Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Questions we all want answered about the Kindle DX textbook pilots

While the colleges and universities participating in the Kindle DX textbook pilots have provided some information about the initiative, we are left wondering how all of the details will be worked out. The answers will be revealed in the coming months but in the meantime, here is a list of questions that we would like to know the answers to.

  • Has the number of students involved in the pilot been determined? (Some reports say that each school will have about 50 participants while Laura Porco, director of Kindle Books, commented that the pilot would include “hundreds to thousands” of students and “hundreds to thousands of books.”)

  • Were students aware of the courses participating in the pilot prior to registration? If so, was there an increase in the number of students that signed up for the course?

  • For schools that plan to compare Kindle DX participants to a control group, how will the participants be chosen?

  • What happens if one of those students drops the class?

  • Will students be: charged for the device, given the device, or loaned the device? If the devices are on loan, will they be loaned from the university or Amazon?

  • Will the devices come pre-loaded with content? If not, how will the content be downloaded? Will the rumored Kindle DX textbook store play a role?

  • Who will pay for the content? If students are required to pay, will they be able to pay via financial aid?

  • What will the content prices be like? (It has been reported that Amazon does not plan to discount the e-textbooks used in the pilot.)

  • How much content will each of the publishers make available? Will only the content for the specific courses in the pilot be available?

  • Can university content be downloaded to the devices?

  • Has the college store been involved in the pilot discussions?

Thoughts? What questions are you thinking about?

1 comment:

Luke said...

This is a great set of questions. It would be a shame if students don't get a discount on these e-books that they can't sell back at the end of the semester.