Students say they’re not ready for an all eTextbook offering

textbook-online-collegesIn a trend occurring in multiple colleges across the country, students are saying ‘no’ to eBooks, due poor ease-of-use, limited funds for eReaders, and lack of available resources.

The most recent example occurred at Alamo Colleges, where students say they have gathered more than 1,000 petition signatures in an attempt to stop the community college district from implementing a recently approved instructional material approach that has also drawn opposition from faculty members.

Northwest Vista College freshman Alexis Morrow, 17, who is leading the petition drive, said many students prefer traditional textbooks, don’t have the resources to buy eReaders and don’t want to see their options to rent or purchase textbooks limited. She presented the petition to Alamo Colleges trustees at their board meeting March 25th.

In January, trustees voted 8-1 to approve Chancellor Bruce Leslie’s recommendation to move the district toward use of online textbooks and open source materials. The new approach also calls for identifying the most effective instructional materials, which eventually could be adopted for each course across all five Alamo Colleges.

Scaling up such purchases across the colleges, Leslie has said, could lower the cost of textbooks. As the approach is implemented, students will pay for the electronic delivery of the materials along with their tuition and fees, so they’ll be prepared on the first day of class.

(Next page: The argument against eTextbooks)

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