- Home >
Trine's School of Professional Studies going 100 percent digital
School to use only eTextbooks beginning in 2011
ANGOLA — Trine University’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) has made a 100 percent digital decision.
In an effort to reduce costs for adult students and stay on the cusp of new technologies, SPS will offer only eTextbooks to students beginning in January 2011. The SPS programs are available on several branch campuses throughout Indiana and are geared toward adults who want to pursue associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
The cost of eTextbooks also is significantly less than new textbooks. At Follett bookstore, a student can purchase a new business textbook for $144. The used version costs $108, and the digital version costs $69. The digital course materials being provided through CaféScribe, Follett Higher Education Group’s digital platform, do not expire and are the student’s to keep forever.
“This ownership model is especially helpful for students in a successive discipline. They are able to search all of their books and notes efficiently, saving time, and alleviating frustrations caused when you no longer have access to materials,” said Jen Eveslage of Follett Higher Education Group. “Sustainability, affordability, collaboration and teaching effectiveness are the hallmarks of our digital textbooks. We want to offer the course materials that will provide faculty and students with the most value and the best impact for learning.”
According to a 2009 Indiana University of Pennsylvania study, “More and more instructors are beginning to abandon traditional approaches to instruction, which merely transfer knowledge from faculty to students, for cutting-edge strategies, which allow students to construct their own learning.”
The changes in colleges’ and universities’ approaches to education are changing the tools institutions use to educate students, David Wood, dean of Trine’s SPS, explained. A digital text can be downloaded on up to three electronic devices, and while books cannot be read on smart phones, apps for the iPhone, iPad and Droid are expected to be available in January. Textbooks are more than a black-and-white PDF; they are interactive and include pictures, colors, diagrams, highlighters and note options.
“We want to be on the edge of technology and provide the most innovative learning opportunities to students. The bonus in all this is that we can implement this program and save our students a considerable amount of money at the same time,” Wood said.
“Students are living their lives online, and this is where the future of learning is at,” said Kylee Bennett, manager of the Follet Bookstore on Trine’s campus. “We want to offer the course materials that will provide faculty and students with the most value and the best impact for learning.
In a July 2010 Indiana University study, “eTextbook Use and Relationships with Course Performance, Motivation and Attitudes,” students cited accessibility and organization as the two most positive aspects of eTextbooks. On average, students who used eTextbooks, performed better in class.
“We want our students to be engaged in the classroom while utilizing the newest technologies available,” said Earl D. Brooks II, president of Trine University. “E-textbooks are the future.”
Bennett said digital textbooks have come a long way in the decade or so they’ve been on the market. Many eTextbooks now offer features for students with disabilities. Book-reading and magnification options are available for sight-impaired students.
“You can make notes in the margins of texts and share them with all students who are using the text — even if they’re at a school in California,” Bennett said. “It’s great for networking. You can subscribe to notes and choose to be public or private.”
"Trine is a progressive university and is looking to the future — not just for our campus, but for our students,” Brooks said. “We want our students to accelerate in today’s job market and be prepared socially, academically and technologically.”