textbook format?

The traditional textbook market has been completely saturated in areas like Calculus.  As a potential author in 2011, I was very mindful of trying to do something different with my first book. The idea of blending written text with online video in a textbook was the “eureka” moment for me.  I was confident that this format would improve learning because it would offer a richer, more interactive experience to a reader than simply just static text.


3. What was attractive about and what convinced you to publish with them?

I believe that everyone deserves access to learning on a level playing field.  Bookboon’s commitment to making education freely available to the world is a concept that I wholeheartedly support.  As a result, my decision to publish with Bookboon was easy.


4. What has been the greatest part of publishing with

One of the greatest parts of publishing with has been the tremendous reach and impact of my books on learning all around the globe. 


5. What do your students think about your book and the Bookboon concept?

My students love it because it enables them to learn at their own pace at a time and location that suits them.  Who wouldn’t want quality, free textbooks to help you learn? 


6. Your books have reached over 10 million people, congratulations! How do you feel it has helped your students?

Thanks.  It’s really satisfying for me that lots of people are finding my resources useful for their learning. Each day learners are posting comments on my YouTube channel and Facebook page about how they are learning from my books. It’s a great way to get feedback and to connect with readers everywhere.  My favourite recent review of my work is:

So helpful! This eBook helped me a lot, it’s easy to follow and provides a big set of examples with youtube videos. It’s really clear and makes Math easier to understand! Thank you Dr. Tisdell!”


7. Bookboon was recently on CNBC because last year 5 million South African students downloaded free eBooks from Bookboon. How does this contribute to your thoughts on Bookboon and its presence in Africa?

It’s admirable that Bookboon is gaining so much popularity in the developing world.  In these environments where traditional textbooks are economically out of reach for many, it seems completely natural to explore the free options that Bookboon has to offer learners.

8. Finally, has publishing with Bookboon had any other positive effects for you?

Publishing with Bookboon has helped me scale my teaching practice to a global audience in a free, open and interactive way. I’m grateful to the people at Bookboon who took a chance on publishing my first book Engineering Mathematics: YouTube Workbook in 2012.  My books with Bookboon will not only be a legacy that I’m proud of, but the format has also been an inspiration for additional texts from authors all around the world.


Subscribe to Dr Chris Tisdell’s YouTube channel for more!

Engineering Mathematics: YouTube Workbook

If you want to find out more about engineering, read our eBook "Engineering Mathematics: YouTube Workbook".

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