UW eText Pilot

Publications and Presentations

Final Pilot Report (August 2013)

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Brief

EDUCAUSE Annual Conference Exclusive Online Session (Presented in October 2013, not yet published)

Presentation: IGNITE! Event (Oct. 25th, 2013)

About the UW-IT eText Pilot

What Are eTextbooks?

eTextbooks have come to mean many things, from texts delivered on dedicated platforms, to HTML files, to iPad apps. In this pilot, UW-IT explored online textbooks and their effects on student satisfaction and learning outcomes. Delivering textbooks online allowed the textbooks to remain hardware agnostic – available on any computer or device with a modern browser, including tablets and phones.

UW-IT partnered with two vendors to deliver eTextbooks, CourseLoad and CourseSmart. Both provide a variety of tools, including full text search, digital highlighting, and annotation. Comparing two delivery systems allowed us to refine our assessment of eTextbooks, and to evaluate tools for faculty and student use, while understanding the support necessary to provide these tools. Additional information on these vendors is available on their Web sites:

eTextbook Assessment

The pilot focused on assessing student and faculty experiences around eTextbooks across a number of fields-- from Medicine to Asian Languages and Literatures—and course sizes--from 12 to 350 students. Students participated in surveys, and faculty were interviewed about their experience with eTextbooks. Assessment questions were created in participation with our Teaching and Learning Technology Oversight Committee and campus partners.

When Was the Pilot?

The eText book pilot ran Spring 2012 through Spring 2013.


Participation in the initial pilot is now closed.

We are continuing to talk with faculty, staff, and programs about future eTextbook developments. If you are interested, please email: help@uw.edu

Other eTextbook Projects


The eText Pilot Team

UW Information Technology

  • Jacob Morris — Sponsor
  • Peter Wallis — Project Management
  • Cara Giacomini — Research Manager
  • Dan Comden
  • Keesha Davis
  • Wren Haaland
  • Henry Lyle
  • Nathan Dors
  • Michael Brogan
  • Virginia Balsley
  • Fred McWhirter

Project Partners

  • UW Bookstore
  • UW Purchasing
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Teaching & Learning Technology Oversight Committee

Last modified: April 8, 2014