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Exploring students’ use and satisfaction with eTextbooks

The brief

VitalSource, a leading educational technology and digital content solutions provider, were keen to explore the market penetration of digital learning and eTextbooks in the higher education sector. The research also set out to better understand what makes an eTextbook programme successful and what drives student satisfaction in terms of their use of these resources.

Our approach and methodology

Shift Learning adopted the following quantitative methodology:

  • A targeted online survey was sent to undergraduate students who were reached through a number of different data sources including Shift Learning respondent opt ins
  • We gathered feedback from 866 students from a total of 131 UK universities, including users and non-users of VitalSource and competitor providers
  • We included a series of questions within the eSurvey to be used as part of a Key Driver Analysis in order to explore factors influencing students’ overall satisfaction with eTextbooks and their institutions eTextbooks programme.
Delivering results and value to our client

We gave VitalSource a wealth of findings and insight into the state of play of the industry:

  • An initial thought leadership piece was developed detailing the extent to which digital devices and eTextbooks are used by students for learning purposes. Findings were used as part of a press campaign disseminated ahead of The London Book Fair.
  • A more detailed internally focused report followed, which enabled VitalSource to understand which elements of eTextbooks were most important to students and to measure the degree of influence which each had on overall satisfaction.
  • Findings were explored in a multitude of ways to identify differences in users and non-users of VitalSource to provide clear evidence of the impact of their services to current as well as prospective customers.
  • We provided a full raw dataset in addition to analysis tables which supported VitalSource in their subsequent creation of a White Paper based on the key findings of the research.