University of Illinois eTextbook UnConference

June 28th and 29th, 2012
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Registration is now full! Please email Shawna ( to be put on the waiting list.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is pleased to host a gathering of interested parties to identify and discuss solutions to the challenge facing us with etextbooks and their adoption in higher education.

It is clear that etextbooks are going to be a huge part of the landscape in higher education over the short to medium term.  The potential benefits that they offer are many, and include the potential for lowering costs for students, increasing interactivity and improving learning. But etextbooks also pose a number of challenges to higher education faculty and administrators including how to promote adoption, how best to contain costs, which platform to choose and how to ensure accessibility. There are also any number of competing platforms and approaches and it is hard for many in higher education to make informed decisions about what approach to take and what their etextbook strategy should look like. To add to this confusion, all too often the various solutions or components of a strategy are presented in isolated fashion as a complete and exclusive approach rather than as a part of a broader strategy.

To begin the work of understanding and sorting through the many and varied approaches to etextbooks we are convening an Unconference on the topic this summer (for a more formal definition of Unconference see ).  The goal of the meeting will be to draw together a broad spectrum of participants exploring provision of etextbooks from a variety of perspectives, whether that be though open access textbooks, vendor-driven solutions or self-publishing. We also hope to attract participants who have not yet ventured into the etextbook realm but are interested in learning more.

As is typical of Unconferences there will not be a formal Call for Papers but instead we will structure a series of talks and discussions based on interest expressed at the opening session of the meeting. Among the topics we expect will be of interest and will be discussed are the following:

  • Accessibility of extextbooks for students with disabilities and best practices in addressing these
  • Models of university self-publishing of etextbooks
  • Evaluating the adoption and impact of etextbooks at your institution
  • Vendor-driven models of etextbook delivery
  • Understanding the costs of etextbooks
  • Open access etextbook solutions
  • Technical considerations in offering or supporting etextbooks
  • Policy considerations around etextbook solutions in higher education


The eTextbook Camp will be of interest to many different groups of people including

  • Those working in information technology (IT) in higher education including CIO’s, Academic Technologists and Instructional Designers
  • Library personnel working on providing  etexts and ebooks and  supporting their use.
  • Faculty development personnel
  • Accessibility specialists
  • University Counsel and policy development officers
  • University and College Registrars and their staff
  • Vendors of etextbooks and etextbook platforms
  • Technology personnel supporting or developing etext or etextbook platforms

The format of eTextbook Camp will be a 2 day meeting taking pace over 2 days in late June, starting mid-day on June 28th and continuing through 4pm on June 29th.. There will be no cost for the meeting apart from transportation to the meeting and accommodations. A block of rooms will be reserved at the iHotel A code for receiving the Unconference rate of $130 will be sent to registrants via email.

Meals will be provided. Space is limited and registration will be limited at 75.