One of the main elements of our core text strategy project is to investigate alternative ways of providing e-book texts to our students.
The established models of electronic core text provision do not meet the needs of our students and teaching colleagues or the ambitions of the library service. We need to find new ways of acquiring e-books and making them available to our users.
To explore new ways of delivering core texts we have instigated a number of pilot projects for the academic year 2014-15 with the following guiding principles:
- Every student must have an individual copy of the e-book for the duration of their module, with no restrictions on usage during this period
- These titles must be seamlessly accessible via Blackboard (our virtual learning environment platform)
- Acquisition of and payment for these titles must be based on actual usage, not notional student numbers
- Titles must be available for download onto personal devices
We also intend to fulfil the following ambitions:
- To involve a wide range of disciplines in the pilot projects (moving beyond the traditional business and health science subjects)
- To collect meaningful quantitative and qualitative data and user feedback that will allow us to draw firm conclusions about usage and value for money
Getting to this stage has taken a lot of time and effort in negotiating with publishers, technical intermediaries and academic and e-learning colleagues across the University.
We now have twelve pilot projects either running or set to run in Semester Two and we have already learned a lot – our experiences and findings from these pilots will appear on this blog in due course so watch this space!