From Campus Technology:
Indiana University has signed a deal with Pearson as part of the institution’s sizable eTexts@IU initiative. Pearson is one of just a few major publishers that have been holdouts on the digital textbook project, which allows faculty to choose those over printed textbooks in order to obtain a reduced price on the curriculum for students. The news was hinted at recently in an article about eTexts@IU on campustechnology.com.
The eTexts pilot began in 2009 and spread to all eight Indiana U campuses in 2011. Students and faculty access the materials through Courseload, an online platform that allows students to read, annotate, and communicate with others on computers, tablets, and smartphones. The university isn’t divulging the details of the agreement. But previous agreements with other publishers guarantee a discount for the digital textbook in return for every student registered for a class paying a course fee for access to the e-book, which is dramatically discounted from the price they’d pay for the traditional textbook.
This “100 percent coverage” or “course fee” model does an end run around the problem of students choosing not to buy the book at all, pirating a copy of the book online, or buying it used, all of which cut the publisher out from the transaction entirely and contribute to the formula used by publishers in setting textbook prices.
More in the article. Thanks to Michael von Glahn for the link.