SAN MATEO, Calif., March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- CourseSmart, the world's largest provider of eTextbooks and digital course materials, today announced that the University of Michigan will be testing eTextbooks as a means to improving student performance by integrating eTextbooks directly into the workspace that students use to take their course. The pilot program will integrate CourseSmart's eTextbooks with all other course materials within their existing campus Learning Management System, cTools, allowing faculty and students the ability to conveniently access everything they need for their course in one place.
Creating a single education work-flow, the Spring pilot program includes five courses/instructors and nearly 200 students who can now use cTools, the University's Sakai-based LMS, to access their eTextbooks as well as course assignments, homework, syllabus, class calendar and instructor/peer communications.
"As a large, forward-thinking public university, we continue to look for new ways to improve the learning environment for our faculty and students," said Susan Hollar, Curriculum Integration Coordinator for the University of Michigan Library. "We are evaluating the pilot program and will make recommendations regarding campus directions for e-textbooks. We want to help our campus make informed decisions about new technology tools."
In addition to providing University of Michigan with eTextbooks and digital course materials, CourseSmart handled the technical integration and distribution of the program. Using an LTI standards-based integration, the university will enjoy a single sign-on process that integrates the prepopulated eTextbook bookshelf directly into the campus LMS.
"Since CourseSmart has adopted Basic LTI as a standard for operating with platforms like the Sakai LMS, integration was able to be accomplished with minimal effort on both sides," said Chuck Severance, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Information at the University of Michigan. "We value partners who are able to take a standards-based approach which enables us to produce desired results with minimal investments."
"CourseSmart is quickly becoming the industry leader in LTI-based systems integration as universities across the country continue to realize the significant benefits of incorporating eTextbooks into their learning management systems," said Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart. "University of Michigan is a great example of the campus innovation that is taking place nationwide as students and faculty continue to demand an integrated workflow and take advantage of the savings, convenience and efficiencies of eTextbooks."
CourseSmart offers the world's largest catalogue of digital course materials, as well as the following eTextbook benefits:
- Anytime, anywhere access to materials via www.coursesmart.com or through any web-enabled mobile device or tablet, including specific Apps for the iPhone and iPad;
- Search function for topics within a single book or across an entire eTextbook stack;
- Highlighting and note-taking capabilities within the eTextbook, which can be easily recalled or searched;
- Page fidelity and preservation, mirroring the print edition's page numbers, full text, diagrams, illustrations and charts;
- Ability to cut and paste as well as email sections, notes and highlighted text;
- The choice to print only what one needs;
- Savings of up to 60% for students; and
- 80% of CourseSmart's top selling titles have been optimized to be more accessible for students and instructors with print-related disabilities.
For more information, visit www.coursesmart.com/instructors, and click the Institutions link.
CourseSmart provides eTextbooks and digital course materials that improve the higher education learning process by offering instructors and students a unique combination of the right course material, anywhere, any-time access and a low cost. As the world's largest digital course materials supplier, CourseSmart has a rapidly growing digital library of more than 90% of core higher education textbooks offered as eTextbooks, the same titles produced by major publishers in print and recommended by faculty across North America. The company's eTextbooks can be purchased for up to 60% less than print texts and offer users the ability to print what they need as well as search and copy and paste features which help to streamline students' studies. Additional information can be found on the company's website: www.coursesmart.com.