Wednesday, July 14, 2010
CourseSmart steps up focus on faculty
CourseSmart issued a press release announcing a new program to provide faculty with improved access to the company’s eTextbooks for faculty evaluation and use. Several universities have been invited to participate in this “Faculty Instant Access” program, which will enable faculty to access CourseSmart’s digital content library through the college’s Learning Management System or Campus Portal with a single sign-on. This program will make it easier for faculty to evaluate and select digital textbooks and will introduce them to other digital learning tools. The likely effect will be an increase in faculty adoptions of digital textbooks, or greater faculty comfort in recommending digital textbook options to students. Access to the examination copies through the LMS or Campus Portal may have an impact on where faculty adoptions occur, and subsequently where students purchase their course materials. This has implications for college bookstores and institutions both in terms of HEOA compliance and sales. However, since faculty acceptance is still a significant barrier to e-textbook adoption in higher education, this should be viewed as a positive development that will improve faculty awareness and acceptance, and ultimately student adoption, of digital course materials.