digital distractions

Could the use of digital course materials be delayed?

A survey indicates adoption will occur slower than many believed.

Despite a growing push to integrate more digital materials into higher-ed courses, fewer than 20 percent of faculty said they believe digital materials are important or very important for core texts, according to a recent survey.

A survey for the Independent College Bookstore Association (ICBA), conducted by the Campus Computing Project, surveyed 2,900 college and university faculty at 29 two- and four-year colleges and universities to gauge their concerns about instructional benefits around going digital.

The quality and cost of course materials for students are the key factors influencing college faculty when it comes to textbooks and other course materials. Though the movement to digital materials is growing, faculty have expressed concerns alongside their interest in digital materials and adaptive technologies.

When it comes to factors that influence faculty decisions about course materials, faculty’s own assessment of the course materials was top-ranked (97 percent), followed by the cost of course materials for students (86 percent), followed by the comments of students or teaching assistants and also comments from colleagues (tied at 71 percent).

(Next page: Faculty views on OER)

Laura Ascione

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