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The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.


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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