Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Students Join Profs to Diss Digital Plan

Students at Alamo Colleges in Texas said “No thanks” to an effort to save them money on course materials.

A petition signed by 1,000 students opposed the Alamo district’s plan to adopt the same digital and open-source materials for large courses offered across multiple campuses, a move designed to save money. Instead of buying print books individually, students would pay a fee in advance to gain online access to their reading materials.

But many students didn’t think much of the plan, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Some told the newspaper they didn’t have the funds to buy e-readers in order to be able to carry their digital course materials to class, or anywhere else. Some preferred print formats and didn’t want to be forced to study from a screen. Others said they’ve been able to find traditional textbooks at affordable prices by shopping around on their own.

The district, which encompasses five community colleges, decided in January to go ahead with the proposal despite complaints from faculty, who felt the administration was taking away their right to select materials for the courses they teach.

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