College instructors are moving away from print textbooks and using more digital course materials, according to students surveyed for the most recent Book Industry Study Group survey. The report, Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education, also found that use of tablet computers is on the rise, but textbook rental numbers have dipped.
“Today’s students are becoming increasingly flexible about their course materials selections, and more open to new product innovations than ever before,” said Nadine Vassallo, project manager, research and information, for BISG.
The survey found 11% of responding students reported their classes required “no formal course materials” in October 2013, up from 4% just three years earlier. Students also said they preferred tablet versions of textbooks over PDFs or print textbooks.
At the same time, about 17% of students said they rented textbooks, down from 19% last spring. Three quarters of the students who did rent said they were either somewhat or very satisfied with the experience.