SAN MATEO, Calif., Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- CourseSmart®, the world's largest provider of eTextbooks and digital course materials, today announced a new relationship with Western Governors University (WGU), in which the university will integrate CourseSmart's digital library into its online student portal, creating a comprehensive, single sign-on, platform where students and instructors can access their eTextbooks anytime, anywhere.
WGU, a fully-accredited non-profit university with more than 26,000 students, began integrating CourseSmart's eTextbooks into its online learning environment in April 2011. Significantly improving their workflow and overall learning experience, students are receiving direct access to the digital titles included in their courses through their existing WGU student portal accounts. Course mentors also have access to digital versions of current textbook offerings.
"We are constantly looking for new ways to improve our learning experience and make education more accessible to students by saving them time and reducing their costs," said Margaret Korosec, manager of learning resources at WGU. "Integrating with CourseSmart allows us to streamline students' access to their eTextbooks at the moment they need it, eliminating the need for students to purchase a hardcopy textbook, and greatly enhancing their ability to be academically successful."
CourseSmart eTextbooks will be accessed online through the company's newest reader platform and linked within the WGU online course of study to individual book chapters. This creates a guided learning environment that increases learning efficiency and also allows students to access features including the ability to annotate, bookmark, highlight, search, copy, paste, share and print within the eTextbook. Furthermore, the reader will offer the same reading experience when users are offline.
"As an entirely Web-based university, WGU has established an innovative model for online education that is not only affordable but widely accessible," said Sean Devine, CEO at CourseSmart. "The WGU integration is an example of CourseSmart's steadfast mission to continue expanding access to cost effective digital course materials. Additionally, we have integrated our 24-hour, 7-day support to address any questions from users, whether it be students, instructors or the institution."
WGU has been recognized as a pioneer in the effort to make higher education more accessible and cost effective, winning the McGraw Prize in Education in 2010 and the Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education by the Sloan Consortium, an association of organizations engaged in online learning.
Western Governors University (WGU) is a private, nonprofit, American online university with more than 26,000 students across all 50 states. WGU is a competency-based university, and offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, teacher education, information technology, and health professions (including nursing). The University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). WGU was founded in 1997 by a bi-partisan group of 19 governors of states in the western United States. Its mission was to improve quality and expand access to post-secondary educational opportunities. More information is available at www.wgu.edu.
As the world's largest provider of digital course materials, CourseSmart® connects education publishers to consumers by providing an efficient distribution platform for their best-selling content in digital form. Founded in 2007, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company provides services to four business segments: Online direct retail for students; Indirect distribution of course materials to students through bookstores; Online instructor textbook evaluation services; and Institutional solutions for instructors and students that are integrated within campus technology ecosystems. CourseSmart improves the educational process and experience by offering all users anywhere, any-time access to the course content they need, including those with vision- and print-related disabilities. With more than 90% of the same core titles offered by major print publishers, the company's eTextbooks can be purchased for up to 60% less than the cost of new print textbooks. For more information about CourseSmart, visit the company's Web site at www.coursesmart.com.
© 2011 CourseSmart, LLC. All rights reserved. CourseSmart® is a registered trademark of CourseSmart, LLC. All other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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