Daytona State College has just completed a two-year comparative study using ebooks vs print books in the classroom. Interestingly, the College had originally hoped to use Kindle ebook readers as part of the study but could not due to the books that the students required not being available via Amazon. Instead they opted to use netbooks, as this provided access to the College’s ebook platforms. This also seems to have caused many of the problems that the study came across due to the fact that internet/wireless connectivity was required to read the ebooks. In class the students using the ebooks had to wait for their netbooks to connect to the wifi which was slow and often crashed due to the demands put upon it. There were also problems with some students not being very IT literate and so time was wasted in class helping them to navigate the e-services. A number of students dropped out of the study due to not feeling comfortable using ebooks for study (problems with highlighting text etc.).
Students also found that they were few cost savings when they purchased or rented ebooks in comparison to purchasing the print copy. The print copy also had the advantage of being saleable to students taking the course in the following year or local bookstores.
You can read the full report at: http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/AStudyofFourTextbookDistributi/242784
Post by: Lisa Anderson