Indiana University’s Faculty-Driven Inclusive Access E-Text Program
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As cost of textbooks has surpassed the cost of other educational resources, electronic textbooks (e-texts) have become a viable alternative. To lower the cost of course materials for students, Indiana University (IU) implemented a university-wide e-text program in 2012. This program is faculty-driven: if a faculty chooses to use e-text for her class, all students in the class will get access to the course textbook on the first day of class. E-text adoption at IU has been growing strongly: in 2018 alone, 2,382 faculty adopted e-texts in 4,185 sections, in which over 92,000 students read e-texts that resulted in $11.8 million savings in college cost. Faculty adoption is one of the distinct components and the keystone of IU’s e-text program. Therefore, in this case study, we present IU’s e-text implementation with a focus on how it supports faculty adoption, from outreach efforts and support for integration to faculty experience with adoption and use of e-texts. We interviewed seven instructors with varying degrees of engagement with e-texts. Our interviews indicate that cost advantage of e-texts is the primary reason for instructors to adopt. IU’s e-text model may be lowering the barriers to faculty’s adoption of e-texts as faculty feel they do not have to give up content quality for affordable price. In terms of engagement with e-texts, our interviews and e-text usage data suggest that technology use may lend itself to better engagement and learning when the technology affordances (e.g., interactive markup features) are coupled with appropriate pedagogy. In conclusion, this case study highlights that success of a university-wide e-text program relies on faculty buy-in as well as instructional/pedagogical support.
KeywordsInclusive access e-Texts Indiana Faculty Adoption Choice Outreach Support Engagement Higher education
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