Instructors: As you look ahead to next semester, have you considered using digital course materials to reduce costs for your students while also opening up new ways for you to support student success?
In other words: Have you taken a look at Engage?
Engage is a service in the Learn@UW suite of learning technologies that provides integrated access to publisher eTexts via Canvas, as well as access to other publisher-provided tools and resources—typically at a 40-80% discount compared to the print cost for traditional textbooks . The ordering window is now open for spring 2022 courses.
$3.5 Million In Student Savings—And Growing
In fact, since the Engage pilot launched at UW–Madison in spring 2018, it’s estimated that cost savings for students has totaled nearly $3.5 million through the spring 2021 semester.
And that cost savings is poised to grow, along with increasing instructor utilization. Beginning as the 2018 pilot with a small group of 22 course lecture sessions, Engage is now available to all for-credit courses. Participation has steadily increased, with 175 course lecture sections using Engage in spring 2021, increasing to 227 sections for fall 2021.
For students, another benefit of Engage eText beyond cost savings is that there’s no guesswork around when they’ll be able to obtain their textbooks or printed course materials. And students retain access to their eTexts for as long as they are enrolled at UW–Madison.
“The Engage platform ensures that all students in a class have access to the course materials from the first day of class,” says Lois Brooks, UW–Madison’s chief information officer and vice provost for information technology. “This helps them get off to a great start and do well in the class.”
Benefits for Instructors
While lowering costs for course materials and offering immediate access for students, Engage also offers instructors increased opportunities to support student success through innovative features:
- Students can search, annotate and mark digital course materials, share notes and pose questions to their instructors within the text. Instructors can then see which passages students highlight or struggle with, and can then identify content that may need more review in class.
- When students ask similar questions via their eTexts, instructors can communicate more widely through the platform itself (instead of instructors repeatedly saying the same thing in email after email to students).
- Instructors can view analytics, which provides information on how much students have read.
- Instructors are able to add external content, like Open Educational Resources (OER) in PDF format.
As with many tools, there are features that are not accessible to all users. If students are seeking an accessible or print version, options are available.
Getting Started with Engage
“Engage saves students money, offers instructors and students some great features – and it’s easy to get started,” says John Zumbrunnen, vice provost for teaching and learning.
Instructors can choose to use one of the following options in their course:
- Use the Engage tool to deliver an eText to your students.
- Use a publisher Digital Learning Tool (DLT) to deliver an eText and lab or homework software to your students. DLTs may include options such as in-text quizzing or other features, depending on the publisher.
Support for the Engage eText reader is provided by the DoIT Help Desk; support for DLTs is provided directly by the publisher.
Ordering Window Ends December 1
During the designated ordering period for the spring 2022 semester (October 5-December 1, 2021), instructors can order eTexts, DLTs and other content through the Engage Order Tool.
To get started:
- First, take a look at the Engage Overview KnowledgeBase article, which includes information about the ordering process.
- Check out the frequently asked questions, which covers common questions for both instructors and students.
Interested? On The Fence?
Stay tuned to upcoming editions of TechNews for perspectives and lessons learned from instructors who have used Engage eTexts and Digital Learning Tools in their courses.