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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Textbook Data Tells a Varied Story

When it comes to college students and course materials, there are a number of conundrums at work. Consider some of the interesting data that came out of the fall 2015 Student Watch, a survey of 25,000 students from 56 colleges and universities:
  • Approximately 34% of students said they didn’t obtain at least one textbook listed by their school as required reading for a course because the instructor told them it wasn’t actually needed.

  • Only 55% of students thought the reading materials for their classes were very or extremely useful. However, when professors actively utilized the materials within the course—for discussions, homework, quizzes, and so on—then 72% of students gave high marks to their usefulness. That indicates students need the instructor’s help to see how course materials tie in with their class lectures.

  • The average price paid by students per course material was $75.32. However, students are actually amenable to paying quite a bit more than that. Students who felt their course materials had been extremely useful were willing to pay as much as $194.28 per book. Even students who said their materials were not at all useful were willing to fork over up to $143.25 for each.
Student Watch surveys are conducted twice a year by OnCampus Research, the research arm of indiCo, a subsidiary of NACS.

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