While some studies suggest students are still happy with printed textbooks, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has found the movement to digital content is gaining steam.
In its latest installment of the ongoing study Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education, BISG reports a 12% drop in student preference for print over digital text, from 72% preferring print in November 2011 to 60% late last year. At the same time, student satisfaction with digital textbooks slipped from 30% in the 2011 survey to 26% in the newest report.
“Simply transferring a print textbook to a digital format doesn’t work with this crowd,” said Angela Bole, deputy executive director of BISG, in a release. “This is a market that’s tremendously dynamic and changing rapidly. It’s essential to watch it closely.”
The study also found that only half of the students in the survey were willing to buy the latest version of their assigned textbook, while rental as the preferred option has increased from 8% of respondents in 2011 to 13% in 2012. In addition, the use of tablet computers to read digital textbooks grew to 37% of responding students in 2012, while the use of laptop computers fell to 72%.