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E-Books and E-Textbooks: Possibilities and Pitfalls


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This presentation was given to the faculty of Loyola University Chicago at FOTL on January 12, 2012.

E-books have been present for years and continue to gain popularity in the consumer market. Yet, digital monographs are still finding their feet in the academic arena. This session will discuss academic e-books and e-textbooks' current pitfalls and promising future in the digital learning environment.

Published in: Education
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E-Books and E-Textbooks: Possibilities and Pitfalls

  1. 1. E-BOOKS AND E-TEXTBOOKS Possibilities and pitfalls of academic digital monographs Focus on Teaching and Learning Loyola University Chicago Spring 2012 Tara Radniecki & Niamh McGuigan
  2. 2. E-BOOKS <ul><li>Sales worldwide in 2011: $3.2 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Predicted up to 50% of all books sold in the US will be e-books by 2014 </li></ul><ul><li>Sales worldwide predicted at $9.7 billion by 2016 </li></ul><ul><li>2011 Horizon Report name e-books as an emerging technology poised to enter mainstream higher education within the year. </li></ul>
  3. 3. HISTORY OF THE E-BOOK <ul><li>1971: Project Gutenberg </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet as a syndication tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>100 th e-book in 1994 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 36,000 titles today </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1987: Perseus Digital Library (Tufts University) </li></ul><ul><li>1990: Library of Congress begins American Memory Project </li></ul><ul><li>1991: First CERN web servers go online </li></ul>
  4. 4. HISTORY OF THE E-BOOK <ul><li>1996: Internet Archive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2,355,344 items in text collection (as of 1/11/12) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1998: NetLibrary is the first commercial publisher </li></ul><ul><li>2004: Google Book Project </li></ul><ul><li>2011: Amazon sells more e-books than print </li></ul>
  5. 5. PRINT: ADVANTAGES <ul><li>Print is easy to use: </li></ul><ul><li>No power or Internet connection required </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing can break, crash, shut down, become unresponsive </li></ul><ul><li>No need for accounts or passwords </li></ul><ul><li>People don’t need to be taught how to use books </li></ul>
  6. 6. PRINT: ADVANTAGES <ul><li>Clear ownership rights: </li></ul><ul><li>When you own a book, you can do what you want with that book. </li></ul><ul><li>Lend it to someone else, write in it, carry it around, use it whenever you want. </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation: </li></ul><ul><li>Books are durable </li></ul><ul><li>Books are easy to store </li></ul>
  7. 7. PRINT: ADVANTAGES <ul><li>Reading Experience: </li></ul><ul><li>Research indicates that print formats may promote a higher quality reading experience </li></ul><ul><li>Books allow physical interaction - note taking, bookmarking, flipping back and forth </li></ul>
  8. 8. PRINT: DISADVANTAGES <ul><li>Preservation: </li></ul><ul><li>Despite being durable, books do get worn, damaged, written in </li></ul><ul><li>Books take up a lot of space </li></ul><ul><li>Limited format options: </li></ul><ul><li>Books only contain material that can be printed on a page </li></ul>
  9. 9. PRINT: DISADVANTAGES <ul><li>Access: </li></ul><ul><li>One reader at a time </li></ul><ul><li>Time needed for libraries to order and process books </li></ul><ul><li>Time needed for patrons to retrieve a book from the stacks </li></ul><ul><li>Portability: </li></ul><ul><li>Books are heavy! </li></ul>
  10. 10. E-BOOK: ADVANTAGES <ul><li>Access: </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple users (in most cases) </li></ul><ul><li>Quick or immediate purchasing and processing for libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Quick or Immediate access for patrons </li></ul>
  11. 11. E-BOOK: ADVANTAGES <ul><li>Portability: </li></ul><ul><li>There’s no need to carry an e-book around with you </li></ul><ul><li>In most cases, an e-book can be accessed from any computer and from different types of devices. </li></ul><ul><li>In many cases, e-books can be loaded onto a portable device and used without an Internet connection. </li></ul>
  12. 12. E-BOOK: ADVANTAGES <ul><li>Reading Experience: </li></ul><ul><li>Searchable </li></ul><ul><li>Format allows inclusion of content in multiple media </li></ul><ul><li>Potential for more interactivity </li></ul><ul><li>Format allows linking to other resource </li></ul>
  13. 13. E-BOOK: DISADVANTAGES <ul><li>Not always easy to use: </li></ul><ul><li>Requires a device of some sort - computer, tablet, e-reader, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Requires Internet access </li></ul><ul><li>Requires a lot of administration in the form of accounts, passwords, proxy access </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns about e-books and the visually impaired </li></ul><ul><li>“ Digital Divide” </li></ul>
  14. 14. E-BOOK: DISADVANTAGES <ul><li>Ownership isn’t so clear: </li></ul><ul><li>Restrictions on how e-books can be used </li></ul><ul><li>Limits on the number of users or the number of uses </li></ul><ul><li>Limits on the ability to print, copy, or download </li></ul><ul><li>Restrictions on what type of patron can use the book </li></ul>
  15. 15. E-BOOK: DISADVANTAGES <ul><li>Preservation: </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries face many unknowns in preserving e-books </li></ul><ul><li>Will archived e-book files always be usable? </li></ul>
  16. 16. E-BOOK: DISADVANTAGES <ul><li>Reading Experience: </li></ul><ul><li>Screen reading may not match print reading experience </li></ul><ul><li>Many users, including students, prefer long form reading in print </li></ul><ul><li>Cost: </li></ul><ul><li>In the library world, e-books usually cost more than print books </li></ul><ul><li>E-books can also come with hidden administrative costs </li></ul>
  17. 17. ACADEMIC E-BOOKS <ul><li>Content type varies: Reference to fiction to serials to anthologies to technical manuals and more. </li></ul><ul><li>Loyola ended FY2011 with over 350,000 e-books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continues to grow with patron driven acquisition and subject specialist collection development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-books @ Loyola University Libraries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-books Subject Guide </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. SCHOLARLY E-BOOKS: POSSIBILITIES FOR THE FUTURE <ul><li>University presses are exploring new models: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutionally supported open access publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free online/pay for print </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Culture at University of Michigan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University Press e-books consortia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Muse and JSTOR </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. SCHOLARLY E-BOOKS: POSSIBILITIES FOR THE FUTURE <ul><li>E-book creators exploring new formats and content: </li></ul><ul><li>Woolf Online </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Twain Project Online </li></ul><ul><li>Rotunda from UVA Press </li></ul><ul><li>Butterflies and Moths of North America </li></ul>
  20. 20. TEXTBOOKS: CHARACTERISTICS <ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dense, complex ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A small slice of a much larger topic/discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Images: tables, illustrations, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Format </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chapters & Sections: digestible portions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indexes: Allows for quick reference work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Built-in Study Aids: summaries, quizzes, further readings </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. ALL IMPORTANT FORMAT <ul><li>With other e-books, consumers are generally most concerned with getting the same content as the print counterpart. </li></ul><ul><li>With textbooks, the format is just as important. Structure is need to create a desirable learning experience. </li></ul>
  22. 22. PRINT TEXTBOOKS: ADVANTAGES <ul><li>No power or internet required </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Interaction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bookmarking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlighting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making notes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flipping back and forth </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research says print may support a higher quality reading experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students often report they do not retain the information as easily reading from a screen. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. PRINT TEXTBOOKS: DISADVANTAGES <ul><li>Lengthy publication schedule for textbooks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inevitably include outdated information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Passive medium for transmitting information, requires no active role on the part of the student </li></ul><ul><li>Limited by their physical form. Large, heavy, no multimedia. (O’Shea, Onderdonk, D. Allen, D.W. Allen, 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Expensive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average student spends $1168 on course materials this year ( ) </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>With the disadvantages to print textbooks, publishers have long tried to utilize technology to make a better digital version. </li></ul>
  25. 25. WHERE ARE WE & HOW DID WE GET HERE? <ul><li>Experimentation: 2000-2003 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Textbook publishers created non-PDF, non-standard, custom-reader products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No market and technology could not support them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Early Markets: 2004-2006 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many publishers returned to PDF format </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flash became a predominant technology </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. WHERE ARE WE & HOW DID WE GET HERE ? <ul><li>Proliferation & Integration: 2007-2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost of e-textbook production drops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Major publishers support multiple formats & readers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>XML becomes more prominent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Profitability & Social Learning: 2009-2011 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For-profit virtual universities (e.g., U of Phoenix) drive e-textbooks’ growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Widespread adoption of mobile devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-textbooks begin to offer multimedia features and integration within social learning networks. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. WHERE ARE WE & HOW DID WE GET HERE ? <ul><li>Standards & Disaggregated Distribution: 2012-2014 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergence of a common standard textbook XML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Move from a single book to collection of malleable content assets which can be mashed up with other digital products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater focus on design for smartphone and tablet use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open textbooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More integration of social features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Rob Reynolds, ) </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. E-TEXTBOOKS: THE FUTURE <ul><li>Must incorporate dynamic and interactive features </li></ul><ul><li>Social reading features (like Subtext or Readmill) </li></ul><ul><li>Tools to highlight, take & share notes, discussion forums </li></ul><ul><li>Embedded links to outside resources, such as pre-defined searches in library databases </li></ul>
  29. 29. E-TEXTBOOKS: THE FUTURE <ul><li>Fully customizable in content and format without publisher constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Integration with online CMS </li></ul><ul><li>E-textbooks will be less like books and more like e-learning environments. </li></ul><ul><li>They won’t be cheap. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-textbooks save many students only $1 ( ) </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. LOYOLA’S E-TEXTBOOKS <ul><li>CourseSmart </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Major textbook publishers, including Pearson, McGraw -Hill , and John Wiley & Sons launched CourseSmart in 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More than 20,000 digital titles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Available from University Bookstore </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rental options only </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. COURSESMART FEATURES <ul><li>Offline reading (currently in beta) </li></ul><ul><li>Note taking and highlighting ability </li></ul><ul><li>Search features </li></ul><ul><li>Print 10 pages at a time </li></ul><ul><li>Send information from text to classmates </li></ul><ul><li>App </li></ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul><ul><ul><li>About half the price of a new hardcover </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. OPEN MODEL <ul><li>Aims to bring students free, or inexpensive, e-textbooks by using or creating open-access educational materials </li></ul>
  34. 34. OPEN MODEL <ul><li>Washington State: Open Course Library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Funded by Washington state legislation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty course designers selected through bid process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources for 42 courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students pay no more than $30 </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. OPEN MODEL <ul><li>University of Massachusetts at Amherst: </li></ul><ul><li>Open Education Initiative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University funded: 10 faculty grants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Created and used freely accessible materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worked closely with Library to integrate subscription online sources & create hosting platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimated to save 700 students $72,000 in 2011-2012 </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. OPEN MODEL <ul><li>Flatworld Knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Company recruits scholars to build peer-reviewed texts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative Commons license allows anyone to edit and customize </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Currently 3,000 instructor users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>55 e-textbooks available </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. VENDOR LEVEL CUSTOMIZATION <ul><li>AcademicPub </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Arranges payment of royalties and compiles material for publication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>~ E-text for $15, print for $27, hardcover for $45 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 million items of content from 75 publishers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructors can pull in any open web content </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. VENDOR LEVEL CUSTOMIZATION <ul><li>McGraw-Hill Higher Education: Create </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows instructors pick and choose from the company’s textbooks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Macmillan Publishers: DynamicBooks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows instructors to add freely available content to their existing e-titles </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. KNO <ul><li>Non-customizable </li></ul><ul><li>Rented 6 months, some can be purchased </li></ul><ul><li>Available on web, iPad or Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Over 100,000 titles </li></ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Renting: ½ the purchase price </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purchase: Varies, but more expensive than hardcover print version </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. KNO: FEATURES <ul><li>Journal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transfer any highlights, pictures, stickies or notes from your textbook into a digital notebook. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pen </li></ul><ul><li>Quiz Me </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Turns any diagram in your textbook or PDFs into an instant quiz </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Smart Links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maps instructional videos, images, and photos to formulas & concepts in your book – includes Khan Academy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kno 3D </li></ul><ul><ul><li>  Lets you rotate, spin and zoom objects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dropbox Integration </li></ul>
  41. 41. INKLING <ul><li>Creates multimedia e-textbooks versions for the iPad </li></ul><ul><li>Currently 111 publications – new partnerships with Pearson and McGraw-Hill will grow </li></ul><ul><li>Engineers and designers work with content and education experts to reimagine existing print textbooks </li></ul>
  42. 42. INKLING FEATURES <ul><li>Less Search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>S earch text, glossary, and personal notes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test Prep </li></ul><ul><li>Images, audio, video </li></ul><ul><li>Social features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow others using your book – see their notes & highlights, have discussions </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. E-books and E-Textbooks: Possibilities and pitfalls of academic digital monographs <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Tara Radniecki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Niamh McGuigan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>