eTextbook Access, Usage, and Beliefs

A. Denoyelles
R. Seilhamer


Dynamic features of eTextbooks, such as taking interactive quizzes and sharing notes can make the practice of reading a textbook more supportive and engaging than before. While promising, challenges exist regarding the integration of eTextbooks in higher education, such as cost, usability, and lack of instructor development. There is a need for a more informed understanding of how instructors and learners are integrating eTextbooks to revolutionize learning spaces, in order to formulate next steps of action on a university level. While studies exist regarding universities with eTextbook initiatives, there is little empirical data concerning universities that offer eTextbooks without a focussed initiative. In this paper, the results of a university-wide student survey are shared, which provide insight into factors such as the selection and use of eTextbooks, access, and beliefs regarding eTextbook use and learning. Generally, we found that in a university setting without an eTextbook initiative, eTextbook use is relatively low and their features are not being effectively utilized by students or instructors. In any university that offers eTextbooks, instructor development is critical. Findings from this survey guide the instructional design of instructor development. The findings also identify pertinent issues that any university is likely to face when considering an eTextbook initiative, such as raising student awareness, working with publishers, and providing effective technical and pedagogical support.


eTextbook, Digital textbook, Instructional design, Higher education, Learning methods

APA Citation

Denoyelles, A., & Seilhamer, R. (2013). eTextbook access, usage, and beliefs: implications for adoption in higher education. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 5(2), 189-201.

About the Study

Links to Article
Mode Technology-enhanced
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education
Type of Research Quantitative
Research Design Survey research (qualitative or quantitative)
Intervention/Areas of Study Student motivation
Level of Analysis
Specific Populations Examined
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest
Student Sample Size 500 +
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