Publishers and technology companies on successful e-textbook programs

What is the most important factor in ensuring an e-textbook initiative is successful, and is there anything administrators tend to miss in planning that, if handled better, would result in a more successful program?

“We’ve seen that successful programs often start as small pilots. Instructors might begin with simple e-books and then move into more powerful adaptive learning software. Many of them then launch inclusive access or immediate access programs that save students money and deliver materials on day one.”

—Mark Dorman, president of Higher Education, Professional & International, McGraw-Hill Education

Link to main story: Colleges drive digital textbooks

“Ensuring key stakeholders on campus are onboard — or at least well-informed — is foundational.

“However, the most important factor is establishing clear responsibility for managing the program and providing those involved with the tools to manage the program—including pricing, student and faculty communication, billing, opt-out and content distribution.”

—Mike Hale, vice president of education, VitalSource

“To have maximum impact on student success, everyone involved must be committed to using the full capabilities of e-texts. Instructors can gain insight into progress through data and offer flexible mobile options.

“When administrators don’t fully understand the capabilities of the product, students lose access to valuable learning tools.”

—Lori Hales, senior vice president of institutional sales, Cengage

“The entire e-text lifecycle must be considered: adoption by faculty, licensing and distribution, and consumption by students. Faculty need a clear path to identify and adopt e-texts, giving students first-day-of-class access to materials.

“Students must be able to consume e-texts on one platform that can be used everywhere.”

—Ryan Peatt, vice president, sales and marketing, Kivuto

“The real value of digital education is more than the features and functionality of the e-textbook.

“With the rise of adaptive learning materials, colleges and universities should consider platforms with integrated analytic insights that enable faculty to understand student behavior and performance, and collaboration tools to help them progress and improve.”

—Kanuj Malhotra, chief operating officer, digital education, Barnes & Noble Education

Sherrie Negrea, a Ithaca, New York-based writer, is a frequently contributor to UB.


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