After a two-year pilot which included over 1,000 students from different academic departments, the Indiana University e-Text initiative will be expanded to all campuses and departments in Spring 2012. Indiana University joins a few other universities which have also implemented this emerging technology such as University of Pennsylvania, University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin.
The two main attributes contributing to the promotion of eTexts are affordability and accessibility. eTexts are remarkably more affordable than new textbooks; the cost of IU eTexts will be just 35% of the original textbook. In order to get this low price, all students within the course will be assessed an eText fee which is somehow similar to a lab fee. Due to the fact that eTexts are available online, students can have access to them at any time and any place, even right from their cell phones, and no longer need to carry heavy books wherever they go.
Instructors who were considering using eTexts for their spring course had until October 14, 2011 to submit their requests to determine the availability and cost of the desired electronic text books. Here is a summary of key information about the IU e-text initiative, in case you might be interested in including eTexts in your courses in the upcoming semesters:
- Students are able to access the digital version of the textbook through Oncourse via any device that has a web browser (e.g., computer, laptop, tablets, smartphones)
- Students are able to highlight text with multiple colors and to annotate it with comments.
- Students are able to share their eText comments with each other and the instructor.
- Students are able to print the text without any additional fee; furthermore, they could print the text with comments or just their comments.
- Students have access to their eTexts as long as they are enrolled at Indiana University.
To get a clearer idea of the advantages of the IU eText reader and see how it works, consider taking a look at the course demo in which you’ll have access to several eTexts from different academic fields. Just follow the directions located at http://etexts.iu.edu/courseload/ (make sure that your browser is set to support “third-party cookies”). For more general information about eTexts at IU refer to: http://etexts.iu.edu