Research from Indiana University
- Student engagement with e-texts: What the data tell us
Abaci, Quick, & Morrone (2017).Student engagement with e-texts: What the data tell us. Educause Review [Online].
- This case study of Indiana University's e-text initiative reports on students' actual use of and engagement with digital textbooks.
- In a typical semester, students read more in the first four weeks and less in later weeks except during major assessment times; in a typical week, most reading occurs between 5:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. from Monday to Thursday, indicating that students use e-texts mainly as a self-study resource.
- Highlighting was the markup feature most used by students, whereas use of the other interactive markup features (shared notes, questions, and answers) was minimal, perhaps because of students' lack of awareness of these features.
- Research found that higher engagement with e-texts (reading and highlighting) correlated with higher course grades.
- Effects of e-textbook instructor annotations on learner performance
Dennis, Abaci, Morrone, Plaskoff, & McNamara (2016).Effects of e-textbook instructor annotations on learner performance. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 28(2), 221-235.
With additional features and increasing cost advantages, e-textbooks are becoming a viable alternative to paper textbooks. One important feature offered by enhanced e-textbooks (e-textbooks with interactive functionality) is the ability for instructors to annotate passages with additional insights. This paper describes a pilot study that examines the effects of instructor e-textbook annotations on student learning as measured by multiple-choice and open-ended test items. Fifty-two college students in a business course were randomly assigned either a paper or an electronic version of a textbook chapter. Results show that the e-textbook group outperformed the paper textbook group on the open-ended test item, while both groups performed equally on the multiple-choice subject test. These results suggest that the instructional affordances that an interactive e-textbook provides may lead to higher-level learning.
- Instructor engagement with e-texts
Abaci, Morrone, & Dennis (2015).Instructor engagement with e-texts. Educause Review [Online].
- This case study of Indiana University's e-text initiative reports on the participation levels and motivations of instructors in engaging with digital textbooks.
- Instructors can benefit from e-text features, including real-time reading and engagement analytics, note-sharing with students, and ability to integrate links, annotations, and multimedia materials into study materials.
- The findings from this study suggest that instructors play an important role in e-text adoption by modeling active e-text use and creating meaningful interaction around the content.
- Simply put, when instructors engage with e-texts, so do their students.