UBS will launch new e-textbooks pilot this fall

Attention faculty members: Are you interested in learning new technologies? Do you enjoy engaging with students on collaborative e-book features? Then the University Book Store (UBS) would like to talk with you about participating in phase one of a digital e-book pilot project, beginning fall semester.

UBS and Direct Digital, a division of Missouri Book Services, are sponsoring the pilot. Unlike some past pilots, this project lets students choose whether they want to purchase the e-book or printed text (e-books typically cost about half of a regular textbook).

The pilot project's goals are to:

  • Provide a measured and scalable way for schools to move to digital course materials
  • Aid schools in incorporating more meaningful technology into course curriculum while helping keep the cost of textbooks low
  • Gather critical information on how students' buying habits are affected by digital availability of course materials
  • Evaluate how students learn using digital content through engagement and collaboration with other students and faculty
  • Determine what benefits the students receive from digital content versus traditional print texts

Check out this video to get a better idea of what the Direct Digital e-book platform looks like.


The e-books include a note-taking option that allows students to share notes electronically; they may keep those notes whether or not the e-book expires. The e-books also contain built-in study aids, such as bookmarks, a dictionary and text-to-speech and search functions. The e-books may be viewed online through Internet browsers and apps on computers, tablets and smartphones. They also can be downloaded for offline viewing.

The e-books are compliant with section 508 of the American with Disabilities Act, meaning they are accessible via assistive reader software.

Faculty members who would like to participate in this pilot project should contact UBS textbook buyer/supervisor John Wierson at 4-3501. There is mandatory training provided by Direct Digital. Phase two of the pilot will continue next spring.