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Articles: Teaching & Learning

Developing a successful model for creating an e-textbook program is key to taking digital course materials to the next step of widespread use. Here are three ways to design an e-textbook initiative.

What is the most important factor in ensuring an e-textbook initiative is successful, and is there anything administrators tend to miss in planning that, if handled better, would result in a more successful program?

“We’ve seen that successful programs often start as small pilots. Instructors might begin with simple e-books and then move into more powerful adaptive learning software. Many of them then launch inclusive access or immediate access programs that save students money and deliver materials on day one.”

One decision to be made in launching or expanding an e-textbook program is whether the office managing it should be on the business or the academic side.

Here are two options. 

Campus store

Since the retail manager negotiates the costs of digital course materials anyway, many institutions choose this administration model. Cornell University houses its e-textbook program in The Cornell Store.

ESL ASSIST—Computer science student Yihan Liu,  who is from China, signs out an Amazon Dot Echo from his Arizona State residence hall. He plans to use the device to improve his English. (Charlie Leight/ASU Now).

Arizona State has partnered with Amazon to offer free Echo Dot smart speakers to about 1,600 students, most of whom live in the new Tooker House residential hall.

David Munson is the new president of Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. (Joseph Xu).

David Munson is the new president of Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.

Brooms is an associate professor of sociology and Africana studies at the University of Cincinnati.

Derrick R. Brooms’ book, Being Black, Being Male on Campus, focuses on 40 young black men who relate their experiences getting into college and trying to thrive when they get there.

After a decade of living abroad, in fall 2016 I returned to the US and accepted a position as Assistant Professor at a state university in the Midwest. Eager and hyper-alert, I began noticing that American students, both graduate and undergraduate, were encountering significant difficulties in writing academic papers. I was dumbfounded. Having spent many years in Russia and China teaching non-native English speakers to read, write, and communicate in academic English, the ineptness of these American students baffled me. They, after all, spoke English as their native language.

Paul Viccica and Lois Goodell are principals with the CBT architectural firm.

The criteria employers use to evaluate recent college graduates for jobs in the real world of today have changed dramatically.

Video analytics has been considered the next big thing in campus security. But the surveillance technology, also known as video content analysis, is just beginning to catch the eye of higher ed security administrators.

Increasingly sophisticated cameras may enhance security, but they also raise privacy concerns.

Administrators must confront these issues when upgrading surveillance technology and tracking the analytics it generates, advises Larry Consalvos of IXP Corporation, the company that provided software, consulting and project management for Cal State, Northridge’s systems.

Throughout Florida, colleges and universities are hiring faculty to accommodate growing high-demand fields like health and engineering.

How other states are approaching math requirements.

The 23-campus California State University system has eliminated two of the largest barriers facing incoming freshmen pursuing non-STEM majors.

CREDIT CONVERSATION—Conferences of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships help ensure dual enrollment students experience a seamless transition into college. (Todd Goodrich).

Colleges and universities in 47 states engage with school district partners to offer dual enrollment programs, in which courses are taught on college campuses, at high schools or online.

 Crowd-powered captioning Like with crowdfunding, the future of live captioning may be powered by a group.

With professional captionists costing as much as $100 per hour, a lower-cost solution is in the works to allow groups of average typists to provide real-time captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing. Legion:Scribe is making that happen.

Whether it’s on-site or remote, captions will vary in quality, says Margaret Camp, director of student accessibility services at Clemson University.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is considered the most accurate level of transcription, which is “utterance-for-utterance,” she says.

The captionist types everything heard. However, this level of accuracy costs twice as much as another form of live captioning, called “meaning-for-meaning.”

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