Blackboard and Copia provide an integrated solution for teaching and learning


Lack of student engagement is a common challenge that many instructors face. When students are not reading and engaging with required course materials, they are less prepared to participate to their full potential and are at higher risk of lower grades, failure or withdrawal. Dr. Ramiro de la Rosa, adjunct faculty at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), knew he had to find a way to keep his students engaged and motivated throughout his Personal and Organizational Leadership fully online course. He found the answer with Copia Class, a web-based environment that enables instructors to enhance eText versions of curated publisher, Open Educational Resources (OER) and locally created content with an extra layer of customization, such as discussions, video links and assessments. And deep integration with Blackboard Learn ensures students have seamless access to the course materials and grades in one familiar place.


Dr. De La Rosa worked closely with content experts from Copia to add supplemental videos, short presentations, and other interactives with required eTexts from Copia’s trusted content publishers. The objectives were to increase student engagement in his online course, enable students to gain required knowledge and skills aligned with course outcomes, and ensure that students can access the content in an affordable and seamless manner within Blackboard Learn. After teaching with Copia Class for one semester, Dr. De La Rosa saw many advantages. “Using eTexts through Copia Class and the Blackboard Learn integration has definitely added value to my course,” said Dr. De La Rosa. “Not only do students have easy access to engaging, dynamic content, but they also benefit from a significant cost savings.” His students saved over 70% by purchasing the eText rather than the printed version.


Copia implemented a survey with Dr. De La Rosa’s students at the beginning of the course to gauge students’ attitudes towards using eTexts. The results showed that students were initially apprehensive about using a digital form of required content for the course. While students identified several challenges of using printed textbooks, such as inline notetaking and difficulty navigating between text and online resources, 67% of students still described themselves as being anxious about, or even dreading, the use of eTexts in the course.

After just one semester using Copia Class, students significantly improved their comfort level with eTexts and found value in using Copia-enhanced digital content, based on the post-course survey results. After receiving such positive responses from his students, Dr. De La Rosa continued to use Copia Class in his Blackboard Learn course the following semester. “I’m very pleased to see that my students have adapted to using eTexts and that Copia Class has helped them better understand the assigned content,” said Dr. De La Rosa. “I’m confident that student engagement has increased, and that can only lead to better outcomes for my students.”