ECPA's Rush To Press

College students increasingly prefer digital material
and learning systems

New findings now available in BISG’s study Student Attitudes toward Content;
 will be shared at Adapt Learn Innovate conference
April 28 in NYC

CONTACT:  Jeanette Zwart
BISG | 145 West 45th St. Suite 601 | New York NY | 10036
646.336.7141 ext. 11 | |

(New York, NY: April 10, 2015)—The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) is pleased to announce the publication of the first report in its annual two-part study, Student Attitudes toward Content in Higher Education.

Now in its fifth year, this study tracks and analyzes the increasing role of technology in higher education content and learning tools, based on surveys of over 1,600 students representing a range of ages, class years, and school types. Each volume is published annually in two parts to help measure the velocity of changes: the first, published each spring, reflects surveys completed the previous fall, and the second, published each summer, reflecting surveys completed that spring.

Nadine Vassallo, Project Manager, Research & Information, said, “Students increasingly report a preference for digital learning materials that meet their criteria for value. This study combines students’ self-reported preferences and behaviors with an overview of other research into pedagogical innovations and technologies to provide unique insight into the trends that will guide the future development of learning materials and tools.”

New findings from Volume 5, Report 1 include the following major shifts in content use trends: 

  • Students expect their learning materials to address immediate needs, such as mastering difficult concepts, preparing for tests, and improving grades. Preparing for future courses and careers are lower priorities.
  • Students who have used an Integrated Learning System in the past indicate a strong preference for their ILS compared to traditional textbooks.
  • The technologies and pedagogical innovations most likely to have significant impact in 2015 include adaptive learning platforms and interactive learning models like flipped learning. These models rely on digital learning and emphasize more student preparation and greater classroom engagement, replacing the traditional lecture.
  • Piracy, especially of digital content, continues to increase. 

The report, available as dynamic online access via Real-Time Reporting or as broad stand-alone PDF summary reports, provides practical guidance to companies working to refine their business strategies and better serve an ever-changing higher education marketplace.  More information is available here. A sampling of findings from the study will be presented at BISG’s Higher Ed Conference 2015: Adapt, Learn, Innovate on April 28 in New York City; details are available here.

BISG would like to thank the sponsors of this study. They include Platinum sponsor McGraw-Hill Educationand Gold sponsors Barnes and Noble CollegeCengage Learning, and Follett Higher Education Group.

Student Attitudes toward Content in Higher Education was prepared by the Book Industry Study Group, Inc., with reporting and editorial content by Steve Paxhia. Portions of this information were provided by Nielsen Books & Consumers and used with permission of the Nielsen Company. For more information about the study, email Nadine Vassallo at For a press copy or for sponsorship opportunities for Report 2 which begins data collection this month, or for other questions, email Jeanette Zwart at

About BISG:
The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) is the book industry’s leading trade association for standardseducation, and research and information. BISG facilitates the connections and conversations that solve common problems, advance new ideas, and more profitably bring published content to readers. For over 35 years, BISG has provided a forum for all industry professionals to come together and collaboratively address issues and concerns to advance the book community. Its 200 members include publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media.