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.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

e-textbooks in the classroom

A recent article from Campus Technology discusses how electronic textbooks can benefit both faculty and students. The article features an interview with Don St. Dennis, an associate professor at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, who has offered a CourseSmart e-textbook option in his classroom for several semesters.

According to St. Dennis, more and more students are now choosing the digital option. He commented that the digital version is beneficial because it provides students with a less expensive textbook option and it gives professors the ability to instantly review texts and choose among them. This is convenient for professors because they do not need to wait for the textbooks to be delivered in the mail before they can review them. In addition, the page numbers on the CourseSmart books correspond to the paper books so that students using either textbook option can follow along in class. Currently, the Kindle DX books do not correspond to the physical books and students and professors involved in the pilot have expressed concern about this feature. St. Dennis also noted that he believes students are going through the same evolution that he did when it comes to e-books. Initially he was not willing to give up physical books but gradually he has shifted towards digital reading and now uses a Kindle for most of his reading.

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