CourseSmart Collaborates with Leading Colleges and Universities to Increase Instructor Efficiencies with Instant Access to eTextbooks

— Faculty will have Immediate Access to the World’s Largest Catalog of Digital Course Materials from Top Textbook Publishers in North American Higher Education —

SAN MATEO, Calif., August 4, 2010 – CourseSmart, the world’s largest digital course materials provider, today announced the first group of colleges and universities that have been selected to participate in the company’s Faculty Instant Access program.  The program provides instructors with convenient, instant access to more than 90% of core higher education textbooks as eTextbooks from within the campus systems they use every day. The select higher education institutions, which are widely-regarded as innovators, span a diverse array of public, private, four-year, two-year, large and small institutions across the U.S. including Arizona State University, Auburn University, Case Western Reserve University, LeTourneau University, Minnesota State University – Mankato, Savannah College of Art and Design, Texas A&M University, the University of Central Florida and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

These leading edge universities are taking advantage of the Faculty Instant Access program, as it is the first time ever that all instructors at a participating institution can have free, immediate, online access to the most popular textbooks available in North American higher education. The program will provide faculty members with seamless, immediate, single sign-on access to an ever-expanding library of digital content while connected to an institution’s Learning Management System or Campus Portal, creating a significantly more efficient way for them to find out about, access, evaluate, and use complete eTextbooks and other digital learning resources from the world’s leading academic publishers.

“Up to this point the task of assembling a set of texts and comparing coverage of materials has been tedious at best, and these costs to faculty have been one factor causing them to use the same material year after year.  CourseSmart’s Faculty Instant Access Program allows faculty to easily compare texts across a broad set of providers, thereby introducing transparency into the course content decision, making it much easier to select the best material for students and to change rapidly when circumstances warrant,” said Dr. Philip Regier, Executive Vice Provost and Dean, ASU Online and Extended Campus.

“Education is being transformed by digital information and electronic books are here to stay,” said Dr. Dale A. Lunsford, President, LeTourneau University.  “LeTourneau University is pleased to be among the first universities in the country to provide this expanded access for our faculty.”

“This will help faculty members make better textbook decisions and allow greater flexibility for students,” said Joan Roca, Dean of Library Services at Minnesota State Mankato and co-chair of the Learning and Technology Roundtable. “CourseSmart’s program gives faculty access to the largest library of state-of-the-art eTextbooks and digital course materials, enabling departments to efficiently compare current course materials with new ones.”

“Our professors are focused on providing the most enhanced and beneficial learning experience possible for students, which is accomplished in part by early selection of classroom resources that ensure comprehension of course materials,” said Harley Lingerfelt, vice president for information management and technology at the Savannah College of Art and Design. “CourseSmart’s Faculty Instant Access program will allow instructors to review and access all core higher education learning resources within MySCAD, our secure campus system, helping them make more informed course decisions, sooner and more efficiently.”

“Participation in this eTextbook program will enable Texas A&M – Kingsville faculty to have a broader range of choices for textbooks. This will lead to better textbooks for our students,” said Val Ramirez, Director, Academic Support Services, Texas A&M University.

“Faculty review and selection of textbooks can be a time consuming and laborious process. CourseSmart Faculty Instant Access promises to provide our faculty with online tools to quickly and easily find and review texts across a wide range of disciplines,” Joel L. Hartman, Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer, the University of Central Florida.

The initial implementations with the selected universities will utilize a diverse array of Learning Management Systems and Campus Portals, including Moodle, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, SunGard Luminis, Datatel Portal, uPortal and PeopleSoft.

CourseSmart provides an easier method for faculty to find out about, access and evaluate complete textbooks. Features and benefits of CourseSmart eTextbooks include:

  • Anytime, anywhere access to materials via www.coursesmart.com or various mobile devices and tablets, including the iPhone and iPad
  • Easy search function for topics within a single book or across an entire eTextbook stack
  • Highlighting and note-taking capabilities within the eTextbook, which can be easily retrieved  or searched
  • Access to Table of Contents
  • Page fidelity and preservation, mirroring the print edition’s page numbers, full text, diagrams, illustrations and charts
  • Ability to cut and paste as well as email sections, notes and highlighted text
  • The choice to print only what one needs

For more information, visit www.coursesmart.com/instructors.

About CourseSmart

CourseSmart provides eTextbooks and digital course materials that improve the educational process by offering instructors and students a unique combination of the right course material, anywhere, any-time access and a low cost. As the world’s largest digital course materials supplier, CourseSmart has a rapidly growing digital library of more than 90% of core higher education textbooks offered as eTextbooks, the same titles produced by major publishers in print and recommended by faculty across North America. The company’s eTextbooks can be purchased for an average of 60% less than print texts and offer users the ability to print what they need as well as search and copy and paste features which help to streamline students’ studies. Additional information can be found on the company’s Web site: www.coursesmart.com.