Publishing Research Quarterly

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 188–196 | Cite as

Student Attitudes and Behaviors Towards Digital Textbooks



The purpose of this article is to add to the collective body of knowledge on student behavior and attitudes relative to the adoption of digital textbooks. The article summarizes an ongoing research project that examines past, current and evolving behavior in the classroom related to digital textbooks and school. It includes students, faculty and administrative attitudes behaviors and perceptions. This research was undertaken at the Sawyer Business School of Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. Student attitudes and behavior toward their use of digital textbooks (eTextbooks) in higher education was examined in an ongoing longitudinal study over two years at Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University. Students in the class were divided into six teams. Five of the teams were assigned an eTextbook device and the sixth team was given a paper textbook for use through the semester. The digital technologies examined were: Amazon Kindle, Sony eReader Touch, Apple iPad, enTourage eDGe, and CourseSmart. Student attitudes and behaviors were examined pre and post class by survey each semester, and during the semesters through quizzes, journals and classroom discussion. Differential learning was measured between the six teams. Student attitudes and behaviors are becoming more receptive to and accepting of using digital textbooks each year. There was no significant difference in learning between the eTextbook devices teams or between them and the paper textbook team.


Digital disruption Publishing industry Industry transformation Apple iPad Amazon Kindle enTourage eDGe Sony eReader CourseSmart Student learning eTextbook Digital textbooks eBook User adoption Readiness Weisberg Distribution Longitudinal study Textbook industry Higher education Attitudes Behavior Learning Informatics Mitchell Weisberg Change management Performance management Analytics Pearson education Pearson Performance improvement Lumen 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lumen, Inc.WestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Strategy and International Business, Sawyer Business SchoolSuffolk UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Health Informatics and Management, School of Health and EnvironmentUniversity of MassachusettsLowellUSA

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