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Dipping our toes in the water:
ebooks as part of No Hidden
Extras at Coventry University
Phil Vaughan
Assistant Director
Coventry University
• A modern university, incorporated 1992
• C 21,000 undergraduates
• 38% of student population from ov...
Background
• No Hidden Extras is the University’s response to the
increase in student fees in 2012, and has been in place
...
Key Drivers
 Recruitment - influence students’ choice of university through
commitment to minimising ‘hidden extras’
 St...
No Hidden Extras
Each student paying full fees to receive up to £250 per year in
learning materials to support their cours...
AND Textbooks!!
• Distributed 20,000
books to 3,400 students
over 3 week period!
• Books packed by
course into “Amazon-
st...
Review of 2012-13
• An enormous logistical operation!
• Had to gather requirements from lecturers across 120
courses
• Nee...
2013-14: Bigger and Better!
• Year Two students were also now eligible alongside new
Year One students
• We distributed 40...
E-book Pilot with Vital Source
– Conducted with computer science students across 6
courses (6 texts) and bioscience studen...
Experiences with ebooks
• Students initially slow to download – needed several reminders!
• Some initial teething problems...
Feedback
• Students liked the portability and ease of reference
• Also liked the ability to annotate and bookmark
• But st...
Challenges?
• Students have not been previously exposed to ebooks in
this way – unaware of possibilities (its not like rea...
Moving Forward
• We continued again with small ebook pilots in 2014-15
with new supplier Kortext with bioscience and busin...
Lessons Learned?
• Identify requirements early
• Sell the benefits – to staff and students
• Identify courses and subjects...
Further Information
Forster, S. 2014. E-textbooks at Coventry University: a pilot
project.
In: Woodward, H. (ed.) Ebooks i...
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Dipping our toes in water: eBooks as part of No Hidden Costs at Coventry University

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Phil Vaughan from Coventry University speaks at Talis Insight 2015

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Dipping our toes in water: eBooks as part of No Hidden Costs at Coventry University

  1. 1. Dipping our toes in the water: ebooks as part of No Hidden Extras at Coventry University Phil Vaughan Assistant Director
  2. 2. Coventry University • A modern university, incorporated 1992 • C 21,000 undergraduates • 38% of student population from overseas • Very diverse student body, with wide range of library skills and expectations • University very focussed on NSS scores
  3. 3. Background • No Hidden Extras is the University’s response to the increase in student fees in 2012, and has been in place since then • The “Promise” is that students will not have to find any further costs to support their studies beyond their basic living costs
  4. 4. Key Drivers  Recruitment - influence students’ choice of university through commitment to minimising ‘hidden extras’  Student satisfaction - tangible enhancement of the student experience, impact on NSS scores!  Pedagogical - critical to achieving course learning goals  Widening participation – equal access to core material
  5. 5. No Hidden Extras Each student paying full fees to receive up to £250 per year in learning materials to support their course  Start Up Packs – e.g. protective clothing, Sports Kit,  Software, laptops, professional subscriptions, art materials printing credits  field trips/day visits  support grants for placements, overseas experience, or international travel
  6. 6. AND Textbooks!! • Distributed 20,000 books to 3,400 students over 3 week period! • Books packed by course into “Amazon- style” boxes for issue • Packs issued to student record
  7. 7. Review of 2012-13 • An enormous logistical operation! • Had to gather requirements from lecturers across 120 courses • Need to estimate likely student numbers in advance of A Level results • And find a venue big enough! • SO WOULD ADOPTING EBOOKS MAKE THIS EASIER?!
  8. 8. 2013-14: Bigger and Better! • Year Two students were also now eligible alongside new Year One students • We distributed 40,000 books to 7,200 students! • A small e-book pilot as an alternative to print was conducted
  9. 9. E-book Pilot with Vital Source – Conducted with computer science students across 6 courses (6 texts) and bioscience students across 4 courses (3 texts) – Students downloaded a personal e-copy of the textbook from the relevant module from our VLE (Moodle) – The text could be held on up to 4 devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones – Ability to make notes and annotate
  10. 10. Experiences with ebooks • Students initially slow to download – needed several reminders! • Some initial teething problems: – Availability of some texts – Downloading – Correct access for authorised groups of students • But gained momentum: 53% of computing students and 67% of bioscience students downloaded the texts • Not a high proportion, but higher than the 18% of computing students who collected the print text!!
  11. 11. Feedback • Students liked the portability and ease of reference • Also liked the ability to annotate and bookmark • But still also liked print: each survey we have run since the launch of NHE has indicated students prefer print!
  12. 12. Challenges? • Students have not been previously exposed to ebooks in this way – unaware of possibilities (its not like reading an e-book via our catalogue!) • Students dislike reading large amount of text on screen • Communications – need to keep reminding students of their availability and functionality • Ensuring availability of title as e • Persuading academic staff to adopt ebooks – they are similarly very wedded to print!
  13. 13. Moving Forward • We continued again with small ebook pilots in 2014-15 with new supplier Kortext with bioscience and business students • Final year students can also buy etextbooks with credit from our online store • Currently conducting an overall review of No Hidden Extras in terms of value for money, impact on recruitment and pedagogic value • We hope to increase the proportion of ebooks offered for 2015-16
  14. 14. Lessons Learned? • Identify requirements early • Sell the benefits – to staff and students • Identify courses and subjects where it adds maximum value • Communicate constantly • Review the metrics to inform future projects
  15. 15. Further Information Forster, S. 2014. E-textbooks at Coventry University: a pilot project. In: Woodward, H. (ed.) Ebooks in Education: Realising the Vision. Pp. 125–129. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/bal.n

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