Over the past several years, there has been a notable shift in attitudes among instructors and students towards digital products that enhance learning, especially eBooks. In our new white paper, we examine these shifting views to show that both instructors and students favor digital learning solutions, particularly the Jones & Bartlett Learning Navigate eFolio and interactive eBook available within Navigate 2. What’s more, through surveys and focus group research, we can demonstrate how Navigate products have increased student engagement and improved learning outcomes. Read the full white paper now.
Instructor and Student Attitudes Towards eBooks
In May 2013, Jones & Bartlett Learning surveyed nearly 1,000 instructors about their digital courseware preferences and expectations. Encompassing 10 disciplines from both higher education and vocational education, the survey included instructors representing: Allied Health Professions, Automotive, Biological Science, Computer Science, Emergency Medical Services, Fire, Health Administration, Health Science, Nursing, and Public Health. The purpose of the survey was to learn more about the types of products that today’s instructors need in order to develop online learning solutions that best meet teaching and learning requirements. While the majority of instructors surveyed said they preferred printed textbooks, the data showed that their attitudes are changing. For example, while 17% of instructors said they had adopted digital resources in the past year, 32% are planning to adopt them next year.
More than 80% of instructors who were surveyed said that high quality videos, case study activities, and simulations were highly useful because they not only support their teaching but also provide their students with real world experiences at a low cost. Images and rich media are found to have a motivational effect on learning, while fostering long-term memory by helping students organize and structure information. The Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer, 2001) states that:
- First, learners have to select relevant information from text
- Second, organize it in a meaningful way by building connections
- Third, integrate it by establishing these connections
Annotations such as highlights or notes can help build these connections. Other resources provided in interactive eBooks, such as videos or animations, further support these connections.
Navigate 2 supports the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning through its eBook with interactive tools and note-taking capability, virtual study center with practice activities and flashcards, built-in homework and testing assessment center, and dashboards that provide access to detailed reports.
Additional third-party research conducted over the past several years reinforces the shift toward eBooks and their positive impact on the student learning experience. Lim & Hew (2014) looked at the usefulness of eBooks with annotative and sharing capabilities and how they provided opportunities for students to connect with their peers online. The sample consisted of 36 secondary school students in Singapore. The students used the annotation and collaboration features for two weeks and were asked to reflect on their experiences. The majority of students (24) endorsed the content sharing aspect of the eBook and close to half (15) said that it made learning a more social experience. Overall, more students had a positive experience than a negative experience with the interactive eBook. However, some experienced an initial disconnect or were overwhelmed by the technology.
In addition, research from the Book Industry Study Group has shown that students’ preference for print over digital texts has dropped from 72 percent in 2011 to 60 percent in 2012. During the same time period, the number of students owning tablets, which enable them to read eBooks, rose from 26 percent to 37 percent. With 60 percent of students still preferring traditional textbooks, United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s call for our nation to move swiftly toward digital textbooks in order to keep up with other countries might sound somewhat over-ambitious. However, the market is rapidly moving in this direction. Tim Stookesberry, Vice President at John Wiley & Sons publishing, said in a recent interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education that he sees signs of a fast transition from a print to a digital world, with less than 50 percent of the company’s higher education revenue still coming from “pure print.” This number is down more than 5 percent from two years ago.
PricewaterhouseCoopers found in a recent study that the market for eBooks (not just eTextbooks) has grown rapidly over the past few years. In 2009, the electronic book market share was 2.9 percent; by 2012 it had increased to 14.9 percent, and it is projected to rise to 22.5 percent in 2015. These trends show that readers across all generations are getting more and more accustomed to the electronic format. Similarly, Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director of Digital Book World has reported that eBook revenue across the publishing industry has more than doubled in the past few years, from $869 million in 2010 to $2 billion in 2011. This trend opposes the one currently seen in print publishing.
Impact on Student Learning & Engagement
Case study research from Jones & Bartlett Learning demonstrates that students prefer interactive eBooks over printed textbooks after a successful user experience.
For example, the Jones & Bartlett Learning Navigate eFolio, an easy-to-use interactive eBook that combines authoritative content with enhanced learning activities™, has been shown to have a positive impact on student learning and engagement. In the fall of 2013, we pilot tested Navigate eFolio: Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge with two instructors and 65 students from Darton State College and The University of Texas at Tyler on their experiences using the product.
More than 80% of students said that Navigate eFolio: Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge prepared them well for class, was enjoyable to use, and helped them study more efficiently. Also, nearly all students were glad they used the product and would recommend it to students for future use. Of the students participating in the pilot study, 89% agreed that the product was a helpful learning tool. Most importantly, the findings could show with data that those students who accessed the product more frequently were also the higher performers. For example, Darton State College students receiving an “A” in class accessed the product more frequently (on average 20 times more over the duration of the semester) than students receiving a “B or below.” This difference was statistically significant. For more information, view the poster presented at the 2014 ATI Nurse Educator Summit.
“[Navigate eFolio] provided quicker access than using an actual book.”
“[I] enjoyed the ease of reading the book online—much easier to pull it up on any computer than carrying the book around.”
“The information is readily available without having to flip through pages of the book. I really enjoyed using Navigate eFolio .”
“Navigate eFolio had tools that allowed me to take notes, highlight areas, print, and save subject material.”
“[In Navigate eFolio] things were very easy to get to, so I didn’t spend a lot of time searching.”
“Being able to look up things easily [in Navigate eFolio] instead of flipping through the book was helpful.”
Leading the Way in Interactive eBooks with Navigate 2
Navigate 2 transforms how students learn and instructors teach by bringing together authoritative and interactive content aligned to course objectives, with student practice activities and assessments, study planning and remediation, and learning analytics reporting tools.
In addition, Navigate 2 course materials include a complete eBook that provides a personal, interactive, and collaborative learning experience on computers, tablets, and mobile devices. With embedded enhancements, such as videos, animations, and related documents, the eBook reinforces key concepts. All eBooks also contain ungraded knowledge checks and graded assessments throughout the chapter and an end-of-chapter graded quiz to gauge comprehension. What’s more, written and voice notes can be shared with peers or learners enrolled in a course, while highlights and bookmarks can be created for future reference. In addition, all user interaction with the eBook is tracked and captured in a data dashboard for learners and educators.
Navigate 2 Focus Groups Results
From January to May 2014, Jones & Bartlett Learning conducted focus groups with instructors and students on Navigate 2. Overall, four instructor and two student focus groups were conducted across multiple disciplines, including Public Health, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Allied Health Professions, and Science. In addition, group interview essions were held with the Jones & Bartlett Learning Advisory Board on Online Learning, a select group of instructors.
Overall, this resulted in feedback from 51 instructors and 11 students. During these sessions, participants were presented with features and functionalities of the eBook within Navigate 2, and were given the opportunity to test the product by performing tasks specified by a moderator. For example, they were asked to add a note to the eBook, replay a video, or highlight text.
After their user experience, the instructors and students rated the product on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 indicating a very strong feature and 1 a very weak feature. When asked about the interactive eBook in Navigate 2, students and instructors rated it very strongly at 8.8 and 8.5. When asked what students and instructors liked most, they frequently mentioned the low price of the eBook, its flexibility, and the ability to take notes.
At these sessions, instructors across multiple disciplines consistently rated the Navigate 2 eBook positively (between 7.8 and 9.3 on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 indicating a very weak feature and 10 a very strong feature). Similarly, student ratings ranged from 8.3 to 9.0.
Focus Group Testimonials:
Public Health Student: “The eBook price is great.”
Allied Health Student: “[I like the] highlighter feature with the eBook.”
Science Instructor: “Many students don’t want to pay for expensive books, so the eBook is a good option.”
Science Instructor: “[Navigate 2 seems] easy to use and allows the reader to highlight sections. [There are] many functions that enhance the textbook and it appears [to be] easy to move things around.”
Fire/EMS Instructor: “The eBook option for 50% off is very appealing to my students as most do not keep their books.”
Fire/EMS Instructor: “[I like the] eBook annotations.”
In summary, our recent data collection and research efforts support the fact that eBooks and interactive features, such as animations, images, and videos, increase student performance by motivating and engaging them. Specific research conducted on Navigate eFolio and Navigate 2, as demonstrated throughout this white paper, reflects a positive impact on student learning and engagement, which in turn increases outcomes.
Overall as an industry, we’re continuing to witness the shift in both behavior and attitudes among instructors and students toward eBooks and other digital learning resources. For some instructors and students, the adoption and usage of digital products has been rapid; while in other cases this move has been at a much slower pace. Nonetheless, we’re at the forefront of a complete digital transformation across education in terms of how students learn and instructors teach. As a company, Jones & Bartlett Learning is committed to providing premier teaching and learning solutions through its Navigate 2 offerings. To learn more about Navigate, visit our website.