E-Textbooks at Indiana

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus section published a column today on Indiana University’s experiment with E-Textbooks.

Here’s how it works: Students in a select group of courses are required to pay a materials fee, which gets them access to the assigned electronic textbooks or other readings for the course. The university essentially becomes the broker of the textbook sales, and because it is buying in bulk and guaranteeing a high volume, officials say they can score better prices than can the campus bookstore or other retailers. . . . Each professor at Indiana can decide whether to participate in the e-textbook project. So far 22 courses have done so, and last month the university released a report outlining how those professors and their students (1,700 in all) liked the arrangement. It included data from surveys of students in 12 of those courses—1,037 students.

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