## Section1.2Courses Versus Books

The first thing to understand about Runestone is the difference between a book and a course. This has long been a point of confusion. Runestone was originally conceived of as a system for building interactive textbooks. But, as soon as you start to include interactive things like coding and multiple choice questions the next logical step is for someone (likely you - dear reader) to want to evaluate that work and record a grade. A grade only makes sense in the context of a course, so we created the ability for you to make a course for your students. But because the central notion always was a book there has always been the limitation that a course can only be tied to a single book. This limitation continues, but is something we are thinking about how to relax in the future. In the meantime Section 2.2 will guide you through the process of creating a course around your chosen textbook.

The fact that Runestone allows you to do many of the things that you would normally do in an LMS like Canvas or Moodle has led many people to think of Runestone as an LMS like system. We reject that label and claim that Runestone is much more than an LMS. Runestone is a LEAP Learning Engineering and Analytics Portal. Briefly, Learning Engineering is “is the systematic application of evidence-based principles and methods from educational technology and the learning sciences to create engaging and effective learning experiences, support the difficulties and challenges of learners as they learn, and come to better understand learners and learning.” See this article for more.