Monday, July 9, 2012

From Print to Digital: Emerging Models for Institutional E-textbook Adoption


In the last year a number of colleges and universities have begun or expanded pilot projects to test the use of digital textbooks. These programs are intended to work out instructional and technical challenges and to help institutions better understand theimpact of e-books on textbook usage and affordability. What’s often being left as an afterthought in these initiatives, however, is consideration of the business model for digital textbooks. How should e-book programs be structured to create “win-win-win” propositions for students, faculty, and publishers?


Table of Contents

  • Digital Opportunities
    • Affordability
    • Access
    • Learning Modes
  • Innovative Business Models for Digital Textbooks
    • Course Fee Model
    • Bookstore Model
    • Flat Rate Model
  • The Course Fee Model at Indiana U
  • The Bookstore Model at U Minnesota
  • The Flat-rate Model at Jones County Junior College
  • Beyond the E-book


The time is right for every institution of higher education to jump into the e-text movement and begin to explore its opportunities. When done right, as demonstrated by the institutions featured in this report, an e-book program can deliver a number of benefits. As Stephen Watt, an associate dean and faculty member at IU, notes, students often find themselves having to cobble together “precarious options” to avoid havingto buy high-priced textbooks. When that happens, “The results often include failure,withdrawal from courses, and inadequate progress toward completion of a degree.” By taking on the problem of reducing the high cost of textbooks, he writes, “The e-text movement, and that’s what it is, can generate benefits for students, faculty, and publishers alike.”

Also Includes Relevant Links and Sidebar on Eight Keys to a Successful E-book Deployment

Source and Fulltext Available At


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