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Partnering to Introduce eBooks into a Graduate Education Course

October 24, 2010

Ronald Musoleno, Ph.D., Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies spoke first about the use of Kindles for all the course readings

25 Kindles — required some accommodations for the graduate educational leadership course:

  • converted all journal readings to pdfs (need DX model for this)
  • had a librarian demonstrate how to use the Kindle, and Ron put links to tutorials in his ANGEL course
  • after purchases, they had to disassociate credit card from Kindle

They developed pre- and post-surveys, and librarian (Delores) administered so grades were not a concern for students.

They analyzed the survey data to evaluate the pilot

People liked Kindle because it saved them time and money, and was a ‘green’ alternative. It also allowed them greater access to materials anytime, anywhere, and everything was all together in the same place, easier to make connections between texts. A certain camaderie occurred amongst students.

Students also got a view of how ebooks can be used in ed, felt it gave their careers a ‘leg up’
The course was on technology, and students liked that it was hands-on

Post-Survey
Similar to pre-survey
There is an ADA issue, several universities had been sued, so the grad school could not make it mandatory if someone couldn’t use it, but there were none who didn’t
(Case was settled, with the universities agreeing to note make use mandatory)
Actually, some people liked that Kindles were physically easier to use (large print, e.g.)

Results
-paradigm shift, no pencils or paper
-students saw direct connections to instructional and administrative uses
-raised the level of what students thought about the grad program
-some people still like the physical form
-thought it would be good for reluctant readers

There were some mixed attitudes. Most were happy with it, but some still preferred using a physical book

Delores had selected some readings for the course, based on the syllabus, but not all things were available for Kindle
-drawback was that Kindle was in black and white (only an issue of color images are needed)
-students could only keep for 2 weeks at a time, but they also needed to have the book
-hasn’t been enough Kindles for the class size

Kindles are a little easier to circulate than the I-pad

Library procedures
-Purchased Kindle DX model due to pdfs
-Library purchase card was used
—worked with Penn State Libraries to facilitate purchase procedures
-Loading Kindles
—Setting up accounts
——lots of help from MIT (Delores is very willing to help anyone who wants to do this)
——separate email for each Kindle (when you buy on Kindle, can use on 5 devices, didn’t want to do this)
—How do we prevent students from purchasing on the Kindle?
——after purchases, disassociate credit card from Kindle

What was on the Kindle
-text book
-required and suggested readings
-reserves were downloaded as a pdf from database
-purchased a copy of book for each

Logistics of circulation
-reserving Kindles had to be done manually
-checking on them when they’re returned to make sure everything was still there
-cost if lost; a concern, but just have to trust users
-ADA issues

There is a list of libraries circulating Kindles, although Amazon’s official policy is that they should not be circulated.

Penn State emails:
Delores Fidishun dxf19 (at) psu (dot) edu
Ron Musoleno rrm18 (at) psu (dot) edu

EXTRA
Library has a site within their course management program for handouts, etc.

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