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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.


Library of Congress Digitizes Presidential Collections

The world's largest library, the Library of Congress, has digitized the collections of papers from 23 early presidents, from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge. The work has taken nearly two decades of effort, and the results — 3.3 million images — are openly available online.

Saddleback College Reaches 15 Zero-Textbook-Cost Programs

California's Saddleback College is up to 15 zero textbook cost (ZTC) pathways. These are full degree or certificate programs that have no textbook-related costs or fees for online materials, though some classes may require students to buy essentials, such as safety goggles or calculators.

Department of Ed Releases App Process for Open Textbook Pilot Grants

A federal higher education open textbook pilot program is kicking off after a public-comment period that ended in April. The U.S. Department of Education recently published details about how to apply for funding in the Federal Register. Consortia of colleges and universities are being invited to develop programs to produce open educational resources under grants that will range in size from $500,000 to $2 million.

MassBay CC Doubles Use of OER

A community college in Massachusetts reported that it has doubled the use of free or open educational resources over the last year. Seventy-four courses at Massachusetts Bay Community College have adopted OER as way to make classes more affordable.

OpenStax to Double Its Textbook Library

Rice University's OpenStax open educational resources initiative has announced plans to grow its library of free textbooks from its current selection of 42 books to nearly 90 titles.

U Phoenix E-Textbook Pilot Improves Adult Math Engagement

A pilot at the University of Phoenix found that a well-designed interactive textbook can help people stick with their math studies. The university worked with zyBooks from John Wiley & Sons in a two-course undergraduate sequence on quantitative reasoning.

Higher Ed Course Material Sales Undergo Dramatic Slide

Sales of textbook materials for college and university courses plummeted by $119 million between June 2019 and July 2020. That's a 22 percent drop, according to the Association of American Publishers.

Ivy Tech CC Providing Students Free Access to Textbooks Through Cengage

Indiana's Ivy Tech Community College has partnered with Cengage to provide all its students — numbering 90,000 across the state — with textbooks and digital course materials through Cengage Unlimited.

BNED Offering Bartleby Bundle Through VitalSource

Barnes & Noble Education, which recently announced it was spinning off into a separate company from Barnes & Noble booksellers, has expanded dealings with VitalSource, which distributes digital textbooks.

Cengage Intros E-textbook Subscription Option

Cengage has announced the launch of Cengage Unlimited eTextbooks, a new subscription option that gives students access to 14,000-plus e-textbooks, study guides, test prep and other resources for $69.99 a semester.