CUNY Grant for An eBook Experiment for the Historical ...
CUNY Grant for An eBook Experiment: Historical Introduction to American Government (POLSC 110W) Ann Cohen, Jennifer Hopper, Lina Newton, and Charles Tien Political Science, Hunter College, CUNY What we did Grant requirement: eBook only course Summer 2010 meetings with three publishers: CQ Press, Norton, McGraw Hill Three different class sizes: Jumbo (270 students) with three TAs Triple (90 students) with one grader Standard (35 students)
Textbook selection process with three instructors focused on content. Student online survey at beginning and end of semester The eBook Experiment for publisher as well as for faculty. Textbook with instructor-created reader. Streaming content, not downloadable. Textbook license expired after 6 months.
One printing allowed. Priced ~ $50. Did students purchase the eBook? Jumbo course: 178/199 (89%) Of the 178 who purchased the eBook, 45% did so by the 2nd day of classes. Triple section: 79/88 (90%) Of the 79 who purchased eBooks, 47% did so by the 2nd day of classes. Standard section: 45/54 (83%) (Includes Baruch class) Of the 45 who purchased eBooks, 73% did so by Labor Day. Was it easy to buy? Did students have computers & internet access?
Students found it relatively easy to purchase the book. Students have access to computers (laptops, esp.) and the internet (at home). Students are resistant to, and not familiar or comfortable with eBooks. Results from start of the semester Was purchasing the e-book very easy, somewhat easy, somewhat difficult, very difficult or neither easy nor difficult? Respons Respon Answer Options e se Percent Count 50.0%
30 Very easy 38.3% 23 Somewhat easy 8.3% 5 Somewhat difficult 1.7% 1 Very difficult Neither easy nor 1.7% 1 difficult Compared to buying regular textbooks, would you say that buying the e-book
was much easier, somewhat easier, somewhat harder, much harder, or neither easier nor harder? Respons Respon Answer Options e se Percent Count 21.7% 13 much easier 30.0% 18 somewhat easier 15.0% 9 somewhat harder 10.0%
6 much harder neither easier nor 23.3% 14 harder Please tell us where you have access to the internet. Check all that apply . Answer Options Respons Respons e e Count Percent
Home 96.7% 58 Hunter College 76.7% 46 8.3% 5 30.0%
18 Work Cell phone Other (please specify) 3 Please tell us which of the following devices are you planning on using to read your e-book? Check all that apply. Respons Respons Answer Options e e Count Percent
43.3% 26 Desktop computer 81.7% 49 Laptop computer IPad, Kindle, or some 8.3% 5 other electronic reader 3.3% 2 Cell phone 2 Other (please specify) answered question 60 skipped question
0 Compared to purchasing a regular textbook, were you more likely or less likely to purchase the e-book? Answer Options Response Respons Percent e Count More likely 21.7% 13 Less Likely
78.3% 47 answered question 60 skipped question 0 How many of your other courses at Hunter College have used e-books? Answer Options Response Response
Percent Count One or two 23.3% 14 Zero 76.7% 46 answered question 60
skipped question 0 Did the students do the readings? Students reported being less likely to do the readings on an eBook. Students reported eBooks being less convenient. Results from survey at end of semester. Were you much more likely, somewhat more likely, neither more nor less likely, somewhat less likely, much less likely to do your course readings with the e-book compared to a regular textbook?
Respons Respons Answer Options e e Count Percent 0.0% 0 More likely 5.4% 2 Somewhat more likely Neither more nor less 24.3% 9 likely 35.1% 13
Somewhat less likely Was the e-book much more convenient, somewhat more convenient, neither more nor less convenient, somewhat less convenient, or much less convenient than a regular textbook? Respon Respons Answer Options se e Count Percent 2.7% 1 Much more convenient Somewhat more 18.9%
7 convenient Neither more nor less 16.2% 6 convenient Somewhat less Likes and Dislikes Major dislikes: Automatic log-off after period of inactivity Not downloadable (didnt own book after paying) Limited to one printout Reading on the screen Major likes: Search function Lower cost
eBooks & Learning Goals Content is limited. Good alternative to textbook and reader, but not better than coursepaks. Not convenient enough to outweigh cost savings. Didnt make it more likely that students would do the readings. Survey Summary Students have hardware and access. Students are more comfortable with hard copy books. eBook must be downloadable, printable, and produce significant savings for students. Students are not more likely to do the readings.
Factors Increasing Student Utilization Further cost reductions Better coverage of material required in the course (reducing added material through ereserve or other formats) Better transfer among electronic formats Kindle I-pad Better adaptability to student study styles Response to Faculty Concerns E-books might gain wider faculty utilization if: Faculty were able to insert their own materials (not copyrighted), as coursepaks permit There were cooperative agreements among publishers permitting broader choices of materials bundled in e-books
There were better technical supports, saving faculty time responding to e-mails Students were more enthusiastic and engaged with course materials in the electronic format. Thank you!
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