Durham, NC (PressExposure) May 21, 2009 -- Northwest Missouri State University has announced its selection of the VitalSource BookshelfÂ® e-textbook platform as its format of choice for e-textbook delivery for students.
The university chose the VitalSource Bookshelf platform after conducting pilot tests of the leading formats among some 500 students. VitalSource, the leading interactive e-book platform for education, is an offering of Ingram DigitalSM, an Ingram content company focused on solutions for digital content management, distribution and promotion.
One of the unique aspects of attending Northwest is that all students receive a laptop computer from the University to use during the school year. Beginning in the fall 2009 semester, those computers will come preloaded with VitalSource Bookshelf.
"Since we became the nation's first public university to implement an electronic campus in 1987, we have dedicated ourselves to using technology to enhance education," said Dr. Dean L. Hubbard, President. "Now, by using Vitalsource Bookshelf as our primary method of e-textbook delivery, we are taking another step as a technology leader."
"The e-textbook program at Northwest Missouri State will be the model for other schools considering an all-digital-curriculum," said William Chesser, vice president and general manager for Ingram Digital Education Solutions. "We are delighted to be powering this endeavor and to work alongside such a forward-thinking institution."
VitalSource e-textbooks can be accessed from a PC anytime, anywhere. Delivered through Bookshelf, VitalSource's leading edge e-book reader, they can be highlighted and annotated and searched. In addition, Bookshelf stores, indexes and displays VitalSource e-textbooks and functions as a virtual meeting place for readers to trade notes, tips and techniques.
Northwest Missouri State University's selection of VitalSource Bookshelf came after pilot tests of Ingram Digital's format was compared with two other formats. The pilot included over 500 students in seven courses. Students were asked to keep track of the number of hours they spent reading texts, how they used their texts, the ease of using the e-textbook and its interactive features, and their perceptions of e-textbooks versus print textbooks. The University surveyed students several times and considered both qualitative and quantitative results when making their decision.
Among the survey's findings: â¢ 80 percent of students surveyed said it was more convenient and efficient to acquire, transport and integrate information from other learning resources using an e-textbook. â¢ Students surveyed cited the ability to search their entire collection of e-textbooks for information; the ability to highlight their e-textbooks; and the ability to conduct keyword searches on content notes and shared notes as the most appealing features of e-textbooks. â¢ 78 percent of students surveyed said they liked the idea of e-textbooks and would use them for at least some courses.
"In selecting the University's primary e-textbook delivery format, it stood out that students using the VitalSource application had a much better experience and formed much more positive opinions of e-textbooks than students who used the other applications we tested," explained Paul Klute, Assistant to the President.
ABOUT NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY Northwest Missouri State University is a four-year regional university offering both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Accreditations include the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. Northwest's 2008-09 enrollment was 7,000. Undergraduate students can select from more than 100 majors, 70 minors and 19 pre-professional degree programs. There are 42 graduate degree offerings, two specialist and five certificate programs. The University has implemented quality management throughout its system in its "Culture of Quality." For these efforts, Northwest has won four consecutive Missouri Quality Awards (1997, 2001, 2005 and 2008). Northwest is the first public university in the nation to establish an electronic campus (1987).