Academic journal article e-Journal of Business Education and Scholarship Teaching

An Empirical Evaluation of a Broad Ranging E-Text Adoption with Recommendations for Improving Deployment Success for Students

Academic journal article e-Journal of Business Education and Scholarship Teaching

An Empirical Evaluation of a Broad Ranging E-Text Adoption with Recommendations for Improving Deployment Success for Students

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Electronic course materials have several advantages over printed materials. While these advantages create an enticing argument for the adoption of electronic textbooks, there are disadvantages that may hobble e-text adoption. This case study investigates the e-text adoption process for 50 class sections across 8 business disciplines with 27 different instructors. It explores interventions that can be pursued to ameliorate important challenges and effect a more successful e-text adoption. It provides faculty, publishers, and university administrators with actionable advice for improving student response to e-text implementations. A wide variety of feelings were expressed about how e-texts are implemented, ranging from strong dissatisfaction to strong satisfaction. The results indicate that great care should be taken to ensure that as many students as possible have a positive experience during an e-text adoption. Several variables were identified as important to students and can readily be influenced and improved by faculty, administrators, and vendors. These include: 'how effectively professors use the material', 'price', 'quality of the sign-up process', and 'how useful the e-textbook platform training was'. Finally, two factors, technical and functional satisfaction, should be considered when implementing e-text solutions.

Keywords: Business education, e-texts, cost of higher education.

JEL Classification: 121

PsycINFO Classification: 3550

FoR Code: 1302; 1503

ERA Journal ID#: 35696

Introduction

As laptops and tablets become more ubiquitous, students are becoming more comfortable reading online and more online course materials, including electronic textbooks, are being used in universities. As educators, it is important to understand what factors lead to effective e-text adoptions and how faculty and vendors can better meet the needs of students.

Electronic course materials have several advantages over printed materials that create an enticing argument for the adoption of electronic textbooks. Electronic materials, for example, promise reduced costs by obviating the need for printing, storage, and shipping expenses. Reducing the costs of textbooks can be very important for students that struggle financially as textbooks can account for a significant portion of education costs (Miller, Baker-Eveleth, 2010). Beyond the benefits of lower costs, electronic textbooks can also provide functions not found in printed books. For example, highlighting and bookmarking an e-text can be more flexible than printed texts, e-texts can be searched by keywords, text can be easily copied and pasted, and adaptive quizzes can adjust to each student's needs (CourseSmart 2014). In addition, without the costs and constraints of setting up printing, new editions can come out each year for fast changing fields such as Technology (Miller, Baker-Eveleth, 2010). This ensures that content is always up-to-date and relevant. Further, farsighted publishers are experimenting with enhancing electronic textbooks with interactive elements (videos, audio, adaptive quizzes, games, etc.) that are impossible with static printed books. Also, in other research, our team found initial evidence that in at least some courses, these interactive elements lead to higher student performance (Bowman, Adams, Adams, & Glenn, 2014).

However, there are also several disadvantages to electronic course materials that lead many students to prefer using printed materials and may hobble e-text adoption. Immature technology is one example. Electronic textbooks are currently available in a wide variety of platforms and modes with major interface and bookmarking system variations (Young, 2009). This can be confusing to students and professors alike. In addition, the technology used to display e-texts is a rapidly shifting landscape. Most laptop and tablet displays do not match the size of an open textbook. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.