I shall give an update on our e-books for FE project, then talk about Primal Pictures, and our “Games project”, which is a new pilot for 2013. I’ll also give you some news of new subscription agreements, and tell you about our programme of summer webinars for further education.
As you know, JISC Collections’ E-books for FE project has licensed a collection of over 3,000 e-books, making them freely available to FE colleges on the ebrary platform, from 2009 to August 2014.We are now preparing for the final stage of the original project, by adding a new slice of content to the platform this summer, which should all be in place by the beginning of the next academic year.We are investing approx. £230,000 in the content, which will be selected in co-operation with the FE community. I have already received a large response to a call I put out on the email list a few weeks ago asking you what sort of material you would like to see added. The general consensus is that you would prefer a shorter list of titles that will be well-used, rather than a wider range of supporting content that will be less popular. There is high demand for A level material: coursebooks and textbooks , as well as textbooks to support BTEC and NVQ. The challenge we now face is persuading publishers to offer us these titles at a price we can afford. As you will be aware, we have struggled in the past to get some publishers to participate, as they fear that offering their titles to our project will result in a loss of print sales, and a lot of work has been done by us trying to persuade them otherwise. But we hope that we will be able to procure at least some of the titles you have requested.Many of you have also volunteered to mark the bids submitted by publishers this summer. I shall be in contact soon to make firmer arrangements regarding this.We are also now making plans for what happens to the project after the original funding ends in August 2014. At he moment it’s looking as if we shall be able to offer free access for another year (ie until 2015), but this is not completely guaranteed yet. There will be a firmer announcement this summer. One of the original aims of the project was to stimulate the market for e-books in FE and for FE providers to see the procurement of e-books as a central part of their offer. We’re still not too sure how successful this has been. We recently commissioned a survey of participants in the project, to try and find out more about this, which got a very good response. The answers are currently being analysed; thank you to everyone who took the time to respond.
Primal Pictures was launched last autumn, and has proved incredibly popular among FE institutions. Like the e-books, it has been licensed nationally by JISC Collections, and is free to use by all our FE members. Over 220 colleges have registered to date.The resource offers medically accurate 3D images of human anatomy. It is useful for medical science, healthcare and sports science. Teachers may embed Primal Pictures in virtual learning environments (VLE), and students may incorporate images in their learning portfolios.We purchased 55 concurrent “seats” for Primal Pictures nationwide, and we are currently monitoring this to see if more are needing, but so far, although usage is high, no turnaways have been registered.The quote at the bottom of the slide came form an FE librarian, and shows how popular this resource is.
The “Games” project was funded (and proposed) by BIS to investigate whether there is a market in FE for interactive educational software to support learning. The intention being to support colleges and reduce costs, looking into workable business models.Phase 1 was the research and production of a report. One recommendation of the report was that JC run a pilot project for a year with those suppliers that currently operate with annual subscriptions and site licences (there are 8 or 9 of these), and produce web-based interactive educational software (ie not traditional leisure games via consoles).Five suppliers have agreed to participate:• Skills2Learn (interactive skills teaching: bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, child protection etc)• Learning Lounge (for electricians, plumbers)• Games-Ed (Climate Change Game; sim-uni; Sustainville; Young People First)• Stock Market Challenge• SimVenture (business)Can be ordered from JISC Collections website. Contracts will run Jan-Dec 2013. Banded pricing. Minimum negotiaton. Direct deals with suppliers, using their own licences, not our model licence. (It has been hard enough to get suppliers to participate, without forcing other conditions on them)It is a very experimental pilot, but JISC Collections will do more next year if the demand is shown to be there in the FE/Skills sector.
We are close to finalising a new subscription agreement with Digital Theatre Plus, which we hope will be ready to launch in a few weeks. It is a resource that features full-length video recordings of leading theatre productions accompanied by interviews and documentary footage, which will support the teaching of literature, drama and performing arts. There was considerable interest in this resource when I canvassed for opinion last year, and I know many colleges have had trials. We have managed to secure special subscription rates for FE, which range from £600 to £1,200 for annual unlimited use. We have given the publishers a great deal of advice about how to market their product to FE, encouraging them to set up Shibboleth access and create downloadable MARC records. And we hope all will be in place by the end of May.E-Law Student is a popular resource with our FE members, but I’m afraid that this agreement will not be renewing on its expiry at the end of July. The publisher was looking to increase subscriptions between 20 and 35%, claiming revenue was being lost as colleges were dropping law courses, or merging with other colleges. We felt that these rises were unreasonable, and we have not been able to reach a compromise. Anyone who subscribers will be able to continue to do so directly with the publisher, who should be contacting them soon.
These are the themes of our summer FE webinar series which this year will run form 8th to 12th July. Each one will last about 45 minutes, with questions at the end. The webinars proved very popular last year, and we’re hoping that many of you will register this year. Details of how to sign up will be circulated soon.
Please feel free to contact me with any queries arising from anything that has been discussed here.
JISC CollectionsJISC Collections for FE: latest newsBen Taplin, April 2013
JISC CollectionsJISC Collections for FEE-books for FE updatePrimal PicturesGames projectNew agreements: coming soonSummer webinars
JISC CollectionsE-books for FE Final stage of original project: 2013-2014 New content for new academic year Working closely with the FE community to selectcontent Making plans for sustainability post-2014
JISC CollectionsPrimal Pictures Licensed nationally by JISC Collections Very enthusiastic response. 220+ registrations sincelaunch Anatomy, physiology: healthcare,sports science, massage 55 concurrent users: to be reviewed"Our students are overjoyed with this resource and so are their teachers and tutors.They’ve said this will make a huge difference to the quality and knowledge containedwithin their work."
JISC CollectionsGames Project “Interactive educational software”. Supporting colleges,reducing costs, exploring workable business models. Phase 1 (2012): report, commissioned by BIS Phase 2 (2013): pilot project– Skills2Learn– Learning Lounge– Games-Ed– Stock Market Challenge– SimVenture Available from JISC Collections website from 1st November2012.
JISC CollectionsNews on agreementsDigital Theatre PlusE-law Student