Insidehighered reported today that Daytona State will be using e-books to save their students as much as 80% on supplies required for courses.
Other universities have been going that route for some time now. The University of Phoenix has had a lot of success with their e-book program. Insidehighered reported “Phoenix actually mandates that instructors assign digital materials “whenever feasible” — a strategic turn the company started to take back in 2003, but which has come to fruition more recently, with so many more materials now available in digital format. At this point, roughly 90 percent of Phoenix’s course content is delivered via e-books or other electronic means — the only exceptions coming in courses such as art history, where copyright issues surrounding digital renderings of images such as paintings remain a hurdle for e-book publishers, says David Bickford, the vice president of academic affairs at Phoenix.”
I work for several online universities that are utilizing e-books. In fact, I have made my most recent book, The Online Student’s User Manual, available to a university where it will be delivered in an e-book format. I have also made it available on Kindle because I believe that many do prefer to have quick access to resources like these rather than have to lug a bunch of books around with them.
Convenience of access is a big plus for e-books. Cost is also a very important consideration. Toccon.com claims, “The spiraling cost of textbooks is rendering higher education unaffordable to many students, particularly in community colleges, where textbook costs often exceed tuition. While some may think of a digital textbook merely an electronic image of a paper product, others have employed the electronic format in broadening the spectrum of learning. This session examines the emerging future of digital textbooks, including open access; subscriptions; texts bundled with online study resources; innovative texts that include multimedia, simulation models, automated assessments; and business models that will allow publishers to survive and thrive in the future.”