The full report with key findings of the CUI pilot at TU Dublin can be accessed here. The research for the report was conducted and written by Dr Andrew Ashwin, Associate Lecturer in the Department of Management at a leading new university in the UK.
Cengage supports more than three quarters of public and private South African universities with in-person, blended and online courses. Cengage digital resources are used to support student outcomes and improve student engagement, digital literacy, the learning experience and employability skills. University of Pretoria, North West University, University of Cape Town and the University of Johannesburg are some of the institutions successfully using Cengage’s digital platforms to address their higher education needs. CUI is currently being piloted at the Technological University Dublin.
The procurement of high-quality course materials from a credible provider, available across multiple departments at an affordable price, is a challenge facing numerous business schools.
The pandemic has forced higher education institutions (HEI) to re-think the way in which students interact with instructors and the institution. Brought into sharp focus is the need for institutions to have a more flexible approach to teaching which includes face-to-face and online teaching options.
Developments in the US market where affordability of textbooks is a major issue in higher education has led Cengage, as a global publisher of print and digital resources to develop the idea of Cengage Unlimited for Institutions (CUI).
As a learning solution CUI allows students and faculty access to over 10,000 eTextbooks and digital products along with a career centre to boost employability skills, and CUI will provide learning resources to 675 different courses. It also gives access to a broad range of course solutions and materials including eTextbooks, homework platforms, assignments, study tools and more.
This concept has been adapted for the UK, European, Middle East and South African markets, where the issues facing higher education are different although with some similarities.
Technological University Dublin piloted Cengage Unlimited for Institutions (CUI). The solution gave students at Technological University Dublin unlimited access to Cengage’s entire library of course materials and content for the academic year 2021 to 2022.
The university says that funding is a critical factor for institutions considering online learning, both for the institution and students. Decisions needed to be taken around which faculties and departments would best benefit from the resources, how it can supplement and enhance existing resources, and how access to CUI is financed.
Following interviews with students, they said they were able to access digital copies of key texts through the institution’s library but could, at times, be frustrated by the lack of access due to concurrent-use limitations and licences, noting that having to wait up to two weeks for a digital copy of a book to become available. By adopting CUI, students have access to over 10,000 titles without these limitations.
The Value Proposition
“Our students now travel to campus and are able to access the material on their journey using CUI. Students appreciate being able to access their learning materials from anywhere and is integrated with our virtual learning environment. They are able to find content easily by using the search feature on Cengage, and save important information with bookmarks and highlighting, and they don’t have to carry physical textbooks to campus,” said Dr Eoin Langan, Dean, Faculty of Business at Technological University Dublin.
CUI is a very different product proposition to institutions compared to what publishers have traditionally offered. The quality of the resources in terms of their academic content and the flexibility of the digital resources in supporting instructors and students was something that was particularly noted by instructors using CUI.
It was noted that CUI can be used to support individual courses but also for sharing resources across school and departments. The range of resources can also be utilised to support broader institution initiatives such as employability, sustainability, accessibility, co-production of knowledge, inclusion, diversity and equity.
As the development of international partnerships continues to accelerate along with online courses and part-time study, access to the range of eTextbooks and courseware, which CUI provides, represent considerable added value for institutions in relation to the potential investment required.
“As a Technological University we aim to deploy the latest technology solutions to advance and supplement our students learning. Cengage Unlimited provides instant access to quality course material through various laptops, tablets and mobile phones and can access the material from anywhere.”
“Cengage Unlimited provides an affordable solution as an alternative to the cost of purchasing textbooks for students and our library. Lecturers can benefit from use of Cengage Unlimited for both formative and summative assessment purposes including automatic grading which also helps monitor student progress and understanding,” added Dr Langan.
Unlocking the potential of CUI
Participants in the research noted the excellent resources on preparatory skills for higher education, the resources related to career, employability skills, Microsoft Office and computer software concepts.
In promoting independent learning skills, the ability of students to be able to access a wider range of related content beyond their core content allows them to explore areas of interest or to use the content to help improve or clarify their understanding. If a student had difficulty understanding a topic in management, accounting, finance, or economics using their core content, for example, they could utilise CUI to find other content and resources which may explain things in a different and clearer way.
Students interviewed noted that this was an important part of their studies and having access to such resources in one place, and quickly and easily, would be a key benefit.
Library links including student access to digital eTextbooks.
There was consensus amongst both instructors and students that book purchasing is not a typical habit of students. Many students will access the content and resources they need via the institution’s learning management system or through the digital services provided by the library. Instructors felt that the involvement of the library in any decision to adopt CUI would therefore be important.
Cengage EMEA is part of Cengage Group, a global education technology company dedicated to removing the barriers to higher education and providing every student with access to quality teaching and learning and a brighter future. Focussed on making education more accessible, sustainable and affordable, its product portfolio includes online learning platforms that offers students everything they need in one place – textbooks, eTextbooks, homework, study and assessment tools, and resources to develop employability skills to help them transition successfully into the hugely competitive global workplace.
Cengage EMEA sells its products and services to over 52 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, covering a diverse cultural range, each with its own particular and varied curriculum needs for educational solutions