EDUCAUSE and Internet2 are implementing a new series of pilot efforts to evaluate technologies and business models in the fast evolving migration from traditional textbooks to electronic content. For the fall 2012 term, the pilot is being conducted in partnership with McGraw-Hill Education and Courseload, through which more than 25 colleges and universities will provide etexts to their students.
Including educational institutions across the spectrum from major research institutions to community colleges, this pilot aims to advance a new model for the purchase, distribution, and use of electronic textbooks and digital course materials. Participating colleges and universities are listed at the end of this announcement.
The pilot departs from current etext practices in three key ways: it replaces individual purchases by students with site licenses negotiated and funded by campuses, it replaces paper textbooks owned by students with electronic materials licensed for use in specific classes, and it uses an ereader not associated with a specific publisher.
Based on the pilot, EDUCAUSE, Internet2, and the participating institutions will assess the appeal and scalability of the new model, and especially how the model supports lowering the cost of educational materials. The pilot will help higher education progress toward adoption of more cost-effective procurement of electronic class materials, which are in turn much less expensive than their print predecessors.
Students and faculty in participating courses will use McGraw-Hill Education eBooks and digital learning material, as well as the Courseload reader and annotation software, which allows content to be delivered directly through their school's learning management system.
Students will have automatic access to etexts without any additional payment to a bookstore or the institution. The ereader will enable students and instructors to access, highlight, and annotate their etexts and learning materials on almost any Internet-enabled device, even when they are not connected to the Internet. Students who want a printed copy may print portions of their etext directly, or may order a print-on-demand version of the etext for a fee.
The fall 2012 pilot expands upon a more limited experiment involving the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Virginia, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a successful earlier effort at Indiana University. These initial efforts both demonstrated the appeal of the new model—more than 100,000 online pages read, with almost none printed.
As a faculty participant at the University of Virginia said, "The main benefits have been for the students, who don't have to pay outrageous amounts for required texts, and can have their texts on the various machines they carry around with them all the time." The initial efforts also underscored important goals for future efforts, such as ensuring that etexts are accessible to blind students and others requiring special accommodation.
The fall 2012 pilot is now closed for additional participants. We plan to hold an additional pilot for the spring 2013 term.
Partial List of Fall 2012 Participants
- Baylor University
- California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
- Colorado State University
- Cornell University
- Dartmouth College
- Iowa State University
- Madison Area Technical College
- Miami University
- Middlebury College
- Michigan State University
- Northeast State Community College
- Northern Kentucky University
- Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
- Stony Brook University
- University of Alaska
- University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of Colorado
- University of Hawaii
- University of Iowa
- University of Kentucky
- University of South Florida
- University of Virginia
- University of Wisconsin, Madison
- University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
- Vermont State Colleges
- Virginia Tech
- Wichita State University
Additional Information About the Fall 2012 Pilot
Slides from spring 2012 informational webinar (Google Doc)
Recording from spring 2012 informational webinar (Google Doc)
FAQ (Google Doc)
Pilot Prospectus (Google Doc)
Source And Links Available At