The CourseSmart Fall 2013 Internet2®/Educause Research Project

CourseSmart, in conjunction with Internet2 and Educause, is pleased to announce an exciting research project which will allow higher education institutions to test a new and innovative digital content model designed to make course materials more affordable, engaging and effective for all students - including those with vision and reading disabilities. Central to this research project is a creative new business model which will give participants superior value, flexibility and ease by providing access to all digital course materials for one flat rate.

Go Digital

Participants will benefit from:

Comprehensive CourseSmart Features

The world's largest selection of eTextbooks and other digital course materials - more than 25,000 titles from over 50 publishers.

90% of core higher education textbooks in digital format.

CourseSmart is committed to accessibility and is WCAG 2.0 AA certified. 80% of CourseSmart's top selling titles have been optimized for accessibility, and others can be optimized on request.

CourseSmart integrates into all major LMS platforms: BlackboardLearn™, Desire2Learn®, Pearson LearningStudio, Sakai, Moodle, Canvas and custom LMSs.

eTextbooks can be accessed online or offline anytime through almost any device - computers, and most tablets and smartphones with free CourseSmart apps.

All notes, highlighting and bookmarks are synched so students always have what they need, when they need it.

Innovative Program

Introducing Subscription Pack Pricing. Choosing any eTextbook on CourseSmart for one flat fee covers all of a student's textbook needs.

Students will be able to place any book on their bookshelf and access up to 12 titles at a time.

3 optional tiers for institutional participation:

  1. 100 students from an institution may participate for $27,500 per semester ($275 per student)
  2. 200 students from an institution may participate for $44,000 per semester ($220 per student)
  3. Faculty Instant Access Service: Available to any I2/EDUCAUSE member who has completed the standard I2 contract. The Faculty Instant Access Service, through integration with the institutional LMS, provides free, unlimited access to all CourseSmart titles to eligible faculty, instructors and staff for evaluation, sampling, and adoption purposes.

Tier 1 and 2 participating institutions get access to data sets and an analytics dashboard to facilitate student engagement.

Superior Customer Support and Training

CourseSmart has fully developed training and communications to support the rollout across a campus and 24/7 support via telephone, email, chat and an extensive online knowledge base.

Research project participants will also have a dedicated "solution" hotline for students and faculty as well as direct Tier2 support for administrators and institutional help desk personnel.

Faculty will receive training via live web conference with recordings available on demand.

Want More Information?

For more details about the research project, email

To learn more about CourseSmart's products and services for colleges and institutions in higher education, complete the form below to schedule a free consultation and demo.


1. What is included in the research project?

  • eTextbook Value Bundle with ability to place up to 12 titles at a time on student's bookshelf from CourseSmart's catalog of over 25,000 core textbooks from more than 50 publishers
  • 3 optional tiers:
    • 100 students = $27,500 per semester. Additional students between 101 and 199 @ $250/each.
    • 200 students = $44,000 per semester. Additional students over 200 at $200 each.
    • Faculty Instant Access Service: Available to any I2/EDUCAUSE member who has completed the standard I2 contract. The Faculty Instant Access Service, through integration with the institutional LMS, provides free, unlimited access to all CourseSmart titles to eligible faculty, instructors and staff to use for evaluation, sampling, and adoption purposes. As an alternative to a student implementation obligation, this option allows faculty, instructors, staff to have unlimited digital sampling to aid in the evaluation and adoption of new course materials. This option also allows institutions to introduce new faculty and staff to the concept of digital textbooks without obligation and without obstacles.
  • Integration with the institutional learning management system
  • Free, unlimited instructor use of all CourseSmart titles via the Faculty Instant Access service
  • Analytics dashboard and data on book usage metrics
  • 24/7 Technical Support and Customer Service (phone, email, chat)
  • Dedicated accessibility program meeting National Federation of the Blind standards
  • Full support for all browsers and mobile devices, both online and offline

2. What reader features will be available to students and faculty?

  • Highlighting
  • Annotating
  • Bookmarking
  • Sharing links to a particular page or section
  • Students can print up to 150% of any book
  • Search - across all books on the bookshelf, a specific book, specific chapter or page
  • View, filter or print a summary of all notes, highlights or highlights with notes
  • Multiple viewing options, including single page, side-by-side pages, continuous (scrolling up/down), and thumbnail view
  • Anytime, anywhere access from any web enabled device and through dedicated apps for iOS and Android
  • Read online and offline from the same reader
  • See additional CourseSmart eTextbook features

3. What additional support and functionality will CourseSmart provide for participants?

  • An analytics dashboard showing book usage data for use by administrators and faculty to help assess student engagement.
  • 24/7 customer support via telephone, email, chat and an extensive online self-serve knowledge base.
  • Integration and single sign-on for all major learning management systems (LMSs), including Blackboard, Angel, Instructure Canvas, Pearson Learning Studio (eCollege), Desire2Learn, Moodle, Sakai. In addition, we can integrate with any proprietary platform that utilizes LTI or other standards-based authentication protocol, including Shibboleth. Features of these integrations include individual "Bookshelf" accounts, the Faculty Instant Access service, automatic provisioning of content, deep linking to specific pages or chapters in books, and more.
  • Faculty Access through single sign-on into the LMS for free access to entire CourseSmart catalog with unique features available such as side-by-side Table of Contents view. This service offers considerable flexibility and time savings in the evaluation, sampling and adoption process for determining course content. Institution will be allowed to retain this functionality following completion of the research project.
  • Training for faculty on how to use CourseSmart for textbook evaluation and how to offer to students taking part in the CourseSmart eTextbook Value Bundle research project. Options for training include live web conference at mutually agreeable times and dates and/or recordings for use as asynchronous training resources for those that are unable to attend the live event. In addition, we have both printed and video training materials which can be distributed to faculty.

4. What is required from the institution to take part in the research project?

  • Completed application with Internet2. See additional information and application.
  • Payment of fees to Internet2
  • Integration with a campus system such as an LMS
  • Faculty or administrator participants to recruit desired number of students interested in trying the CourseSmart Value Bundle
  • Review of CourseSmart's catalog offering to determine if a viable number of books exist in the catalog to accommodate students' needs.

5. Is CourseSmart accessible to users with disabilities?

  • The CourseSmart platform is WCAG 2.0 AA certified.
  • CourseSmart invests considerable time working with the National Federation of the Blind, the Alternative Media Access Center at Georgia Tech, and others to offer the most comprehensive solutions for individuals with visual or print disabilities.
  • Not only is our reader accessible, CourseSmart is the only provider with a fully accessible website for searching and finding digital course materials.
  • CourseSmart was awarded a STEPP grant to create accessible eTextbooks onDemand. 80% of CourseSmart’s top selling titles have been made accessible through content retagging under this grant.
  • CourseSmart has a program for retagging of titles that need additional remediation.
  • Screen reader users can opt in to accessible content themselves; they are presented with an option to enable the accessible reader on the user's account and may request that the title being accessed be enhanced for increased accessibility.

Learn more about CourseSmart's commitment to accessibility and capabilities.

6. Can you share some ideas on how an institution might generate a list of students to participate in Tier1 or Tier2?

Some methods used by other institutions include:

  • Students in cohort groups
  • Students with financial needs
  • Honors students
  • Athlete groups
  • Holding a lottery or other contest
  • Making it available to the masses on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • Students in specific subject areas with faculty interest/involvement
  • Students in courses where the solution provides the largest savings (i.e. students that have to buy a variety of the most expensive print books)