UC-Berkeley; Cornell; Minnesota; Virginia; and Wisconsin Participating in Pilot
Ann Arbor, MI--Jan. 18, 2012--As textbooks continue shifting to digital, Internet2, McGraw-Hill and Courseload today announced implementation of an eText Pilot Trial Pack to students and faculty at five universities for the Spring 2012 semester. The five institutions, also Internet2 members, include: University of California, Berkeley; Cornell University; University of Minnesota; University of Virginia; and the University of Wisconsin.
The pilot, which is based on Indiana University's eText model (http://etexts.iu.edu), provides a timely and simple way for universities to quickly assess a new model for digital course materials. While an increasing number of eTexts are already available at retail prices, eTexts can cost less when institutions negotiate attractive volume price deals to dramatically reduce costs to students while efficiently paying authors and publishers fairly for each use of their digital work.
Participating universities in the pilot get McGraw-Hill eTexts, the Courseload reader and annotation platform integrated with their Learning Management System, and can be part of a joint research study of eText use and perceptions. Through the Courseload software, students can print, use social annotation with classmates and instructors, and access their eTexts on any HTML5-capable tablet, smartphone, or computer. Students will receive their eTexts at no cost as the institutions are subsidizing the study, and students who prefer a full hardcopy book may optionally order a print-on-demand version of the eText for a $28 fee. Faculty interest at the pilot institutions has been very strong.
"McGraw-Hill is pleased to be a partner in this pioneering effort to open digital access to course materials in a substantive way across all higher education institutions," said Tom Malek, McGraw-Hill higher education vice president, learning solutions and services. "We believe 2012 will be the year digital access of eTexts becomes mainstream."
"We have seven instructors with 8 sections and more than 400 students enrolled in the program at UVA," said James L. Hilton, vice president and chief information officer, University of Virginia. "Enthusiasm is quite high. Our effort grew by word of mouth and we had 11 volunteers within a day of announcing at an advisory committee meeting, which is really remarkable."
"Cornell is exploring how new digital publishing models will be advantageous to our students, and potentially lower textbook costs," said Ted Dodds, chief information officer and vice president, Cornell University. "This pilot is timely, building on faculty experiences, and will explore how new publishing models and technologies can be leveraged for student learning."
"Our academic community has been very positive about our eText pilot," said Bruce Maas, vice provost for information technology and chief information officer, University of Wisconsin - Madison. "Combining services on a national scale thru Internet2's NET+ Services enables the higher education community to influence publishers and the eText offering. This influence helps us to better represent the interests of our students and faculty, and better address important areas such as accessibility. The result of this national partnership benefits all of us."
"We have benefited significantly from the strong sense of collaboration from all of our participating units, said Billie Wahlstrom, vice provost, University of Minnesota. "The university-owned bookstore has been a very progressive partner helping us in the recruitment of faculty and management of logistics with the publisher. We have also benefited from a great implementation team which included representatives from Undergraduate Education, Student Affairs, IT, Faculty Senate, Office of the General Counsel, Faculty Affairs, Disability Services, and Libraries. We are very interested in collaborating with the other participating universities in the evaluation of this project."
"Courseload is delighted to be a pilot partner working with these innovative universities as they proactively shape effective models for digital course materials," said Mickey Levitan, Co-Founder and CEO of Courseload.
"Efficient markets have informed buyers and sellers, and this multi-university pilot is a big leap forward for institutions to better understand how they can shape the market during the transition to digital," said Brad Wheeler, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, Indiana University. "This pilot would not have been possible without Internet2's NET+ Services, as it went from first thought to real implementation on campuses in less than 60 days. It's a great example of how universities can have greater influence when we learn fast and engage early."
Internet2 NET+ Services and program aggregate the IT needs of university members and efficiently contract with leading commercial firms for services tailored to that community. Recent NET+ opportunities for Internet2 members include cloud storage services from Box.Com, and cloud computing from Hewlett Packard and SHI.