The textbook publisher McGraw-Hill Higher Education announced a pilot program with University of Minnesota bookstores last week that may eventually make early semester lines and sold-out core texts as obsolete as the diskette.
McGraw-Hill will offer its complete catalog of more than 1,600 e-books to University of Minnesota students starting in the 2012 fall semester ... . [snip].
The full texts will cost significantly less than a hard copy and appear in the university’s learning management system, or online interface, as soon as a student registers for a class. Tom Malek, the vice president of learning solutions and services for McGraw-Hill Higher Education, said the company’s standard rate for e-books was 40 percent of the list price, but that they would charge slightly less in this program. The amount is billed to the student as a course fee, and if students drop a course before the end of the add/drop period, they will not be charged.
The e-textbooks are designed to work across multiple platforms because they will eventually be available over a number of different e-text readers. [snip]. Many e-text readers will allow students to download textbooks, so they can be read without Internet access.
The e-textbooks also offer assessment, adaptive learning and social networking applications, depending on the e-text reader used. Courseload allows students to interact with their professors and one another, and to send feedback to the book’s author ... .
Mr. Malek said another purpose of the pilot program was to create a scalable model for the burgeoning e-textbook industry, one he compared to Ticketmaster.
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