Summit to help campuses provide affordable e-textbooks, resources

February 27, 2017

University of Wisconsin-Stout student Caleb Basten reads a chapter from the e-textbook “The Curious Researcher, A Guide to Writing Research Papers” for a class. A free summit at UW-Stout Thursday, March 30, provides ways to offer affordable digital contenWith more than 15 years of experience in providing affordable digital textbooks and other resources, University of Wisconsin-Stout is offering a free summit to share its experiences with other education institutions.


An “E”-ffordability Summit Thursday, March 30, aims to help campuses find solutions to providing affordable digital content and including all departments in the transition.

Bob Butterfield“We have been a leader in transitioning our inexpensive print textbook rental system to include not just e-textbooks but a number of other digital resources that provide more tools for our students and faculty while maintaining a very low price tag,” said Bob Butterfield, Instructional Resources Service director. “We know the difficulties of having to create these programs. The Instructional Resources staff decided that it would be a good idea to invite others here so we could share some of what we have learned.”

UW-Stout’s laptop program, which provides a laptop to all incoming freshmen, began in fall 2002. Entering the digital age meant training all faculty to teach with laptops and use e-textbooks. It meant investing in campuswide equipment and wireless capacity. All offices and departments were involved in the transition. Today UW-Stout is the only UW System campus that provides a laptop to all students.

Almost 50 percent of UW-Stout’s textbooks are digital books. Though all other UW campuses use digital resources in some capacity, most don’t have a comprehensive digital program, Butterfield said.

UW-River Falls Textbook Services Manager Cory Whipkey and Butterfield are planning the summit together.

The summit will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room 205 of Millennium Hall. It is open to all educational professionals who navigate the world of digital content. Its goal is to share knowledge, dismantle barriers and identify ways to collaborate on providing affordable, quality content to students and faculty.

“We are bringing together faculty, technologists, librarians, administrators and college store representatives to discuss many aspects surrounding digital resources and open educational resources,” Butterfield said. “All of these groups have a stake in providing, procuring or using these resources, and all see the issue through a different lens. Though departmental goals may differ widely, all groups are ultimately concerned with providing quality resources that do not put undue burden on the students.”

Sessions will include:

• Operational considerations of creating and managing a digital/open education resource program – Dawn Skovbroten, Kim Uetz and Bob Butterfield, UW-Stout
• Open education resource overview – Kristin Woodward, UW-Milwaukee
• Technical aspects of supporting a digital/open education resource program – Mike King, UW-Stout
• Advocating for a digital/open education resource program – Cory Whipkey, UW-River Falls
• Digital considerations from an archivist – Heather Stecklein, UW-Stout
• Panel discussions -- perspectives of digital/open education resources; identifying and solving issues
• Instructor experience – Seth Berrier, UW-Stout
• Extending the budget through collaboration – Cory Mitchell, UW-Stout

UW-Stout student Loushi Her reads an e-textbook.“We want to begin a dialogue that allows us to tear down the silos we work in and find ways to collaborate on a shared issue,” Butterfield said. “We want to facilitate an exchange of ideas, issues and best practices that we can all use to be more efficient and provide better service to our students.”

Representatives from UW four-year campuses, UW Colleges, the UW System, technical colleges and a high school have registered. Other campuses have expressed interest.

To register contact: Bob Butterfield, butterfieldr@uwstout.edu, 715-232-5474.

###

Photos

Top: University of Wisconsin-Stout student Caleb Basten reads a chapter from the e-textbook “The Curious Researcher, A Guide to Writing Research Papers” for a class. A free summit at UW-Stout Thursday, March 30, provides ways to offer affordable digital content in education.

Middle: Bob Butterfield

Bottom: UW-Stout student Loushi Her reads an e-textbook.