E-Textbooks

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 IU'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.  

Since its inception in fall 2009, IU's eTexts program has reduced the cost of required course materials by more than $16 million, according to information from the university. In 2017, more than 61,000 students, accounting for about 53 percent of IU's 115,000 students across eight campuses, used at least one e-text. Students can access their e-texts on any device via the Unizin Engage e-reading platform, which is integrated with IU's Canvas learning management system.

"IU has learned so much in our rollout and refinement of the eTexts program across all campuses and with uses in hundreds of disciplines including foreign languages, sciences and business," said Stacy Morrone, IU associate vice president of learning technologies and one of the e-book's contributors, in a statement. "There are many details to get right in implementing this with the faculty, students, and administrative colleagues. The IU faculty and students have been remarkable in their support to implement and refine this model and the software for reading and annotating course materials…. With this e-book, we can easily and broadly share our lessons learned and processes with anyone who's interested, and we are happy to do so."

"This e-book is a valuable primer for institutions wishing to take an e-text project and student savings to scale," commented Steven Cramer, vice provost for teaching and learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "The authors hone in on the key issues and processes vital to successful implementation of e-text adoption. eText 101 also tells a story of a highly successful institutional transformation project where a variety of stakeholders came together for the betterment of students and the IU teaching and learning mission."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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