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Textbook Research

What are University of Michigan student and faculty preferences in selecting and using textbooks? Natsuko Nicholls, MPublishing’s Research Area Specialist Associate, has been doing the research to answer this question.  Here is her latest update:

As a follow-up to the Library’s 2009 textbook survey, this semester the Campus-wide E-textbook Working Group launched a Winter 2011 trial to assess e-textbook services. Five courses from a variety of disciplines and levels were selected. The trial includes pre- and post-pilot surveys as well as focus groups to gauge their perception of e-textbooks.

How can technology help to take learning beyond traditional print text? Some key issues to be examined during the trial are:

  • Lack of textbook affordability – approximately $1,000 annually for traditional, print texts.
  • E-textbook is already approximately 50-60% of the list price for a new print edition.
  • 10 to 15% of college-store textbook sales could be digital publications by 2012
  • Technological innovation; interactivity, media-rich content, search capability and digital note-taking and highlighting functionality available with e-textbooks that goes beyond traditional texts. And E-texts lend themselves to an increased accessibility of content as well as portability, for use with a variety of hand-held devices.

To find out more about Natsuko’s research, read her report in the MPublishing collection in Deep Blue.

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