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E-textbook poll

March 7, 2011

Please respond – it only takes a second!

There is increasing talk about the imminent rise of electronic textbooks, so I thought I would ask my readers about their level of adoption. If you have taught -or supported teaching- in the past year, please respond to the poll below. Consider the courses with which you have been involved, and indicate the highest level of encouragement given for using any electronic textbook.

This is an informal poll with no empirical value. It will be a self-selected sample and we can’t verify who the respondents are. Readers of this blog are also more interested in technology than the average faculty member.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris Clark permalink*
    March 7, 2011 3:16 pm

    The risk of copying a printout is probably no greater than that of xeroxing a book. And vendors are working on providing ways to ensure that people don’t illegally distribute electronic copies.

    Yes, copying and printing are issues, but I don’t think they’re the big ones.

    I think the factors standing in the way of widespread adoption are availability, policy, awareness, and personal preferences.

  2. Jim Fuehrmeyer permalink
    March 7, 2011 12:11 pm

    Two years ago I “recommended”. Now I just mention it and I’m cautious when I do that. The students who buy electronically do so for cost reasons, but they still want a hard copy so they want to download and print. I set up a custom text two years ago and as expected, the students wanted to download and print. If they had trouble doing that – either because of a printer malfunction or because of a laptop issue – they were unable to access the document again. Publishers are understandably concerned that one student would buy the document, print it and then provide it to classmates. The realities of students who foul up the downloading process is something the publishers may or may not be able to deal with. The publisher’s rep was helpful, but it was quite the distraction at the time they needed the material. So, while I’ve given up using a course packet and have all that “stuff” on library E-reserve, I do have a hard copy of the custom text available in the bookstore and most seem to go for that despite the additional $10 or $15 it costs.

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