Liverpool to launch student e-textbook pilot

The University of Liverpool is working with academic bookseller Blackwell’s on a pilot to make key digital textbooks available to students

Using Blackwell’s online platform, students and lecturers alike can access eBooks on any device, including tablets, computers and smartphones. Other features include the ability to create references in seconds, the ability to add multiple bookmarks, create notes or access lecturers’ notes, highlight text and sync progress between devices.

Blackwell’s will provide the university with usage analytics, which will include detail of how much a particular book, or chapter, is being engaged with by students, whether a cohort of students on a course, or an individual student, as well as ranking the students on their course. The analytics are intended to be formative rather than summative, and Blackwell’s will be working with Liverpool staff and students to develop its analytics on the basis of the experience in the pilot.

Learning via a digital platform is emerging as a proven way to provide students with a more engaging experience, improving both retention rates and student satisfaction, and that is set to increase as the tablet generation reaches university age

“We want to see what effect this model has on student experience and perceptions of the library service,” said Emma Thompson, Learning and Teaching Lead at the University of Liverpool Library. We have worked closely with our colleagues in the Law School and this has enabled us to select key modules and titles. Our academic staff are very much on board.”

“Learning via a digital platform is emerging as a proven way to provide students with a more engaging experience, improving both retention rates and student satisfaction, and that is set to increase as the tablet generation reaches university age,” explained Tim Kilmartin, Head of Corporate, Professional & Institutional Sales at Blackwell’s.

“eBooks offer particular advantages in terms of accessibility, and we’ve continued to harness this by introducing a read-aloud feature to our eBook platform in order to make our service more inclusive of sight-impaired users, as well as providing an invaluable benefit for international students working to improve their spoken English. We look forward to continuing work with the University of Liverpool to ensure their students receive a learning outcome worthy of their investment,” he added.

The pilot will focus initially on Law, and students will be able to access digital textbooks via the Blackwell’s platform during semester two of the 2015/16 academic year.

W: www.liverpool.ac.uk

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