The data represented on this page is a three semester composite of survey feedback from students and faculty. A comprehensive and standardized survey was developed by a committee of participating universities to gather basic etextbook data and the impact on teaching and learning. Survey Monkey was used as the platform to distribute the survey and collect feedback about experiences in the pilot.


  • 61% had no previous experience with etextbooks in their college courses
  • 67% preferred to buy a print textbook over an etextbook before the pilot
  • 82% did not purchase a printed copy of the etextbook for the pilot
  • 55%  reported no change in their reading strategies with the etextbook
  • 68% read the same amount of content or more with the etextbook
  • 75% felt their study time was more effective and efficient with the etextbook features
  • 76% reported the etextbook helped them to better understand ideas and concepts in their course
  • 73% felt more engaged with the  course content by using the etextbook
  • 80% reported greater flexibility to learn the way they wanted with the etextbook
  • 76% reported the etextbook allowed them to better organize and structure their learning
  • 60% did not see an increase in interaction or collaboration with their classmates
  • 52% did not see an increase in interaction with their professor
  • 64% reported that they would be open to purchasing an etextbook in the future.
  • 75% were open to the idea to a mandatory etextbook fee, if USF’s fee was substantially lower than the etextbook cost


  • The motivations for the faculty to participate in the etextbook pilot were to offer cheaper alternatives to expensive textbooks, enhance electronic learning, and explore emerging etextbook technology.
  • The majority of the faculty respondents reported that they had not previously used an etextbook in their courses.
  • Most of the faculty attended training sessions for the pilot and all of attendees found the etextbooks easy to use.
  • Most of the faculty did not alter their teaching practices while using the etextbook, but about half of them felt that their students were more engaged.
  • The majority of faculty stated that they did not encourage students to use the annotation and highlight sharing features of the etextbook, explaining that they did not want one person to do all of the work for the rest of the students.
  • Many of the instructors commented that the etextbook did enhance student learning and participation in the classroom, due to the low cost and accessibility of the etextbooks.
  • Almost every instructor commented they would have integrated the Courseload features more into their course, but the required investment of extra time and work was discouraging with the uncertainty of USF’s continuing involvement with etextbooks.
  • About half of the instructors supported a mandatory course fee to reduce etextbooks costs, while the other half wanted students to have the flexibility to choose between print or etextbooks.
  • Overall, the faculty members were satisfied with the etextbooks and were receptive to using them in the future, while only a few preferred traditional textbooks.


  • The majority of students said that the etextbooks were easy to navigate and the Courseload features made studying more efficient.
  • The mobility of the etextbook was praised, however students reported problems when they couldn’t access Courseload, the internet, or had issues with certain devices, such as smart phones.
  • Despite the Courseload features designed to increase classroom interaction, many students reported that their professors did not fully integrate it into their course and resulted in little or no impact on interaction.
  • Student feedback from a course in which the professor heavily utilized the Courseload features showed a significant increase in the amount of interaction between students and the instructor.


Monica Metz-Wiseman – Project Lead – (, 813 974-9854)
Laura Pascual – Liason to Faculty, Publishers, and Internet2 / EDUCAUSE – (
Alexander Neff – Assessment and TAP Website – (

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