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May 27, 2009
Northwest has announced the selection of the VitalSource Bookshelf® e-textbook platform as its format of choice for e-textbook delivery to students.
The University chose VitalSource Bookshelf after conducting pilot tests of various formats. Considered by many in the industry to be the leading interactive e-book platform for education, VitalSource is produced by Ingram DigitalSM, a company specializing in digital content management, distribution and promotion.
Northwest, which has received national media attention for its move toward an eventual campus-wide switch to electronic textbooks, is uniquely positioned for the adoption of e-texts and interactive learning materials because all full-time students receive a laptop computer for use during the school year. Beginning in fall 2009, 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 Northwest President Dean L. Hubbard. "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 and anywhere. Delivered through Bookshelf, VitalSource's advanced-technology e-book reader, texts can be highlighted, annotated and searched. In addition, Bookshelf allows users to index and display VitalSource e-textbooks and access a virtual meeting place in order to trade notes, tips and techniques.
The pilot program that led to Northwest's selection of VitalSource Bookshelf included more than 500 students enrolled in seven courses representing a number of academic disciplines. Students were asked to keep track of the number of hours they spent reading e-texts. Data was also collected with regard to study methods, interactivity, ease of use and the perception of e-texts compared to printed textbooks.
Northwest surveyed the participating students several times and considered both qualitative and quantitative results before choosing the VitalSource platform. Among the findings:
"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 more positive opinions about e-textbooks than students who used the other applications we tested," said Assistant to the President Paul Klute, who played a key role in conducting the survey and compiling the data.
Ingram Digital, an Ingram content company, develops and markets a wide range of physical and digital services and products, including immediate access to the industry's largest selection of books and book-related products. The content companies group includes Ingram Digital, Lightning Source Inc., Ingram Book Company, Ingram International Inc., Ingram Library Services Inc., Coutts Information Services, Ingram Periodicals Inc., Ingram Publisher Services Inc., Spring Arbor Distributors Inc., and Tennessee Book Company LLC. Ingram Digital's Web site is located at www.ingramdigital.com .
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468