Loading...
 
(Cached)

Online Course Readers

1. Online Course Readers


The goal of our project is to implement an online reader system for IES. If this is not feasible, we will attempt to put readers and supplemental materials on a disk for students.

IES is currently researching the legality of copyrights online versus in print. This display of student interest in sustainable class resources is essential for progress.

1.2. Why


Printing out the readers for students is both costly to the IES program as well as harmful to the environment. Although differences in copyright costs are negligible whether readers are online or bound in paper copies, the money used to produce and ship the readers is saved when they are uploaded online. This action will require a change in attitude of the students and the professors. Many students enjoy having a printed copy of their assignments so they can mark it up and bring it to class. If all of the readings are online, it would be easier and more environmentally friendly to be allowed to bring their computers to class. In the long term, IES would save a great deal on the amount of paper and ink used for printing. The ecological footprint of IES abroad would be decreased significantly for although the amount of paper and ink produced by the companies would not decrease, the electrical energy produced by IES Barcelona would for less energy would be used by the printer, as well as the transportation and financial costs of shipping and producing the readers. In the long term, a large number of money would be saved. For example, if each reader costs €15 to be printed, and each student currently has four readers, there is a total cost of €60 per person. For the 300 students each semester, the program could save around €18,000 per semester on printing costs alone (the number €15 is based on an email received from Jane Ewart, see below). Some companies are considering the possibility of something similar to Copyleft, and allowing readings to be viewed with out the usual restrictions of copyright laws.

1.2.1. Potential Benefits


This action will be beneficial both by saving resources and by changing attitudes. Introducing online readers would save trees and paper, as well as saving money on ink, energy to print hundreds of readers, and the cost of producing and sending the readers. Students are very attached to their computers, and if their reader is online they will not forget it, and might be more inclined to do their work.

Having online readers will also set an example to students about sustainability at school. Any student who uses online readers will see the benefits of it and potentially introduce the idea to their home university.

1.2.2. Potential Costs


Potential costs would be any kind of additional copyright surcharge for having the readers online. In an email response to our group, Jane stated that IES is looking into using electronic readers like Kindle or something similar. This would be much more expensive than our idea of having readers on the internet.

1.3. How


To begin the project, Kendall sent an email to BarcAdmin and asked about the financial aspects of the readers i.e costs of production, costs of shipment, and differences in copyright charges. Jane Ewart, head of registration and academic advising, responded with the following:
"We already use online readers for those professors who choose to upload them and not use a paper version in class. It's difficult to give you one set cost for a reader, as they vary greatly. Copyright can be from €30 to €50 per reader. Printing may be approx €15. This is a very approximate estimate.
I don't think printing costs are 100% offset when readers are online, as many students choose to print their readings anyway. However, I am sure printing is reduced to some extent. We are currently looking into the legality of having readers online and paying or not paying copyright. As things stand I believe we must pay the same copyright costs whether a reader is online or on paper.
Another option we have researched is using Kindles or something similar to replace the readers, and uploading all readers on to one electronic book for each student. To go ahead with this idea we will need to wait until the technology and market for electronic books has stabilized."
The use of online readers is a fairly simple way to improve the sustainability of IES, however, until IES Abroad has concluded their research and negotiations with the companies, the readers will most likely remain offline, and until the implementation of online readers, there are other ways that IES can be more sustainable. For example, professors should allow their students to bring their computers to class if the readings are online. This way, students would not have to print articles out to reference them in class. The internet connection to wireless in the IES Barcelona building does not always work smoothly in the classrooms, yet if the students come to class with the pdfs already downloaded and up on their screen, then they would have no reason to need the internet.
Also, many of the readings for the courses are at least 20 pages. If IES Abroad set a page limit for articles in the reader, there would be less paper and ink used. With the amount of energy and resources that go into producing that amount of work, there could be vast changes if readings were shortened.
In the IES Sustainability Newsletter sent out to professors, it urges them to collect readers at the end of the year as well as uploading readings online if they are able to. Professors and students should cooperate with these requests to further the interests of making IES a more environmentally friendly, cost-saving, and sustainable company.


http://epublishersweekly.blogspot.com/2008/02/30-benefits-of-ebooks.html - benefits of online readers
http://blog.sustainablog.org/eco-libris-open-source-and-free-online-textbooks-is-this-the-future-of-textbooks/

1.5. Students involved in this action


Kendall Murphy
Laura Scuderi- group leader
Erin Berlin
Betsy Fischer

 Assignment: Peer review form

Show the form for student peer review
You do not have permission to insert an item

Items found: 0
No records found


 Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)

Items found: 1
In general, this report looks a little bit weak. It's very significant that you removed the section "1. What", because it seems that you haven't done much, besides sending an email, the discussion in the "Why" section and a few recommendations. But the action was about doing something beyond simple recommendations for others to do something. In addition, the "How" section is not a report on how to implement the action, but you added instead some sort of report of what you have tried to do, and that was not the idea. Last, you didn't have into account what happens with the readings which are printed in paper by some students (we know that some students prefer to have texts in paper to add notes and highlight pieces of text, etc.), even if all readings are online. Not addressing this issue would still produce un-needed amount of waste, that you would reduce if you design some action to re-use readings in paper (for those who need them), besides having readings online, of course. Think in "zero waste", or "waste equals food"... each printed material is "food" some other "hungry" student of printed material... and sometimes you don't mind having some pieces of text highlighted by someone else when you are reading a text for class. In spite the idea of the title if very good and needed, the overall result of the designed action (?) and its report is very poor, unluckily. I hope that next time that you have to do something similar, you can do it much better (you have the skills to do it much better). Specific comments: "Some companies are considering the possibility of something similar to Copyleft, and allowing readings to be viewed with out the usual restrictions of copyright laws." which companies? A reference here would have been appropriate. "and if their reader is online they will not forget it, and might be more inclined to do their work. " How do you know this? This sort of fact/statement should be based on some objective data, which could come from the survey. Did you add any question to the survey related to this fact? About benefits and costs: good that you did some basic calculation on the savings due to not printing all the readers by default. But you were lacking an estimation of expenses due to students printing them in the printers in IES Abroad Barcelona: paper, ink/toner, time... Previous semesters the problem was even more important since most students that needed a printed copy, they were printing them single-sided. "1.3. How. To begin the project, Kendall sent an email to BarcAdmin" What is BarcAdmin? The quote from the head of registration and academic advising is not clearly separated from the rest of the text (same font, same indentation, no spacing between the quote and the previous and following texts). After the first carriage return, it seemed as if the quote ended, and that was confusing... "The use of online readers is a fairly simple way to improve the sustainability of IES, however, until IES Abroad has concluded their research and negotiations with the companies, the readers will most likely remain offline, and until the implementation of online readers, there are other ways that IES can be more sustainable. " Or you could have contacted a few professors and discuss with them the chance to use readings from the same or similar authors which were available online. In my case at the sustainability course, I found that more than half of the readings where available online in pdf, and I was not aware of that fact until I searched for all of them one by one. Moreover, I could find some alternatives from the same authors in other cases, so that I could avoid using the printed-only versions of the readings for almost all sessions. For the last session in which there was not online version, I just scanned the reading to make it available online for registered users of the sustainability course website. Maybe other professors would be willing to shift some readings from paper to online, if they are available? Did you search for a pdf or html version of the readings in the readers of any other course? That would have been fairly easy task to do, and good complementary work for this type of action. And did you explore to get other professors to use "binders" for the readers? This way, they would be able to get back the readers, and at the beginning of the next semester, in best 15 minutes with the next students in making whatever updates are needed for the reader: print the new/updated readings (if not printed already by the professor), make the holes at the new sheets of paper to fit in the binder and re-order whatever needs to be re-ordered. "For example, professors should allow their students to bring their computers to class if the readings are online" Ok, this statement looks reasonable, but I disagree with this statement written as such. I am one of the few professors (in case there are more, which I don't know) with courses which have all readings online. I allow students to bring their laptops to class. So that, some numbers would have been appropriate: number of courses with readings online and number of professors which doesn't allow students to bring computers to class. References and links: " http://blog.sustainablog.org/eco-libris-open-source-and-free-online-textbooks-is-this-the-future-of-textbooks/ " This section is to list the references that you used in the text, providing full details as such references: Author, Year, Title, Editorial (or company behind that author in a website), url (if available), date visited (if url and no year of publishing is found). Citing two blogs is very scarce. Blogs are the least contrasted source of information: anyone can write a blog with anything on it, reliable or not. It would be equivalent to a hand-written diary in paper of anyone in the past: this is good to cite opinions from people, but not to sustain statements and facts, since no one must have checked the truth of the information provided in the diary/blog.


Page last modified on Wednesday 04 of April, 2012 17:13:35