On Tuesday, May 3rd I recorded a 15 minute segment for the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education on Think TV, the local public television station in Dayton, Ohio. My topic was the rise of digital textbooks and options available for students and faculty to access and produce textbooks and learning materials. Below is a snapshot of my general comments with links to various sources for more information.
Our current textbook system is broken. We have arrived at $200 textbooks and have students who cannot afford them. As a result, students try to borrow a textbook from the library or a friend (sometimes the older edition), purchase a used one, or go without. Neither of these options provides revenue to the publisher, thus resulting in higher price points in an effort to recover the costs or production. What can we do about this catch 22? Continue reading
Spotlight On Innovation:
Attacking High Text Costs While Improving Outcomes
Date: Monday, April 11th, 2011
Time: 3:30 pm ET / 12:30 pm PT
Duration: 50 minutes followed by a live Q&A session
As the high cost of college texts negatively impacts student retention and outcomes, what actions can faculty and institutions take to reverse this trend?
Register now for this no-cost webinar to learn about three of the most exciting initiatives aimed at driving costs down while enhancing innovation and outcomes.
Moderated by Eric Frank, President and Co-Founder of Flat World Knowledge, this panel will begin with an overview of what open texts are and how they’ve emerged as a force in past years, and then spotlight the innovative work of the University System of Ohio, Washington Open Course Library Project, and Virginia State University.
Join us on April 11th. Click here to register or use the link below:
http://links.mkt3708.com/ctt?kn=5&ms=OTk0ODM4S0&r=OTczNzE1NzE0S0&b=2&j=MjYyMTU4NjMS1&mt=1&rt=0 Continue reading
The Ohio Digital Bookshelf, Where will the 2nd Year Take Us? A Webinar from the University System of Ohio TeachU, Presented by Stephen R. Acker, Research Director, The Ohio Digital Bookshelf
The slides for the webinar are available on slideshare and the webinar archive.
The following is a summary of my interpretation of the webinar. My best efforts were made to ensure accuracy.
Affordability, engagement and preparedness are the 3 big factors that influence student success in college. For many of higher education faculty, admistrators, and policy creators years ago, these were mutually reinforcing- “poverty” as a teaching associate led to more campus-based activity and greater preparedness through grading, lecturing, and the like. Now, higher costs for education and lack of related income-generating opportunities for students, drives students off campus and takes time they would better be spending on study. We need to concentrate on affordability if we’re to bring campus engagement and preparedness back into reasons for successrather than reasons for failure for today’s student, who lives in a much different world. Continue reading
Today I attended the webinar sponsored by the Ohio Board of Regents regarding Ohio’s digital textbook project. Speakers included: Darlene McCoy, Associate Vice Chancellor, Division of Affordability and Efficiency, University System of Ohio; Dr. Steve Acker, Research Director, eTextOhio Project; Dr. Shu Z. Schiller, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Wright State University; and Eric Frank, President and Co-Founder, Flat World Knowledge.
Here are some notes I took from the webinar:
Steve Acker, Research Director, eTextOhio Project – Improving the education of those in the state (of Ohio) is our mission and we hope to graduate 200,000 students in the next 10 years.
Steve provided a brief history of Ohio’s Digital Textbook Project which includes: Continue reading
The University System of Ohio has been a national leader in supporting innovations that help eliminate textbook costs as a financial barrier to college. Solving the textbook affordability crisis for Ohio college students is more pressing than ever, as large numbers of students turn to public institutions for high-quality, affordable education.
Please join Darlene McCoy, Associate Vice Chancellor, Division of Affordability and Efficiency, University System of Ohio; Dr. Steve Acker, Research Director, eTextOhio Project; Dr. Shu Z. Schiller, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Wright State University; and Eric Frank, President and Co-Founder, Flat World Knowledge, for a one-hour webcast to examine:
* Why textbooks costs have sky-rocketed
* How textbook costs impact students, faculty and institutions.
* Current initiatives by the University System of Ohio to address textbook affordability
* What defines open educational resources and open textbooks, and how they can reduce costs by 80 percent, while increasing quality and accessibility
Date: Monday, October 25th, 2010
Time: 3:00 pm ET
Duration: 40 minutes followed by a live Q&A session
The University System of Ohio introduced a textbook portal last week. This portal, developed by programmers at OhioLINK, searches many sources for textbooks including: OhioLINK catalog, OhioLINK Electronic Book Center, Safari Tech Books Online, and CourseSmart, an electronic textbook provider. Textbooks located on CourseSmart can be leased for about 50% of the print cost. OhioLINK students also receive an additional 10% off the cost.
CourseSmart represents 6 higher education textbook publishers. They use one common platform for hundreds of digital textbooks. Searching, bookmarking, and notetaking are just some of the features available. Students may also print parts of the book.
Locating a book in the portal is easiest with the ISBN. If that is not available, title and author will do. As with any metasearch tool, search capabilities are limited, so the portal should not be considered a replacement for any of the individual resources.
The University System of Ohio includes 14 universities with 24 regional branch campuses, 23 community colleges, and an adult workforce education and training network – operating in more than 200 locations – working in a collaborative, cooperative environment across the state. With a mission to provide affordable, high quality higher education opportunities for all Ohioans, programs and curricula are designed to meet Ohioans’ individual and collective needs for the 21st century. (USO website)