Franklin University, a leader in educating working adults, is proud to announce its e-textbook initiative, lending support to Ohio Governor John Kasich’s January 30 budget proposal to reduce textbook costs.
The genesis of the Franklin University e-textbook initiative began in December of 2015 with the idea of providing all students, whether attending the University locally or across the country and around the world, with high quality, accessible educational opportunities. Recognizing the barriers presented by a reliance on traditional textbooks,* University leadership assembled a Course Content Committee with the goal of creating a strategy to begin an incremental, yet purposeful, move toward embedding all of its learning resources into the curriculum to support learning outcomes.
The Committee, led by Rick Sunderman, Chief Information Officer, found that high textbook costs, inconsistent availability, and ease-of-use collectively impact student textbook purchases. Accordingly, through learning platform integration, the University provided students with online access to resources prior to class start. This approach, supported by research from the University of Maryland, has been shown to not only lower textbook costs, but as significantly, increased learning and learning outcomes.
Piloted during the Fall 2016 term through four courses, the e-textbook initiative was expanded to 15 courses for the Winter 2017 term, and has included nearly 1,000 students to date. Through continued expansion of the initiative, the University is working toward the goal of eliminating the requirement for physical textbooks by migrating to an E-resource solution at no additional cost to students in the near future.
Early results are encouraging with student feedback providing the following opinions:
- The embedded e-textbooks and course content is “easy to use and convenient;”
- “You don't have to pay for a book that you will have to carry around for 6 to 12 weeks. Your E-book is with you whenever your computer is with you;”
- “The e-textbook made access my reading assignments and note taking very easy during this course;” and
- The e-textbook and course content provided “quick access on my computer and phone. Study on the go.”
Through technological advances that improve the student learning experience, such as the Franklin University e-textbook initiative, institutions of higher education, public and private alike, can fulfill their responsibility to provide students with a high quality, affordable means to achieving their educational goals and enriching the world in which we live.
*The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that 7 in 10 students have skipped buying a textbook (Redden, 2011).
Accredited, nonprofit and dedicated to educating adults since 1902, Franklin provides onsite course options at over 25 Midwest locations and is an innovator in providing personalized online education. The University offers applied in-demand undergraduate, master’s and doctorate programs that enable adult learners to achieve their educational and professional goals. The University also offers several academic programs internationally, including its top-ranked MBA, through agreements with partner institutions.
Franklin University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and holds specialized accreditations for specific academic programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.