Mayhall Publishes Textbooks

Nov 22, 2022

Lincoln Trail College Associate Professor of Business Administration Amie Mayhall’s latest books about Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Office 365 in Practice and Microsoft PowerPoint 365 in Practice, were published this fall. 
She says it was breathtaking to see the final version. “To open the package with the final version, take it out and hold it in my hands was absolutely breathtaking. There is so much work that goes into the text that many do not understand. To most, it is a resources, to me it is an accomplishment.”
Mayhall has been involved in writing for McGraw-Hill for 20 years. She started while she was working for Dr. Pat Graves as a Graduate Assistant at Eastern Illinois University. Mayhall started by performing a technical edit of Graves’ writing. Graves asked Mayhall to co-author a textbook with her in 2007 and then co-authored the new edition in 2010.
While she enjoyed the process, Mayhall stepped away for a while because she had young children at home and she wanted to focus on her family. During that time, she was regularly contacted by McGraw-Hill to perform technical edits and create instructional resources. 
Things changed again in 2020. “Dr. Graves contacted me with a proposition to come on as a co-author on the new series she was writing for which includes not only a text, but an amazing interactive simulated software as well. After much discussion with my family, they agreed to kick in and help at home to let me jump back into the authoring field.”
Mayhall says there’s a lot of work that goes into putting together a textbook, especially for software. “There are regular updates to software, features are being added or changed while you are writing! There were times we added features even during the final draft of the textbook!”
She says the process starts with exploring the features of the software, organizing it into logical chapters, and then deciding what kinds of examples can be used to demonstrate features and concepts. From there, the process is to write the steps, create student data files, create solution files, have everything proofread, and make revisions. Other steps include checking for product updates, a review process, and continuous updates to online content. She says there were numerous interchanges between the co-authors to talk about things like the best wording and examples.
Mayhall focused on PowerPoint and she says she takes a lot of pride in knowing that students are using this to learn about the software. “We take a strong educational approach to teach people not only the amazing features in Office, but truly try to develop them as better presenters. We tie in a lot of design concepts and tips for being a better presenter along with how to use the software. There are so many students that have grown up using free versions of software that do not have any idea the features available to make better presentations, so it is exciting to see them learn the features and incorporate into the education experience.”
She says she’s already getting feedback on her work because she’s incorporating the Office 365 text in the DAP 1201 course this fall. “I look forward to teaching with the textbooks, and getting genuine feedback on how to improve from my students and colleagues.”