Adopting Digital Course Materials

There are three steps to adopting an ebook or other digital course materials in your course.
  1. Explore and identify the digital textbook or lab system that fits your curriculum. There are many vendors to explore and free collegiate resources. We would suggest starting with RedShelf or VitalSource vendors that are integrated with the UIC bookstore and Blackboard.
  2. Consult with the UIC bookstore to ensure the purchasing process and optimal cost to students is available. Contact UIC Bookstore.
  3. Enter the textbook selection for your course section in the campus Verba Collect system, which will be advertised to your students. Your students will see your textbook selection in Blackboard under Tools -> Academic Digital Resources.

This tutorial will help you explore the options for digital textbook resources.

The Summer 2020 semester is exclusively online, which means that students will likely need digital textbook resources. Please consider the benefits of digital textbooks and the possibility that paper textbooks may not be available due to production delays.

Digital Textbooks

Digital textbooks, or e-books, are a computer rendition of physical textbooks with additional features. A digital textbook may be more interactive and engaging. It is often designed with the modern tech-savvy learners in mind. To address their learning styles and needs, a digital textbook is usually designed with progress indicators, note-taking, reference tools, advanced searching, videos, animations, or audio resources.

Some digital textbooks are as simple as PDF versions of the original text, and some advanced textbooks can be used without cost to the students. The following are basic categories of digital textbooks:

  1. OER – Open Education Resources – freely licensed and often no-cost textbooks. Learn more.
  2. Inclusive access textbooks – textbooks licensed for the entire campus or a large group of students. Learn more.
  3. Digital textbooks purchased through UIC Bookstore and available in Blackboard via Direct Access Link
  4. Digital textbooks purchased individually by students via RedShelf or Vitalsource.

Digital Textbooks - Benefits of Inclusive Access

  1. Academic benefits for students: When students have access to course materials from the first day of class, they can organize their work early and are less likely to fall behind in their studies. Inclusive access textbooks often include the first 14 days of the semester access without a purchase. Students have time to complete their purchase by a specific date, but maintain access to the digital textbook until then. This is different for purchase options, where students don't have access until they buy the physical textbook.
  2. Financial benefits for students: Inclusive access is often negotiated based on volume purchase and may discount the textbook as much as 40%. This depends on the size of the class or number of sections in the course.
  3. General increase in efficiency: The UIC Bookstore does not have to manage physical inventory of books, and paper waste is limited. The availability of a digital textbook through various devices makes the text more accessible to students over physical textbooks Learn more.