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Courseload to Launch 5 Textbook Pilots This Spring

The digital textbook distributor Courseload is pleased to announce Wednesday that it has partnerships with 5 universities and is about to start new digital textbook pilot programs with the University of California, Berkeley; Cornell University; University of Minnesota; University of Virginia; and the University of Wisconsin. These 5 schools will help test Courseload’s platform using textbooks provided by McGraw-Hill.

The pilot programs, which are based on Indiana University’s successful eText model, offer universities the chance to lower the cost of digital course materials. Courseload assists the institutions in negotiating attractive volume price deals with publishers, znd everyone including students benefit from the program because it dramatically reduce costs while efficiently paying authors and publishers fairly for their digital work.

Faculty interest at the universities has been quite strong. “We have seven instructors with 8 sections and more than 400 students enrolled in the program at UVA,” said James L. Hilton, vice president and chief information officer, University of Virginia. “Enthusiasm is quite high. Our effort grew by word of mouth and we had 11 volunteers within a day of announcing at an advisory committee meeting, which is really remarkable.”

Students in the pilot will receive their digital textbooks at no cost as the institutions are subsidizing the study. also, if a student wants a hardcopy of the texbook then they can order  POD version for only $28. The digital textbooks will be accessible via the universities’ Learning Management System, and students will be able to print, annotate,  and share with classmates and instructors on any HTML5-capable tablet, smartphone, or computer.

imge by Paul Stainthorp

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