Usage of E-Books in Higher Education - January 2013

Page created by Bradley Mclaughlin
Usage of E-Books in Higher Education - January 2013
Usage of E-Books in Higher

                                                                       January 2013

In the following report, Hanover Research provides a brief overview of the use of e-books
in postsecondary education. To begin, we discuss the increasing demand for e-books and
the status of e-books in the higher education marketplace. Next, we briefly outline some of
the advantages and disadvantages of e-books in higher education. We then profile some of
the ways e-books are being used at several institutions, including a well-known e-book
initiative at the University of Indiana, which has served as the model for e-book pilot
programs at other institutions.
Usage of E-Books in Higher Education - January 2013
Hanover Research | January 2013

            Executive Summary and Key Findings ............................................................................... 3
               Introduction ...........................................................................................................................3
               Key Findings ...........................................................................................................................3
            Section I: The Use of E-Books in Education: A Review of the Literature .............................. 6
               The Use and Demand for E-Books .........................................................................................6
               The Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Books ....................................................................8
            Section II: The Use of E-Books in Education ..................................................................... 11
               Dartmouth College and Middlebury College: An E-Book Pilot Program .............................11
                  The Pilot Program Expands ..............................................................................................13
               Indiana University’s e-Texts Initiative..................................................................................15
               E-Reader Rentals: Carnegie Mellon University and Georgetown University ......................17
               E-Reader Pilot Program at Princeton University .................................................................17
               Digital Textbook Sales Through Barnes and Noble..............................................................19
            Appendix: Examined Institutions .................................................................................... 22

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                                                  2
Usage of E-Books in Higher Education - January 2013
Hanover Research | January 2013


            The rise of e-books (also known as “e-texts” or “e-textbooks” in an educational setting) in
            the United States and across the globe is taking place in the context of a broader shift
            towards digital material. With the proliferation of desktop and laptop computers, tablets, e-
            readers and smartphones, individuals the world over can interact with digital media in a
            variety of ways either at home or on the go.

            Recent years have seen a rise in the proportion of Americans who use e-books. According to
            the Pew Internet & American Life Project, in December 2011, 17 percent of Americans
            reported reading an e-book in the previous year; by February 2012, the proportion of
            Americans reading an e-book in the past year had increased to over one in five (21
            percent). 1 Americans also consume other printed content on their electronic devices. In a
            survey ending in December 2011, “some 43% of Americans age 16 and older say they have
            either read an e-book in the past year or have read other long-form content such as
            magazines, journals, and news articles in digital format on an e-book reader, tablet
            computer, regular computer, or cell phone.” 2

            E-books vary widely in usability, accessibility, and format. While some are as simple as a PDF
            of a printed title, they “can also incorporate other features, such as annotations, audio and
            video files, and hyperlinks.” 3 Additionally, e-books can provide users with “commenting and
            chat tools that allow interaction among readers, and some let users add links to external

            In the following report, Hanover discusses the use of e-books in postsecondary education. In
            addition, we profile some of the ways e-books are being used at several institutions.

            KEY FINDINGS
                     While some projections forecast rapid growth for e-books in the educational
                      marketplace, several recent surveys indicate relatively modest student interest in e-
                      books. For example, a March 2011 survey of 655 college students by OnCampus
                      Research found that only 18 percent of students surveyed reported purchasing an
                      e-book for any purpose in the past three months. A more recent survey of 1,200
                      students at four-year colleges and universities conducted by the market research
                      firm Student Monitor found that 20 percent of respondents had bought or rented an

              Rainie, L., et al. “The Rise of E-Reading.” Pew Internet & American Life Project. April 4, 2012.
              “7 Things You Should Know About E-Books.” EDUCAUSE. November 2006. p.1.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                          3
Hanover Research | January 2013

                    e-textbook in the spring of 2012; electronic versions of textbooks accounted for 9
                    percent of all textbook purchases.
                   E-textbooks offer a variety of potential advantages to postsecondary students. They
                    can include features that can help students learn, such as embedded audio/video
                    files or communication tools that facilitate interaction between faculty and
                    students. In addition, e-textbooks are also frequently touted as a source of potential
                    cost savings for students. Moreover, e-textbooks are portable and easier to
                    revise/update than traditional print texts.
                   E-texts also suffer from some limitations. Many students find the writing and
                    annotation features of e-texts clumsy, and reading an e-text on some screens can
                    lead to eye strain or other problems. In addition, the business and licensing models
                    for e-texts are somewhat immature, and these models may change in the near
                   Dartmouth College and Middlebury College, participated in a pilot program in the
                    fall of 2012 designed to test the use of e-textbooks in selected courses. Through
                    this pilot program, colleges/universities purchased e-textbooks in bulk for use in
                    selected courses. Students in these courses were then provided with e-texts instead
                    of printed textbooks, which are read through e-reader software from Courseload.
                   The above e-text pilot program was modeled on Indiana University’s eText
                    initiative, which has piloted e-textbooks in a variety of IU courses. When faculty
                    adopt the eText model for a given course, students in the course are charged a
                    mandatory fee for e-books. Revenue from this fee is used to purchase access to e-
                    textbooks for all students in the course. Students can access e-texts provided
                    through the eText initiative as long as they are enrolled at IU, and can read their e-
                    texts on multiple devices using e-reader software from Courseload.
                   Both Carnegie Mellon University and Georgetown University offer e-reader rentals
                    through university libraries. At Carnegie Mellon University, students, faculty and
                    staff can borrow Kindle e-readers from several different libraries on-campus. These
                    devices are available to be borrowed for a two-week period and come pre-loaded
                    with a range of popular fiction and non-fiction titles. Similarly, at Georgetown
                    University, students can borrow a Kindle Fire, Kindle DX, or iPad through the
                    University library and upload their own content to the device.
                   Other institutions have conducted pilot programs aimed at evaluating whether e-
                    readers can be used as a substitute for or compliment to printed textbooks and
                    other course materials. For example, in 2009, Princeton University undertook a pilot
                    trial program to assess the use of Kindle DX e-readers in the classroom. Students in
                    three courses were provided with a free Kindle DX e-reader for use in the course,
                    and course texts used in these courses consisted of resources in e-book format as well
                    as PDF documents, both of which could be read on the Kindle.
                   E-textbooks are often obtainable through the official bookstores of these
                    institutions. Ten of the 21 institutions identified for the purposes of this report, for
                    example, allow students to purchase and/or rent digital textbooks through Barnes

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                      4
Hanover Research | January 2013

                   and Noble, which operates as the official bookstore for these institutions. Barnes &
                   Noble e-textbooks are meant to be read using the Barnes & Noble NOOK Study
                   application. This application is a free e-reader program which can be used on both
                   PC and Macintosh computers.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                  5
Hanover Research | January 2013

            SECTION I: T HE USE OF E-BOOKS                                                  IN     EDUCATION:
            It is clear that e-books have quickly grown in popularity outside the realm of higher
            education. In 2011 Amazon announced that its customers were buying more e-books than
            print books, and in May 2011 the company announced that since April 1st it had sold 105 e-
            books for its Kindle e-readers for every 100 paperback and hardcover books sold. 5 In
            addition, a July 2012 survey of 2,000 publishers conducted by Bookstats found that digital
            book sales grew astronomically in 2011: “Publishers’ net revenue from sales of e-books
            more than doubled last year, reaching $2.07 billion, up from $869 million in 2010. E-books
            accounted for 15.5 percent of publishers’ revenues.” 6 This growth is especially notable
            considering that overall trade revenues (revenues from fiction and non-fiction titles for
            children and adults) were basically flat from 2010 to 2011.

            In contrast, data on the growth of e-books in the educational marketplace are more
            ambiguous. In 2011 e-textbooks comprised just 3.4 percent of the global textbook
            marketplace, according to Outsell, Inc. Nonetheless, the company forecasts rapid growth for
            e-textbooks, projecting that by 2013 e-textbooks will account for 18.3 percent of the
            textbook market. 7 Other projections also forecast rapid growth for e-books in the
            educational marketplace. For example, according to Rob Reynolds of MBS Direct LLC,
            “[d]igital textbooks topped 3% of the education market in 2011” and are continuing to
            increase market share at a rapid pace. According to Reynolds, “[t]his growth has seen the
            market move from 0.5% in 2009, to 1.5% in 2010, to 3%+ this past year.” 8

            However, not all estimates of the market share of e-books in higher education have pointed
            to rapid growth. Indeed, in early 2012 the Book Industry Study Group found that while 3
            percent of the textbooks students bought for college courses were digital in 2011, this
            represented a decrease from 2010, when roughly six percent of the textbooks students
            bought for higher education courses were e-books. 9

            Other data confirm the fact that e-textbooks account for only a small fraction of the overall
            textbook market, though the growth in e-book sales has been swift. According to John Squires,
            the CEO of Akademos, a company that provides an online bookstore for institutions of higher

              Cain Miller, C., and Bosman, J. “E-Books Outsell Print Books at Amazon.” New York Times, May 19, 2011.
              Bosman, J. “Survey Shows Growing Strength of E-Books.” New York Times, July 18, 2012.
              Reynolds, R. “E-Textbook Market Remains on Course to Pass 25% by 2015.” Direct Digital.
              Greenfield, J. “E-Textbook Use Down Among College Students.” Digital Book World. February 8, 2012.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                    6
Hanover Research | January 2013

            education, while digital textbook purchases have increased approximately 300 percent over the
            last three years, they still account for less than five percent of overall textbook sales. 10 A slightly
            higher figure appears in the results from a survey of 1,200 students and four-year colleges and
            universities conducted by the market research firm Student Monitor in spring 2012. Their results
            showed that electronic versions of textbooks accounted for nine percent of all textbook
            purchases, as shown in Figure 1.1. Furthermore, the survey found that one in five students
            reported buying or renting an e-textbook in the spring of 2012.11

            Surveys of college students also indicate that many students prefer print editions of books
            over digital copies. For example, a March 2011 survey of 655 college students by OnCampus
            Research, a division of the National Association of College Stores, found that roughly 18
            percent of students surveyed reported purchasing an electronic book of any kind in the past
            three months, while nearly 82 percent of students indicated they had not done so.12
            Interestingly, student respondents showed a marked preference for a printed textbook over
            an e-book – over three in four students (75.19 percent) indicated that they preferred a print
            textbook, while less than 25 percent of students preferred a digital version. 13

                   Figure 1.1: Estimated Share of All Textbook Purchases, Student Monitor Survey
                           50%                                  45%

                           20%                                                15%

                                      New Print              Used Print   Rented Print        E-Texts
                              Source: Student Monitor

            However, the 2012 Student Monitor survey also found that students’ preferences for print
            textbooks may be waning. As Steve Kolowich of Inside Higher Ed notes, “among those who
            did not purchase a digital text, only 39 percent said they “prefer traditional print textbooks”
            — down from 50 percent two years ago and 59 percent three years ago.” 15

               Schaffhauser, D. “Rental and E-Book Sales Erode New Textbook Sales.” Campus Technology, December 3, 2012.
               Kolowich, S. “Hype vs. Adoption.” Inside Higher Ed, July 5, 2012.
               “Update: Electronic Book and eReader Device Report.” OnCampus Research, March 2011, p. 1.
               Ibid, p. 2.
               Kolowich, S. Op cit.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                  7
Hanover Research | January 2013

            E-textbooks offer a variety of potential benefits (and drawbacks) to postsecondary students.
            E-texts can include a variety of features that can serve to facilitate a student’s
            understanding of a topic, such as hyperlinks, audio or video files, and tools such as chat
            services that allow students to interact with other students and with faculty. 16 For
            example, various e-books and e-readers allow students to annotate texts and share these
            annotations with others. These and other resources that can be included in e-texts have the
            potential to help students learn. As administrators from Northwest Missouri State
            University stated in a 2009 article in EDUCAUSE Review Online,

                     Any textbook can be a more powerful learning resource if augmented with review
                     quizzes, recommended and targeted review readings, interactive learning activities,
                     or video segments to reinforce important instructional concepts. These enhanced
                     learning resources, which are much easier to integrate and deliver in the e-textbook
                     format, have the potential to accelerate student learning. 17

            Several recent developments have amplified the interest in e-textbooks among many
            educators, postsecondary institutions, and policymakers. The price of print textbooks is
            frequently cited as a driver for e-textbook adoption, as print textbook costs have risen
            sharply in recent years. In fact, a 2005 Government Accountability Office Report found that
            the cost of textbooks far outstripped the rate of inflation from 1986 to 2004. This report
            found that the price of textbooks increased 186 percent since 1986, approximately six
            percent per year. Conversely, consumer prices rose 72 percent over the same time period.18
            More recently, in a 2011 survey of approximately 10,500 students at 18 separate
            institutions of higher education, students reported spending $655 on textbooks and
            required course materials over the last 12 months. 19 Various authors, educators, and
            publishing industry representatives have touted the potential cost-savings of e-textbooks,
            noting, for example, that electronic books avoid “the printing, storage, and mailing costs of
            traditional publishing and may considerably reduce the time required to produce and
            distribute a text.” 20

            E-textbooks also offer other advantages. For example, portability has been cited as an
            important factor in the future purchase of e-texts. 21 For students accustomed to carrying
            multiple course textbooks, the convenience of e-texts can be a welcome change. E-

               “7 Things You Should Know About E-Books.” Op. cit.
               Rickman, J., et al. “A Campus-Wide E-Textbook Initiative.” EDUCAUSE Review Online, July 30, 2009.
               Nicholls, N. “The Investigation Into the Rising Cost of Textbooks: A Background Study of the Context of Michigan
                 Initiatives with an Eye Toward Launching a Library-Based College Textbook Purchasing Program.” University of
                 Michigan Library, Scholarly Publishing Office. April 2009 (Rev. January 2010). p. 5.
               “Student Watch 2012: Student Attitudes & Perceptions.” OnCampus Research.
               “7 Things You Should Know About E-Books.” Op. Cit.
               “Internet2 eTextbook Spring 2012 Pilot Final Project Report.” August 1, 2012. p.21.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                         8
Hanover Research | January 2013

            textbooks are also easier to update or revise than traditional print texts, allowing
            publishers to update or correct errors in a work. 22

            However, institutions considering furnishing students with e-textbooks should be aware of
            some of the potential downsides to this technology as well. E-books can raise copyright
            issues for both consumers and publishers. Piracy is also a concern, and publishers/copyright
            owners “face growing hurdles in protecting their content from unauthorized
            reproduction.” 23 The inclusion of rich media (such as audio and video) and/or other features
            present in some textbooks can at times serve to annoy users. 24 Furthermore, “eTextbook
            business models, software readers, and licensing models are fairly immature,” and it is
            likely publishers will alter the e-textbook sale and distribution model in the near future.25
            Reading e-textbooks on some screens, such as computer screens, can lead to eye strain and
            other problems. 26 Finally, some individuals simply prefer to read on paper.

            Institutions should also consider potential effects e-books can have on learning. Some
            research indicates that the use of e-texts with annotations can improve student learning. 27
            However, other research indicates that while students can score the same on measures of
            reading comprehension with an e-text versus a paper book, students interact differently
            with text on a computer screen. Some evidence suggests that individuals reading text from
            a monitor will skim the text; this method is “ineffective for studying because too much
            information gets lost, causing the reader to have to reread sections as they check for
            understanding.” 28

            In any case, institutions should avoid forcing digital or print textbooks upon students. Kurt
            Gerdenich of Cengage Learning (a publisher of courseware, textbooks, and other print and
            digital content) noted at the May 2012 SIAA Ed Tech Industry Summit that students “will
            want the ability to buy print if they like print, and to buy digital if they like digital.” 29 It has
            also been suggested that institutions should avoid “top-down mandates” forcing faculty
            to use e-texts. 30 Indeed, the authors of a 2011 study of textbook distribution models at
            Daytona State College note that “[a]n effective approach will encourage, but not require, e-
            text adoption. Should reluctant faculty members observe demonstrable benefits in the
            classrooms of colleagues who have switched, they will soon decide to go e-text as well.” 31

               Miller, J., et al. “The Determinants of Electronic Textbook Use Among College Students.” April 2012. p.4.
               “7 Things You Should Know About E-Books.” Op. cit., p.2.
               Miller, J., et al. Op. cit.
               “Internet2 eTextbook Spring 2012 Pilot Final Project Report.” Op. cit., p.16.
               Miller, J., et al. Op. cit.
               Dennis, A., et al. “Improving Learning With eTextbooks.” p.10.
               “E-Textbook Effectiveness Studied.” James Madison University.
               Ash, K. “Mapping the E-Books Marketplace.” Education Week, May 7, 2012.
               Graydon, B., et al. “A Study of Four Textbook Distribution Models.” EDUCAUSE Review Online, December 15, 2011.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                       9
Hanover Research | January 2013

            While faculty bear a large responsibility for ensuring the successful adoption of e-texts in
            the classroom, educational institutions frequently feature distributed governance models
            that can affect the move to digital texts. In the words of John Bourne, the executive director
            of the Sloan Consortium, an organization that studies online learning, faculty control of
            course texts (including how these texts are delivered) is frequently “sacred” at these
            institutions. 32 Consequently, institutions seeking to facilitate e-text adoption should provide
            support and training to help ensure faculty use e-texts effectively in their courses. 33

               Kolowich, S. “The E-Book Sector.” Inside Higher Ed, June 8, 2010.
               Graydon, B., et al. Op. cit.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                       10
Hanover Research | January 2013


            In this section Hanover Research profiles initiatives related to the use of digital textbooks at
            several institutions. These profiles identify some of the ways that e-books and e-textbooks
            are currently being utilized and selected programs/initiatives these institutions have
            implemented to facilitate access to e-books. However, it is important to note that the
            profiles below are not designed to be comprehensive descriptions of the use of e-books at
            these selected institutions. The institutions and programs profiled in this section are as

                    An e-textbook pilot program that has taken place at many over 20 U.S.
                     postsecondary institutions
                    The eText initiative at Indiana University (IU)
                    E-reader rental programs at Carnegie Mellon University and Georgetown University
                    An e-reader pilot program at Princeton University
                    The sale of digital textbooks through Barnes & Noble, which acts as the official
                     campus bookstore for ten profiled institutions

            Both Dartmouth College and Middlebury College recently agreed to participate in a pilot
            program designed to test the use of e-textbooks in selected courses. This pilot program, first
            announced at five universities in January 2012, allows institutions to purchase e-textbooks
            in bulk for use in certain class sections. The pilot program is the work of Internet2, a
            consortium of over 220 colleges. 34

            This program is based on Indiana University’s eText initiative, which has piloted e-textbooks
            in a variety of IU courses.35 The Indiana University eText initiative is designed to change “the
            way students purchase and interact with textbooks and other learning materials” by
            offering e-texts and other digital learning materials to students at substantially reduced
            costs. 36 The Indiana University program receives further attention in the next profile.

            Initially, the e-text pilot program was implemented at five institutions in the spring 2012
            semester: Indiana University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota,
            Cornell University, and the University of Virginia. The University of California Berkeley also
            participated in the pilot, though it did not engage in a joint evaluation of the pilot program

               “Internet2 and EDUCAUSE Partner To Deliver eText Pilot At Colleges and Universities Nationwide, Fall 2012.”
               “IU Expands eTexts Initiative with Pearson.” Indiana University.
               “Internet2 eTextbook Spring 2012 Pilot Final Project Report.” Op. cit., p.5.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                     11
Hanover Research | January 2013

            with other institutions due to the limited number of students involved in the program at
            Berkeley. 37

            This pilot program, as initially implemented at these institutions, allowed institutions to
            purchase e-textbooks in bulk directly from publishers, who offered deep discounts on
            these texts. In this pilot program, certain courses at these institutions used only e-texts,
            though students were provided with the option to purchase a printed copy in addition to
            the e-text. 38 E-texts were available on Courseload, an e-book broker which provides
            software that works on any device compatible with HTML5, 39 including most devices that
            run on Windows, Android, MacOS, or iOS. 40 Additionally, Courseload allows content from a
            variety of publishers and supports other features. For example, the Courseload software
            allows students to print from their e-textbook, create annotations, and share these notes
            with other users. 41 In the pilot program, the Courseload e-reader software was integrated
            with the learning management system (LMS) used by each institution. Thus, students could
            use a single sign-on to access all their e-texts through their LMS. 42 Students using
            Courseload could read e-texts both online and offline, so that an internet connection was
            not required to access course materials.

            By virtue of a contract negotiated by IU and Internet2 with McGraw-Hill and Courseload,
            participating institutions received McGraw-Hill textbook content through the Courseload
            platform in exchange for a flat fee of $20,000. This single contract, which other institutions
            adopted via a lightweight Memorandum of Understanding with Internet 2, authorized
            participants to use e-textbooks in up to ten sections or with up to 1,000 students, whichever
            came first. 43 The cost of the materials was subsidized by the institutions participating in the
            pilot program. 44

            Each of the institutions involved in the pilot followed a similar path to implementation but
            implemented the pilot program slightly differently. There was variation with regard to the
            team responsible for implementing this pilot, “the role of their bookstore, faculty selection
            process, courses selected, communication strategy, and technology platform.” 45 Some of
            the institutions in the pilot, for instance, had used e-textbooks in other pilot programs
            and/or for other courses not involved in this pilot. For example, according to an August
            2012 report on the pilot program, Cornell University had offered electronic textbooks to

               Ibid., p. 2.
               “Internet2 eTextbook Spring 2012 Pilot Final Project Report.” Op. cit., p.10.
               Slotnik, D. “Pilot E-Book Program at Five Universities Focuses on Bulk Savings, Not iBooks.” New York Times, January
                 20, 2012.
               “Electronic Texts Pilot for Fall 2012.” Internet2. 2012. p.1.
               Namahoe, K. “5 Institutions Pilot E-Textbooks.” Campus Technology, January 20, 2012.
               “Internet2 eTextbook Pilot.” University of Minnesota Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and
                 Provost. November 2011. p.2.
               Kolowich, S. “Pulling for Better E-Textbook Prices.” Inside Higher Ed,
               “Internet2 eTextbook Spring 2012 Pilot Final Project Report.” Op. cit., p.6.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                             12
Hanover Research | January 2013

            instructors through the Cornell Store (the college’s campus bookstore) for roughly two years
            using the CafeScribe system. 46 Similarly, at the University of Virginia, “[e]lectronic textbooks
            have long been offered as an alternative to print textbooks (when available) by the
            University’s Bookstore,” and individual students can choose which version of a text to
            purchase and use. 47

            While it is beyond the scope of this report to consider the outcomes from this pilot in depth,
            several points do bear mention. Overall, reviews of the pilot from students at participating
            institutions were mixed. 48 One the one hand, many students in the pilot program
            appreciated the affordability of the e-textbooks, and students also praised the portability
            of e-books compared to their print counterparts. 49 The vast majority of students in the
            pilot (88 percent) did not purchase a paper copy of the e-textbook. However, many students
            reported their e-textbooks were “clumsy” and some did not like using the e-book platform,
            noting that e-texts were difficult to navigate. 50 Students complained of usability issues with
            e-texts and reported a variety of barriers to e-text use, including “readability, eyestrain,
            zooming difficulties, lack of readability on some mobile devices, and a dislike of reading on a
            computer or other device.” 51 In fact, many students surveyed as part of the pilot expressed
            a preference for conventional books over e-textbooks.

            It should be noted, however, that many students and faculty in the pilot did not take
            advantage of the collaborative features of the e-texts, such as annotation and note sharing.
            Some evidence suggests that the use of these features may have an impact on student’s
            feelings concerning e-textbooks. Indeed, “students that rated the instructor’s
            encouragement higher” were more likely to indicate that the e-textbook annotation
            features were valuable (and less likely to indicate these annotation features were
            distracting) than other students. 52

            In the fall 2012 semester the pilot program was modified and expanded to over 20 other
            universities, including Dartmouth College and Middlebury College. As with the earlier pilot,
            students in specific courses were furnished with digital materials from McGraw-Hill
            Education instead of printed textbooks. 53 Students participating in the pilot at these
            institutions used the Courseload e-reader software to view e-books through a variety of
               Ibid., p.12.
               Azevedo, A. “Bulk-Purchasing E-Textbook Experiment Expands to More Colleges.” Chronicle of Higher Education,
                 September 5, 2012.
               “Internet2 eTextbook Spring 2012 Pilot Final Project Report.” Op. cit., pp.21-22.
               Chen, A. “Students Find E-Textbooks “Clumsy” and Don’t Use Their Interactive Features.” Chronicle of Higher
                 Education, August 22, 2012.
               “Internet2 eTextbook Spring 2012 Pilot Final Project Report.” Op. cit., p.21.
               Schaffhauser, D. “E-Textbook Pilot Grows to 25 Schools Even as U Minn Opts Out.” Campus Technology, September
                 5, 2012 p.1.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                      13
Hanover Research | January 2013

            devices, though the Courseload system had been updated to make the software “smoother
            and more sophisticated” in response to student feedback gleaned from the earlier pilot
            program run at the five institutions discussed above. 54

            According to a prospectus of the fall 2012 pilot program by Internet2, institutions
            participating in the pilot were to be provided with access to the texts “within the specific
            undergraduate and/or graduate classes or sections involved in the pilot.” 55 Students would
            enjoy access to the texts until the end of the fall 2012 term, so long as they remained
            enrolled in the course/section using these texts. Students could choose to print all or part
            of the e-texts directly from the e-reader platform, or they could receive full printed copies
            of the e-texts via a “third-party print-on-demand-service” for a small fee. As in the earlier
            pilot, the Courseload e-reader software was integrated into each institution’s LMS. 56

            For the fall 2012 pilot program, participating institutions could choose between two
            different “levels” of participation. Institutions could pay $20,000 for e-texts for 20 sections
            and/or 800 students, whichever limit was reached first. Institutions interested in distributing
            more e-texts through this pilot program could pay $35,000 to obtain materials for up to 40
            sections and/or 1,600 students, whichever limit came first. 57 As was the case with the
            January 2012 pilot program, the cost of these e-texts and materials was subsidized by the
            institutions participating in the study, so students did not have to pay for their e-texts. 58 As
            of September 5, 2012, the 26 institutions listed in Figure 2.1 on the following page had
            signed on to participate in this expanded pilot program.

                     Figure 2.1: Participants in Fall 2012 Internet2/EDUCAUSE E-Books Pilot Program
                             Baylor University (Tex.)                          Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
                 California State Polytechnic University at Pomona               State University of New York at Buffalo
                           Castleton State College (Vt.)                      State University of New York at Stony Brook
                     Colorado State University at Fort Collins                      University of Alaska at Anchorage
                         Community College of Vermont                              University of California at Berkeley
                             Cornell University (N.Y.)                                 University of Hawaii-Manoa
                            Dartmouth College (N.H.)                                        University of Iowa
                 Iowa State University of Science and Technology                          University of Kentucky
                      Madison Area Technical College (Wis.)                             University of South Florida
                             Miami University (Ohio)                                       University of Virginia
                            Michigan State University                              University of Wisconsin at Madison
                             Middlebury College (Vt.)                                           Virginia Tech
                          Northern Kentucky University                                Wichita State University (Kan.)
            Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

               Azevedo, A. Op. Cit.
               “Electronic Texts Pilot for Fall 2012.” Internet2. 2012. Op. cit., p. 1.
               Ibid., p.2.
               Schaffhauser, Dian. “E-Textbook Pilot Grows to 25 Schools Even as U Minn Opts Out.” Op. Cit.
               Azevedo, A. Op. cit.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                     14
Hanover Research | January 2013

            Of the institutions involved in the January 2012 pilot program, all but the University of
            Minnesota continued on to participate in the expanded fall 2012 pilot. 60 The University of
            Minnesota dropped out of the pilot program, citing concerns about the accessibility of e-
            texts on the Courseload platform for students with impairments. 61 However, the University
            has continued to experiment with e-book programs, and “has announced a separate
            agreement with McGraw-Hill Education to provide e-books and other digital content to
            students affordably and efficiently through the university bookstore.” 62

            Negotiations are underway regarding a similar pilot program, to be implemented in the
            spring of 2013, which officials hope will include 50-75 different institutions. 63

            As mentioned above, Indiana University’s eText initiative began pilot trials in 2009 and has
            furnished e-textbooks in a variety of IU courses. In pilot trials spanning several years,
            Indiana University has partnered with Courseload to provide students with e-texts from a
            variety of publishers. 64 At the start of this pilot program, students in participating courses
            were provided with e-texts free of charge, as the university and Courseload paid for the e-
            textbooks. 65 More recently, the Indiana eText initiative has charged students in participating
            courses a mandatory fee for e-books, which is billed through their bursar accounts. To
            ensure that only the students who are enrolled in participating courses are charged for
            these e-books, students who drop a course which charges students an eText fee before the
            add/drop deadline receive a refund. 66

            In September 2011, the Indiana University eText initiative launched in its mature form on all
            Indiana University campuses after five semesters of pilot programs. 67 Now individual
            faculty members determine whether to adopt the university’s eText model or to use other
            sources of print or digital media. When instructors decide to adopt the model, faculty and
            students are provided with access to course textbooks through the Courseload e-reader
            software. 68 Therefore, only students who choose to enroll in a course which participates in
            the University’s eText initiative are assessed an eText fee in their bursar bill. According to an

               Indiana University is also not participating in the fall 2012 pilot, though as will be discussed below Indiana
                 University has launched an initiative similar to these pilot programs to provide students in selected courses with
                 e-texts after undertaking several semesters of similar pilot programs.
               Schaffhauser, D. “E-Textbook Pilot Grows to 25 Schools Even as U Minn Opts Out.” p.3.
               “McGraw-Hill Education Partners with EDUCAUSE to Expand Exclusive E-Book Pilot Program with Internet2 and
                 Courseload to 25 Universities.” McGraw-Hill Education. September 5, 2012.
               Azevedo, A. Op. cit.
               Young, J. Op. cit.
               “eTexts Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).” Indiana University.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                             15
Hanover Research | January 2013

            October 2012 article in EdTech Magazine, approximately 8,000 of 110,000 IU students use
            eTexts. 69

            The IU eText initiative currently allows faculty who participate in the program to select from
            texts from a number of different publishers, “including McGraw-Hill, Pearson, John Wiley &
            Sons, Macmillan, W.W. Norton, Harvard Business Publishing and Flat World Knowledge.” 70
            Students can then read their e-texts on multiple devices using an e-reader software
            platform (Courseload). 71 The Courseload e-reader software integrates with the University’s
            learning management system, and students can log in to both through a single sign-on.
            Students in courses participating in the eText initiative can make use of the features of
            Courseload to assist them in the learning process. Indiana University notes the Courseload
            software “allows students to highlight and annotate the text with comments,” and students
            can use different highlighter “colors” to denote different categories of information. 72
            Students can also choose to share their annotations with other students or with faculty.
            Additionally, “[f]aculty can annotate the text and have his/her annotations propagate to all
            students' eTexts.” 73 Students can access e-texts provided through the eText initiative as long
            as they are enrolled at IU, and “can print or pay a small fee for a professionally printed and
            bound version if they wish to keep a book longer.” 74 To further support students who are
            interested in obtaining a print material of their books, the IU eText initiative allows students
            to print e-textbook content from their own printers for free.

            Since students in courses which participate in the eText initiative are automatically
            assessed an eText fee (which is used to pay for the e-text content as well as the Courseload
            eReader platform), IU can provide e-texts to students at substantially reduced costs. As the
            IU eText initiative FAQ points out,

                     Publishers will dramatically drop the price of eTexts if each student in a course
                     section is charged a fee, as this ensures publishers are paid by each user of their
                     content. In the textbook market, authors and publishers only get paid when a new
                     book is sold, so they price new books high to cover the 2-3 year period of lower
                     sales that exist between the creation of new editions. The IU eText Fee Model
                     allows IU to negotiate with the publishers/vendors in a business-to-business
                     relationship for favorable prices and terms, just as IU has done for Microsoft and
                     Adobe software on IUWare, which allows IU to use its negotiating power to provide
                     students with eTexts at a lower cost. 75

               Osborne, N. “The Best of Both Worlds: Indiana University Pioneers E-Textbook Model.” EdTech Magazine, October
                 8, 2012.
               “eTexts Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).” Op. cit.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                      16
Hanover Research | January 2013

            According to Nik Osbourne, the information technology chief of staff at Indiana University,
            an e-textbook through IU’s initiative costs about half as much as it would through another
            school or vendor. 76

            Other institutions feature initiatives which help to increase student access to e-books. While
            it is common for institutions to feature e-book collections in their library or libraries, some
            institutions, such as Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Georgetown University, have
            taken additional steps to furnish students at their institutions with access to e-texts. Both
            universities currently allow students to borrow e-readers from the university library.

            At CMU students, faculty and staff can borrow Kindles for up to two weeks from several
            different libraries, including the University’s Hunt Library, the Engineering & Science Library,
            and the Mellon Institute Library. The library Kindles appear to be intended to allow students
            to engage in non-academic reading, as they come pre-loaded with a range of popular fiction
            and non-fiction titles. 77

            Similarly, at Georgetown University, students, faculty and staff can borrow a Kindle Fire or
            Kindle DX for up to four weeks from the University’s Lauinger Library. 78 The university’s
            lending system for the device enables students to upload their own books and other
            content to the Kindle. Before using a library Kindle, students must register the device with
            their own personal Kindle account to access free titles or purchased content. Students then
            can make use of services such Amazon’s Kindle textbook rental program to rent a variety of
            e-textbooks, which can be read using a Kindle or a similar e-reader. When returning the
            Kindle, students are asked to deregister their Kindle account, and the library staff then reset
            the device to its factory settings. In this way, students at Georgetown University can use
            borrowed Kindle e-readers to read books and other media of their choice. 79

            Several institutions have conducted pilot programs aimed at evaluating whether e-readers
            can be used as a substitute for or compliment to printed textbooks and other course
            materials. Princeton University, for example, has undertaken pilot program to study the use
            of e-readers in the classroom. This pilot program will be briefly examined below.

               Abutaleb, Y. “Some Universities Require Students to Use E-Textbooks.” USA Today, August 13, 2012.
               “Kindles @ CMU.” Carnegie Mellon University.
              “Kindles at Lauinger Library: Welcome.” Georgetown University.
               “Kindles at Lauinger Library: Using a Kindle DX.” Georgetown University.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                    17
Hanover Research | January 2013

            At Princeton University, students participated in the Kindle DX pilot trial program, designed
            to study the use of the Kindle DX in selected courses instead of print textbooks. This
            program debuted at seven institutions:

                    University of Virginia
                    Arizona State University
                    Case Western Reserve University
                    Princeton University
                    Pace University
                    Reed College
                    University of Washington. 80

            Students in three courses at Princeton University (a total of 50 students) participated in the
            pilot program during the fall of 2009.81 The goal of this pilot program was threefold: to
            “reduce the amount of printing and photocopying done in the three pilot courses,” “to
            determine if using this technology in the classroom could equal (or better) the typical
            classroom experience where more traditional readings were used,” and to “explore the
            strengths and weaknesses of current e-reader technology to provide suggestions for future
            devices.” 82

            The exact courses slated to participate in the pilot were kept secret until enrollment in these
            courses was complete, to ensure that students who enrolled in the courses participating in
            the pilot were “primarily interested in the course subject rather than in using the Kindle.” 83
            The three courses chosen to participate in the pilot program were as follows:

                    The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs/American studies
                     undergraduate course WWS325, "Civil Society and Public Policy”
                    The Wilson School graduate-level course WWS555a "U.S. Policy and Diplomacy in the Middle
                    The classics graduate-level course CLA546 "Religion and Magic in Ancient Rome.”

            Students in these courses had the option of participating in the Kindle pilot program.
            Students were provided with free Kindle DX e-readers for use in the course, and the
            University explained to students that “[a]ny student who made a serious effort to refrain

               Marmarelli, T., and Ringle, M. “The Reed College Kindle Study.” p.1.
               “The E-Reader Pilot at Princeton.” Princeton University. 2010. p.2.
               Ibid., p.9.
               Points taken verbatim from: Ibid., p.8.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                          18
Hanover Research | January 2013

            from printing in the pilot course and to do as many of the readings as possible on the Kindle
            would be able to keep the Kindle at the end of the pilot.” 85 Course texts used in these
            courses consisted of resources in e-book format as well as PDF documents, both of which
            could be read on the Kindle. 86 Students were able to highlight and annotate readings using
            the Kindle’s keyboard and annotation features.

            The results of this Kindle pilot program were mixed. Students in the pilot did print less than
            control groups of students who did not use e-readers, but overall, the University’s final report
            on the e-reader pilot program concluded that “[t]he classroom experience was somewhat
            worsened by using e-readers, as study and reference habits of a lifetime were challenged by
            device limitations.” 87 Many students found that it was difficult to annotate and highlight PDF
            files on the Kindle e-reader, and students also lamented the fact that they were not able to
            navigate quickly between, skim, and compare documents. 88 Navigation of individual documents
            and e-books was also identified as a challenge, and students complained that documents lacked
            page numbers, which made the navigation or citation of these documents more difficult.
            Students also bemoaned “the lack of folders to organize readings.” 89 The University’s final
            report on the e-reader pilot sums up student issues with the Kindle DX as follows:

                       Future e-book manufacturers may wish to pay more attention to annotation tools,
                       pagination, content organization, and in achieving a more natural “paper-like” user
                       experience. In summary, although most users of the Kindle DX were very pleased
                       with their “reading” experiences with the Kindle, they felt that the “writing” tools
                       fell short of expectations, and prevented them from doing things easily
                       accomplished with paper. 90

            E-textbooks are often available through the official bookstores of the institution. Many
            institutions, for example, allow students to purchase digital textbooks through Barnes and
            Noble, which serves as the official campus bookstore for approximately half of the
            examined institutions as identified by Hanover Research:

                      Bucknell University
                      Columbia University
                      Dartmouth College
                      Emory University
                      Harvard University

               Ibid., p.9.
               Ibid., pp.9-10.
               Ibid., p.2.
               Ibid., p.18.
               Ibid., p.13.
               Ibid., p.2.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                           19
Hanover Research | January 2013

                    John Hopkins University
                    Rice University
                    Tufts University
                    Vassar College
                    Yale University. 91

            Students at all of these institutions can purchase and/or rent e-textbooks through Barnes
            & Noble, often for considerably less than their print counterparts. The e-textbooks are
            meant to be read using the Barnes & Noble NOOK Study application. 92 This application is a
            free e-reader program which can be used on both Macintosh and PC computers. However,
            NOOK Study e-textbooks are not meant to be used on Barnes & Noble NOOK e-readers or
            other mobile devices, as the smaller screens of many e-readers and other devices do not
            allow the textbooks to display properly.

            Barnes & Noble e-textbooks are downloaded to an individual’s computer using the NOOK
            Study application, so that students do not need to access these textbooks via the internet.
            These e-textbooks “look exactly like the print version,” so students can see “all the same
            graphs, charts, and drawings.” 93 The layout and page numbers of Barnes & Noble e-
            textbooks are also identical to those of the print text. An individual’s e-textbooks via Barnes
            & Noble are accessible from up to two different computers, and Barnes & Noble currently
            offers an e-book library of over 2.5 million texts. 94

            The Barnes & Noble NOOK Study application supports a variety of features that enable users
            to interact with the text. Users can utilize NOOK Study to search their notes, a book, or their
            entire library, and can highlight and mark up content. Users can also take notes directly in
            their e-text, tag their notes so they can be easily found later, and export their notes into a
            Word/text file so that they can be easily printed or emailed. 95 Additionally, the NOOK Study
            software supports a number of other features, such as allowing students to open multiple
            textbooks simultaneously to compare content across e-books, print and copy pages from
            e-texts, and bookmark relevant pages in a text. Students can also import local documents
            to NOOK Study, such as syllabi, lecture notes, and handouts, and arrange this material by
            course, so that course materials and textbooks are available in one place. 96

            To protect e-textbooks from unlicensed copying, e-textbooks available from Barnes & Noble
            feature copy and print restrictions set by textbook publishers that are designed “to prevent

               “College Partners.” Barnes & Noble.
               “E-Textbooks – Save Up to 60%.” Barnes & Noble.
               “Student’s Choice.” Barnes & Noble.
               “Browse Features.” Barnes & Noble.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                 20
Hanover Research | January 2013

            unauthorized reproduction of their textbooks.”97 Consequently, students are only allowed
            to copy/print a limited number of pages from an e-textbook. Each book’s copy and print
            restrictions are listed on the Barnes & Noble web site and in the NOOK Study application. 98
            Barnes & Noble also allows individuals who have bought regular NOOKbooks (Barnes &
            Noble e-books) to read these books using NOOK Study.

            The NOOK Study application can also be integrated into a variety of learning management
            systems, such as Blackboard Learn, Moodle, Sakai, Desire2Learn, WebCT, and Canvas
            learning management systems. 99 To help improve accessibility for individuals with
            disabilities, the NOOK Study application also features a text-to-speech capability which
            reads text out loud “including imported content and navigation of NOOK Study.” 100
            However, it should be noted that e-book publishers set text-to-speak rights. As such, while
            Barnes & Noble specifies that currently the text-to-speech feature works with all e-
            textbooks, in the future not all e-texts may be accessible using this feature. 101

               “General Questions About NOOK Study eTextbooks.” Barnes & Noble.
               “NOOK Study.” Barnes & Noble.
                “FAQ & Support.” Barnes & Noble.
                “General Questions About NOOK Study eTextbooks.” Op. cit.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                              21
Hanover Research | January 2013


                   United States Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
                   Barnard College (New York, New York)
                   Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island)
                   Bucknell University (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania)
                   Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
                   Colgate University (Hamilton, New York)
                   Columbia University (New York, New York)
                   Dartmouth College (Hanover, New Hampshire)
                   Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia)
                   Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)
                   Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
                   The Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland)
                   Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vermont)
                   United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland)
                   University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)
                   Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)
                   Rice University (Houston, Texas)
                   Tufts University (Medford, Massachusetts)
                   Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, New York)
                   Wesleyan College (Macon, Georgia)
                   Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                 22
You can also read