The Changing Landscape of Course Content: Electronic textbooks and electronic coursepacks

H. M. Schroeder


This fall, Michigan State University (MSU) implemented electronic textbook (eText) and electronic course pack pilot projects. Faculty and over 1,000 students in several pilot courses used either eTexts from one of two major publishers or faculty generated electronic course packs. All course content was accessible through MSU’s course management system via the Courseload platform. Courseload offers searching, highlighting, note taking/annotations, sharing, printing, and the ability to embed and add other electronic content, user statistics, and more. This paper describes these pilots in detail and provides readers interested in eTexts and electronic course packs an overview of one university’s experiences from initial planning to implementation and assessment. The central role of the MSU Libraries as part of the planning and implementation team for both pilots is discussed, as are the specific tasks executed by the MSU Libraries. Research plans and procedures, accessibility issues, and future considerations and plans are also outlined.



This article looks at faculty and student experiences in pilot courses that use eTexts from two large publishing companies. In total six courses separated into 15 sections were observed in the study.

The study found that the library was an obvious choice for both students and faculty to seek on-campus help with questions about eTexts. However, the university ultimately withdrew their support of the pilot program due to legal issues surrounding accessibility brought to light by the National Federation of the Blind. The authors state it is unlikely the university will participate in future eText pilots until the platforms and interphase are deemed accessible for all of their students.

APA Citation

Schroeder, H. M. (2013). The changing landscape of course content: Electronic textbooks and electronic coursepacks. In Charleston Library Conference.

About the Study

Links to Article
Mode Technology-enhanced
Publication Type Conference Presentations/Contributions
In Publication Charleston Library Conference
Type of Research Quantitative
Research Design Survey research (qualitative or quantitative)
Intervention/Areas of Study Administration, management, and leadership, including accreditation, financial models, and legal, Content-student interactions, Course design, Course organization, Faculty and professional development and/or training, Instructor-student interactions, Student support, Technical support
Level of Analysis Student-level, Instructor-level, Institutional-level
Specific Populations Examined
Peer-Reviewed No
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest 4-year Institution, Doctorate-granting, Public
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest Academic achievement or performance, including assessment scores and course grades, Institutional effectiveness, Instructional effectiveness, Learning effectiveness, Program effectiveness, Satisfaction
Student Sample Size 500 +
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