Lost in the cloud : cultural lag in the transition to eTextbooks.




McMahon, Debbie Hardman.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The age of electronic textbook delivery is upon us. On the national level, the Department of Education is advocating eTextbook delivery in K-12. President Obama recommends that eTextbooks be employed in K-12 education by 2017. In economic hard times, these measures may make good sense. The cost of textbooks has undergone a dramatic increase and it is believed that electronic textbook delivery is cost efficient, saving the struggling public schools a great deal of money. In higher education, we have witnessed the proliferation of MOOC’s, online classes and eTextbook promotion and delivery. In a few short years, students entering college will have been using eTextbooks throughout their education. For this timely study, I will compare classes using two different models of delivery-traditional print textbooks and eTextbooks. This study uses a quasi-experimental approach to compare parallel classes taught by a single instructor. Some classes are taught with a traditional print textbook and the comparison group uses an electronic textbook available through the course management system. Comparing eTextbook classes to traditional print classes, I will add to the body of knowledge with regard to students’ engagement, with the class and with class material, on their actual use of the textbook, how students perceive their learning needs are being met and under what conditions would they prefer eTextbook delivery over paper textbooks.