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Weekly News Digest

May 23, 2013 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Blackboard and Vital Source Launch Etextbook Pilot

Blackboard, Inc., and Vital Source Technologies, Inc. launched pilot programs with a number of colleges and universities to test-drive an integrated offering that makes the VitalSource Bookshelf platform and its hundreds of thousands of etextbooks available directly within Blackboard Learn, the company’s flagship learning management system. 

Indiana University-Fort Wayne, University of Alaska-Anchorage, and Fayetteville Technical Community College are among the institutions participating in the field trial. With the integration, instructors can preview and select etextbooks, content, and learning objects from the VitalSource Bookshelf platform that students can then access through a single sign-on.

Participants in the field trial will provide ongoing feedback to the companies about their experiences. Participating instructors have expressed satisfaction with the ability to annotate etextbooks, link to content from anywhere within a course or assignment, and assess how students are progressing through content. Students have been enthusiastic about using etextbooks on mobile devices through native iOS and Android applications, which includes deep linking that makes pages and features such as notes, highlights, and annotations look the same on etextbooks as they do in printed textbooks.

The integrated solution, expected to be available this summer, offers two purchase models. Institutions that include textbooks as part of tuition can place etextbooks directly into Blackboard Learn courses for immediate student access. Alternatively, a student-purchase option will give instructors the opportunity to make etextbooks available for students to purchase or rent from within their Blackboard Learn course environment.

Source: Blackboard, Inc. and Vital Source Technologies, Inc.

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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