By Hugh Adami. Post-secondary schools across the country and the Ontario government are said to be closely watching Algonquin College’s three-year initiative to switch to digital textbooks in most programs.
No surprise there. If Glenn MacDougall, Algonquin’s director of learning and teaching services, is correct, the use of e-textbooks over conventional printed texts could collectively save Ontario’s university and community college students tens of millions of dollars every year. MacDougall says that by the time e-textbooks are introduced to almost all of Algonquin’s student population in September 2015 (there are exceptions as printed textbooks lend themselves better to some programs), he hopes the average cost of an e-textbook will be about 50 per cent of a conventional one. He says the non-transferable e-textbooks are being used in 34 programs involving 3,500 students. By the final year of implementation, 2015-16, e-textbooks will be available to roughly 16,500 students in 165 to 170 programs. More...