Skip to main content

more options

eTextbook Pilot – Home

Want more information?

Please contact Academic Technologies (

Pilot Description

As part of a cross-university collaboration being facilitated by Internet2 Net+ and Educause, Cornell is now participating in phase III of an eContent pilot project, using McGraw-Hill e-Textbooks and CourseLoad’s e-reader software (see the Internet2 web site for more details). Internet2 Net+ is managing all contracting matters with publishers and CourseLoad. The pilot is providing participants with a simple way to try out eTexts as part of a comprehensive approach to understanding and influencing eText futures.

Phase III Spring 2013

This spring, phase III, Cornell will continue to participate in the pilot using McGRaw-Hill eTextbooks, faculty materials, course packs, and other econtent on the CourseLoad platform.

The pilot project’s Academic Technologies team will also explore and review available eTextbook technology platforms, and evaluate if Cornell should consider adopting a platform as a supported service.

Phase II Fall 2012

In phase II, the pilot expanded from using publisher eTextbooks to include the use of other course materials on the eText platform, such as coursepacks and library materials (see the Fall 2012 Internet2 and Educause press release).

Cornell expanded the partnership with Internet2 Net+ and Educause to provide eTextbooks to 14 courses and 1,600 students during the fall 2012 semester.

The pilot used Coursload eTextbook software to explore how using, reading, and annotating eTextbooks could:

  • Be advantageous to students
  • Potentially lower the cost of instruction

Eligible eTextbooks for the pilot included:

  • Titles from McGraw-Hill
  • Materials that are faculty-authored or open courseware, such as class notes or other study guides

eText publishing tools were also evaluated to help faculty develop their own eTextbook content. Academic Technologies worked closely with the CU Library as they began developing guidelines for e-reserve materials. The University Press also provided feedback. The results are now being compiled in to a matrix that will describe functionality and identify the benefits and issues with each tool. Faculty will be able to use the information to assist them with moving their own textbooks and or supplemental materials in to an electronic format.

Research Study: Academic Technologies at Cornell provided leadership in the fall eText pilot evaluation focusing in the Teaching and Learning aspects of the pilot. This extended the evaluation from spring 2012.

Phase I Spring 2012

The initial phase of the pilot explored the value of eTextbooks for teaching and learning. Cornell participated with several other schools in designing and conducting an evaluation of the eText Pilot.

Research Study: As part of the project, the participating institutions agreed to collaborate on an evaluation of the eTextbook pilot. All institutions used a student survey and faculty interview protocol with a common set of questions (additional questions could be added by each institution) and usage data from CourseLoad. This generated a core data set that provided a baseline of data about usage, features, benefits, and challenges. The results of the spring pilot are available in a report published by Internet2 (download the report).