May 24, 2022

New Report from EDUCAUSE and Internet2: Understanding What Higher Education Needs From E-Textbooks + Roundup

First, our headline story then THREE additional reports about textbooks/e-textbooks.

From EDUCAUSE and Internet2:

Cost is the primary motivation for moving from paper textbooks to digital versions, according to a new report by the EDUCAUSE Center For Analysis and Research (ECAR), based on the Fall 2012 EDUCAUSE-Internet2 E-textbook pilot. The main report is available through subscription to ECAR. A publicly accessible executive summary can be downloaded on theEDUCAUSE website.

Twenty-three colleges and universities collaborated with Internet2, EDUCAUSE, the publisher McGraw-Hill, and the e-textbook platform provider Courseload to deliver free digital versions of textbooks to over 5,000 students and faculty in 393 undergraduate and graduate courses with a median class size of 28. The pilot shed light not just on the usability of McGraw-Hill textbooks in Courseload but more broadly on the value of digital materials in higher education at this time.

Direct to Executive Summary (via EDUCAUSE; 8 pages, PDF)

Three More Textbook/eTextbook News

1. iPad publisher Inkling nabs $16M and partners with Pearson and Elsevier (via paidContent)

Pearson — along with McGraw Hill — has already invested in Inkling a couple times, but now Inkling’s cloud-based publishing platform, Habitat, will serve as both Pearson and Elsevier’s primary digital content development platform, with all of their new digital content being constructed through it. Elsevier will also bring 650 existing medical textbooks to the platform. Right now, Inkling has around 550 titles available for iPhone, iPad and web.

2. Elsevier Publishes Molecular Biology as Enhanced ePub3 Book

The enhanced ePub3 version of Molecular Biology showcases Apple’s iBook functionality by combining self-testing digital widgets and high-quality primary research materials, all available offline and off-network. The interactive digital learning tools are designed to serve the needs of students, researchers and professors, and include:

  • 32 animations that bring abstract and complex concepts to life within the pages of the book;
  • 36 “hot spot” interactive learning widgets where the reader is prompted to select the area of the figure described by a keyword using the touch screen;
  • 48 “drag and drop” widgets to test knowledge of elements within a figure by dragging the appropriate label to the segment on the screen that it describes;
  • 62 Cell Press journal articles that correspond with chapters in the text.

3. From the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)

“Students increasingly look for alternatives to traditional texts; downloading of unauthorized content on the rise”

[The latest research] shows that the percentage of students reporting they had downloaded course content from an unauthorized Web site has risen steadily to 34 percent from 20 percent when it was first measured in 2010. Over the same period, the percent of students saying they photocopied or scanned chapters of textbooks from other students rose from 21 percent to 31 percent. 

For the first time Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education explored Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and found that while awareness of these courses is still low among survey respondents, the phenomenon is beginning to impact student attitudes and behaviors. Slightly more than 15 percent of student respondents said they were familiar with MOOCs. Of those respondents familiar with MOOCs, 56 percent said they had explored or considered enrolling in one. Of those who actually enrolled in a MOOC, a remarkable 83 percent completed the course and 20 percent received college credit. Fully 68 percent of all survey respondents said they would be more likely to try a MOOC for university credit if the tuition was lower than for an online or classroom course.


About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.