In 6 Lessons One Campus Learned About E-Textbooks the Chronicle of Higher Education provides an intriguing report on Northwest Missouri State University’s experiment with e-textbooks. In a move to cut costs of the campus textbook-rental program, the university provided 240 students with textbooks on Sony Reader devices. Frustrated with the software and format, the next semester they switched to PC-based e-book software. The results were mixed. About 17 percent of the students said the e-format helped them study more; twice as many said they studied less. But they seemed to like the format better after they had a chance to get used to it. “The more I have used it, the more I have discovered what I can do with it.” wrote one student.
In the fall, six colleges will be testing a new Kindle version designed with textbooks in mind. Northwest Missouri’s president thinks e-textbooks will be common on campuses in 5 years. What say you?