Half of Indiana U students are enrolled in e-book program
- More than half of the 115,000 students enrolled at Indiana University participate in the institution’s eText initiative, a program that allows students to access course textbook materials through an online platform. Under an inclusive access model, publishers offer content for significantly less than the cost of a physical textbook, according to Inside Higher Ed.
- The eText program has seemingly perfected its approach after several pilot launches and a formal debut in 2012. In just five years, the program has helped to generate more than $8 million in savings for students.
- The success of the program is highlighted in, interestingly enough, an e-book published by Indiana University to help other institutions learn best practices in integrating open source learning technology.
The e-book movement is a necessary innovation for colleges and universities, as students and lawmakers continue to grow in their demand for institutions to find ways to make degree pursuit more affordable. While tuition remains the central theme in the conversation about affordability, institutions that can offer solutions to peripheral costs of education like transportation, food and learning materials are in the best position for recruiting diverse student groups and yielding high marks in student satisfaction.
The biggest challenges to digital materials integration remain, however, faculty willingness to implement the programs and institutions’ ability to secure copyrights for all texts that can be used in a course or courses offered on campus and online. Communication, data and student feedback, seemingly, are ways for academic executives to lead teaching traditionalists to understand the business sense, and student appeal of upgrading teaching and learning for the technological age.
- Inside Higher Ed How a digital textbook initiative achieved liftoff