Table of Contents
This is a preview release of a new TechWatch report entitled Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of eBooks in Education. open for public comments from 27 September through 8 October 2012.
As ebooks become mainstream and the percentage of academic publications delivered as ebooks rises steadily, this report explains the importance of preparing for the increasing adoption and usage of ebooks in Higher and Further Education institutions. Specifically, this report: 1) introduces the historical and present context of ebooks; 2) reviews the basics of ebooks; 3) considers scenarios for ebook adoption and usage; 4) addresses current challenges; and 5) considers the future. This report also provides a glossary to help clarify key terms and a ‘References’ section listing works cited.
Around the end of October 2012, a final version of this report (incorporating feedback provided during the public commenting period) is to be published at this URL : http://blog.observatory.jisc.ac.uk/techwatch-reports/ebooks-in-education/. Building on this report, JISC is also developing further practical guidance (available later in 2012) to help institutions address the challenge of ebooks. Please check these other publications to stay informed of latest updates.
If you would like to help shape the final version of this report, you can post comments on sections of this report here (simply click on any passage in this report, enter your feedback, and choose ‘Submit comment’).
Note: To facilitate commenting on specific passages, we have presented this version of the report with simplified formatting. To see this preview draft in its normal page-layout (as PDF), go to the TechWatch section of the JISC Observatory website.
As ebooks become mainstream and the percentage of academic publications delivered as ebooks rises steadily, this report explains the importance of preparing for the increasing adoption and usage of ebooks in academic institutions. Specifically, this report: 1) introduces the historical and present context of ebooks; 2) reviews the basics of ebooks; 3) considers scenarios for ebook adoption and usage; 4) addresses current challenges; and 5) considers the future. This report also provides a glos [...]
In the last few years, the use of ebooks by the general public has become mainstream. Driven by developments in ebook technologies as well as by surges in usage of ebooks generally, within Higher Education and Further Education institutions the scope for adoption of ebooks has steadily increased. As many institutions have started the process of adopting and using ebooks, however, they need to be aware of issues as they embrace and embed ebooks within classrooms, research, libraries, and variou [...]
Many academic institutions are already in the process of implementing the use of ebooks within learning and teaching. These institutions are using a range of devices and platforms to enable learners to access and use ebooks to support their learning. As the JISC National E-books Observatory Project notes, “Course text e-books enable students and staff to fit work and study flexibly into their busy lifestyles” (JISC Collections, 2009, p. 19). In recent years, the ebook as a medium for deli [...]
The term ebook is used to describe many different kinds of digital book, so what is an ebook? A simple definition of an ebook is an electronic book. A book that is in a digital format that is read on a ebook reader or application. Unlike other forms of digital textual content, generally the ebook follows the same conventions as a printed book. Comparison of electronic and printed copies of the same publication reveals few, if any, differences. The structure and content is usually identical, with [...]
As there is no single type of user or student, rigidly uniform and standardised approaches to the implementation of ebooks cannot meet the needs of all users. There are institutional differences: learners in one subject at one institution do not necessarily behave in a similar way to learners at a different institution studying the same subject. There are also differences across disciplines, with learners in one subject area behaving differently to those in others. There are differences between [...]
There are many different issues to consider when an institution begins the process of adopting ebooks. These issues will vary, depending on factors such as whether any pilots or projects have already been undertaken and which collections have been subscribed to or purchased. Cultural resistance In an academic culture that has used printed paper books for hundreds of years, the move towards the adoption of ebooks is a cultural challenge. Inevitably, users may show signs of cultural resistance [...]
Although the future is difficult to predict and no one can be really sure where the future of ebooks is heading, ebook technologies are not going away in the near term. In the longer term, however, there could be a real challenge for users of ebooks who would like to continue accessing current ebook formats in the future. Will future devices support legacy formats for example? Likewise, the environmental sustainability of ebooks is a difficult question to answer, as one needs to weigh up the tot [...]
Term Description 3G 3G is a mobile wireless Internet service used by different devices for connectivity. Adobe Content Server Adobe Content Server is software developed to add digital rights management to e-books distributed in PDF or EPUB format through Adobe Digital Editions. Adobe Digital Editions Adobe Digital Editions is a software application that can be used to manage a library of ebooks and devices, particularly ebook readers. It can also be used to [...]
Armstrong, C. & Lonsdale, R., 2009. E-book Use by Academic Staff and Students in UK Universities: Focus Groups Report. [Online] Available at: http://observatory.jiscebooks.org/reports/e-book-use-by-academic-staff-and-students-in-uk-universities-focus-groups-report-2/ [Accessed 20 September 2012] Bennet, L. et al., 2003. Promoting the Uptake of E-Books in Higher and Further Education. [Online] Available at: http://observatory.jiscebooks.org/files/2011/01/Promoting-the-uptake-of-ebooks. [...]
JISC Observatory provides prioritised information, analysis, and recommendations regarding emerging innovations (technologies, standards) and their usage relevant to Higher and Further Education. This work aims to ensure that sector institutions can plan interventions in enough time to sustain world-class education and research. Observatory process The JISC Observatory evidence-gathering process draws out tacit knowledge and informed experience of those working at the JISC and its Innovatio [...]