Source: The Open University of Israel
Since 2007, The Open University of Israel has been converting many of its textbooks into a digital format and making them available to students and others online. In the 2010-2011 academic year the University began a pilot project, making two digital textbooks for ebook readers available to students. In the 2011-2012 academic year, students will be using iPads to work with their digital textbooks.
During the three semesters of the 2010-2011 academic year, the Open University launched its pilot SADAN (Students Learning from Mobile Digital Books) Program. The 115 students who participated in the program received mobile digital books with one of two digital texts – "Genocide" or "Human Rights in International Relations". They also received hard copy and audio versions of the text.
The pilot program was accompanied by research assessment run by the Open University Assessment Unit. The assessment aimed to learn about the ease of use of the mobile ebooks, the learning styles adopted by students and the ease of reading on the mobile readers. Data was gathered from students by use of questionnaire, telephone interviews and participation in focus groups. Quantitative data was also gathered from the log files of the mobile readers. The assessment unit is now in the process of interpreting the data and writing the assessment report.
Sadan II, the 2011-2012 pilot project will utilize twenty iPads to be used by students studying the "Genocide" course. The difference in the current pilot program is not only in the use of the digital reader. While the first phase of the program emphasized only the use of the digital text of the course, in the second phase the students will be able to access the entire online course environment, including participation in live synchronous lectures, viewing recordings of past lectures, listening to audio recordings as well as reading the digital textbook.