NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A promising model for the purchase, distribution and use of e-books and digital course materials on college campuses took an important step forward today, as McGraw-Hill, Internet2, and Courseload announced that they have partnered with EDUCAUSE to expand an e-book pilot program to more than 25 institutions, including major research universities and community colleges, for the fall 2012 semester. The pilots enable participating institutions to deliver digital course materials to students efficiently and affordably with the goal of improving student performance.
Through the expanded pilot program, students and faculty in participating courses will use McGraw-Hill e-books and digital learning materials as well as the Courseload reader and annotation software, which allows content to be delivered directly through their school's learning management system (LMS). As the pilots are being subsidized by the institutions, students will receive the resources at no cost.
The pilots are designed in part to help demonstrate the scalability of the highly successful model implemented by Indiana University (IU) in fall 2011. As part of its groundbreaking eText Initiative, IU negotiated volume-pricing discounts directly with McGraw-Hill and other publishers, dramatically reducing costs to students for course content and technology. According to IU's research, students were generally receptive to the pilots and indicated that their professors' ability to annotate in their e-books increased the effectiveness of their studying. In one IU study, 87 percent of students ultimately abandoned paper and choose to read their e-books on digital devices.
"It's clear that we're in the midst of a digital transformation in higher education as more and more institutions, instructors, and students recognize the power of technology in the classroom and its ability to increase student performance when delivered well," said Tom Malek, vice president, Learning Solutions and Services, McGraw-Hill Higher Education. "We are excited to partner with these institutions to explore new ways of delivering our world-class content and transformative digital learning tools to all students at a fair price and through the learning management system that is at the center of each institution's digital learning environment."
The current e-book pilot program, which was modeled after the IU eText Initiative, was successfully tested at five schools in spring 2012, including the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Virginia and the University of Madison at Wisconsin. As a testament to the model's success, four of those five universities are planning to participate in the expanded pilot, and the fifth school, the University of Minnesota, has announced a separate agreement with McGraw-Hill to provide e-books and other digital content to students affordably and efficiently through the university bookstore.
"E-books only begin to tell the tale of how technology can impact education," Malek continued. "What we're trying to do is collaborate with universities and students to develop the highest-quality content and learning resources and deliver them in a way that meets both their pocketbook and performance needs."
Access to these learning materials is seamlessly integrated within a university's learning management system via the Courseload reader and McGraw-Hill Campus®, a digital service that grants faculty and students universal access to McGraw-Hill's content and online resources from within their college's existing LMS. Students and instructors can sign on to access their e-book and learning materials anywhere, anytime, on any Internet-enabled device. Students who prefer a printed text may choose to order a print-on-demand version.
E-book Pilot Participants as of September 5th, 2012: