eTextbooks – they are lighter on both backpacks and the environment, cheaper than traditional print textbooks and much more convenient and efficient. With soaring sales of smartphones and tablets – it makes sense for students to shift to electronic texts. Encouraging mobile device use in classrooms may help students to become more tech savvy as well – some schools are even requiring students purchase an iPad for the upcoming fall semester (College Requiring Students to Go Digital)

siast-cla2013-etextbooks

At the CLA conference this year, Jennnifer Shrubsole from SIAST (Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology) presented a poster titled “Going Electronic with Textbooks: A Success Story” which explores e-textbook subscription platforms combined with virtual course packs  – as the main go-to resource for students instead of purchased textbooks (both print and electronic). This combination saved students a lot of money and gave them access to many more e-texts, indexed and searchable databases as well as virtual course packs that are more easily updated by instructors. Instructors were pleased that they could provide well-rounded readings from more than one source, as well as current readings for their students as opposed to being limited to a single text which often becomes outdated. A win-win situation for both students and instructors.

Poster Abstract: 

E-textbooks currently provoke much discussion and debate, but the traditional method for textbook selection and distribution is also flawed. At SIAST, one program no longer requires the purchase of a ‘textbook’, but uses SIAST Libraries’ e-book collections. Discover why electronic was best, and which factors led to success.

Further Reading