Research studies on e-texts have focused on how various interactive features could be useful for engaging students with content during the learning process. As more and more interactive and intelligent components are available for embedding within e-texts, these smart e-texts, or iTextbooks, are no longer just digital textbooks with a few add-ons or tools to help students read. Instead, they should be viewed as a learning platform in their own right. This emerging trend demands a framework that provides guidance on how to design and develop the platform so that these components can be effectively integrated to create an interactive and intelligent environment for students to learn beyond reading text.
In this paper, we propose a pedagogical framework for designing and developing iTextbooks as a learning platform, providing students with a visual, adaptive, personalized, and collaborative learning environment. We also present three case studies and one recommendation to demonstrate how to build iTextbooks as a learning platform with four learning strategies. Finally, we discuss how to use the framework to guide the directions of future work.