Digital Course Materials

Here you'll find articles detailing new developments in the area of e-textbooks, open educational resources and other digital course materials, along with stories about institutions adopting them.


Schools Work to Thwart Textbook Price Barrier

A number of schools are turning to Cengage to come up with new ways to help their students gain more affordable access to their course materials. Recently, both Warren County Community College in New Jersey and the University of the Southwest in New Mexico said they would roll out the company's new unlimited subscriptions offering. At the same time, Missouri's Columbia College went public with news that it would work with the education media company to provide course materials to its students as part of a single tuition charge.

ED Accepting Proposals for Consortium OER Pilots

The U.S. Department of Education has finally made a move on its efforts to fund development of open educational resources. The agency issued a notice this week inviting proposals for an "open textbooks pilot program" with an Aug. 29, 2018 deadline.

Survey: Buying Course Materials a Top Source of Financial Stress for Students

Buying course materials is the No. 2 source of financial stress for students, after tuition, according to a new survey conducted by market research company Morning Consult on behalf of Cengage.

McGraw-Hill Ed and Follett Deals Chase More Affordable Curriculum Options

McGraw-Hill Education and Follett have concocted two new agreements. In the first, Follett's current rental offering will cover McGraw-Hill's new textbook rental program for copyright 2019 titles; in the second, McGraw-Hill's digital learning products and e-books will be incorporated into Follett's includED "inclusive access" program, which gives students access to their course materials on the first day of class.

Columbia College Uses Ed Map to Roll Fees, Book Costs into Tuition

A Missouri college has signed with Ed Map to embed digital curriculum into its courses to make the expense invisible to students as part of a new tuition approach. Columbia College, a private nonprofit college in Columbia, announced the partnership for its adult education and online education divisions. All course materials will be part of the tuition students pay in those programs.

Texas A&M PE Courses Go Digital

The Physical Education Activity Program at Texas A&M University is incorporating digital textbooks to help engage students and prepare them for class activities. The course materials were created by Skyepack, a digital publishing company specializing in custom learning content that can be updated and adjusted on the fly.

New Online Bookstore to Save St. Francis College Students 60 Percent on Textbook Costs

Students at St. Francis College are expected to save an average of 60 percent on their textbooks, thanks to a new deal with online bookstore provider Akademos. Starting this fall, all course materials will be available via the Akademos platform, which offers new, used, rental and e-book formats as well as a peer-to-peer marketplace.

Indiana U Releases Free Guide to E-Text Programs

Indiana University is sharing lessons learned from its eTexts program in a free e-book titled eTexts 101: A Practical Guide. The book tells the story of I.U.'s own e-text experience, the economics of e-texts and campus bookstores, accessibility issues, communication strategies and more. It also includes perspectives from publishers and other universities that have worked through similar initiatives.  

New Virginia Law Mandates Creation of OER Guidelines

A new Virginia law mandates creation of guidelines for open educational resources at colleges and universities. H.B. 454 requires the governing boards of public institutions to implement guidelines for the adoption and use of low-cost and no-cost O.E.R. in their courses offered at such institution. However, while the policies and procedures are required, no instructor would be forced to use O.E.R. The guidelines can also address the use of "low-cost commercially published materials."

OER Vendor Top Hat Commits to CARE; Opens Content

An open education resource vendor has committed to following the CARE Framework for the care and feeding of OER available through its site, while also announcing that 90 percent of the resources in its own OER repository will be freely available to students. Top Hat, which has a cloud-based teaching platform and other digital learning tools, announced its "open content initiative," eliminating platform or subscription fees for access to its course content Marketplace.

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