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Abstract

This study examined student usage of an e-textbook in a large multi-section basic pubic speaking course that fulfills the oral communication general education requirement at a large state university in the Midwest. The results collected from students surveys (n=598) indicated that they are not yet using e-textbooks across other university classes, they prefer printed textbooks to e-textbooks, they perceive advantages of e-textbooks to be cost, weight, ability to quickly find topics and conveniences, while they perceive advantages of printed textbooks to be the ability to highlight and take notes, ease of reading, and keeping the printed text-book for future reference. When it comes to e-textbook reading, they prefer computers to smaller computing devices like iPads, iPods, cellular phones or other electronic readers, and only 18% of the students at this public university reported access to an electronic tablet and only 16% had access to an e-reader. Students preferred using an e-textbook to a printed textbook when they had prior experience reading an e-book. In general, students report spending less than one hour per week reading the course e-textbook.