July 23, 2010
Linking eBooks to eCourse Management Systems: Which Very Expensive Legal Vendor is Going to Win the Market After the Hooding Ceremony?
Legal publishers take note. The Chronicle's Wired Campus columnist Jeff Young reports "It has been hard to get most professors excited about e-textbooks, but publishers continue to try new ways to sell them on the format. The latest strategy seems to make the e-textbooks even easier for professors to use, by integrating them more tightly into the course-management systems they are already familiar with." The story, Latest Attempt to Hawk E-Textbooks: Make Them Easier for Professors to Use, goes on to report that "Blackboard announced deals with a major textbook publisher— McGraw Hill—and two college bookstore chains—Barnes & Noble College Booksellers and Follett Higher Education Group—to sell textbooks through the tech company's course-management system and to tie online assignments from the e-texts directly into existing online gradebooks."
In the legal academy, TR Legal has literally kicked Lexis' butt. By way of TWEN, students are exposed to West's online products even before they are allowed to use Westlaw in their first year legal research and writing classes. Law students come from an undergrad eCourse management system that is in most cases is Blackboard-driven but Lexis' hacked version of Blackboard simply doesn't cut it with law profs. TWEN, score one for TR Legal.
At the moment, my understanding is WestlawNext isn't TWEN-friendly. I could be wrong but if not, I expect TR Legal is smart enough to know that student indoctrination in WLN will come by way of TWEN or TWENnext unless, perhaps, Lexis finds a way to develop and link eLegal textbooks to their eCourse management system. Students want expect eBooks because carrying pounds of print plus laptops is so 20th Century; law profs, even those still using WordPerfect, are coming around to accept the notion. Adoption rates for casebooks and the like that integrate eTexts into eCourse management is "in play."
While this all may sound, well, "academic," it is not. Law student exposure to a vendor's electronic offerings leads to practitioner reliance on that vendor's online products. See Playing No-Limit Texas Hold 'em with TR Legal and Lexis for Licensing Online Legal Resources. [JH]
I actually dislike the TWEN plaform. It is fluky and not very streamlines for end users. There are a bunch of tools in there for 1Ls, but I find the hacked LexisNexis Blackboard an easier tool to use all around. I would love to see some casebooks interacting with the Blackboard platform.
Posted by: vicki | Jul 25, 2010 1:53:01 PM