When I talk with students about textbook requirements it usually includes reference to cash, a credit card or checkbook. Textbooks are expensive. Students tell me they generally spend over $700 a semester on books and materials for a full load of classes. I am price sensitive and budget conscious — I encourage students to rent textbooks or purchase used textbooks if they can. I purposely seek out softcover texts and will maintain a textbook edition as long as possible to keep costs down and more palatable for a college student’s tight budget.
I have tried requiring e-books instead of traditional paper textbooks, but the anecdotal evidence was overwhelming — students preferred paper over digital texts. Although students carry their smartphones and tablets to class, students in my courses have told me they like to use a highlighter, pen or pencil to annotate the “old school” way. They like writing in the margins and the physical act of turning the pages. The students requesting traditional texts smacks against the movement that big publishing houses like Pearson are moving away from print and into a digital learning and services model. Even our high school daughters have Chromebooks that were distributed and required for use in all of their high school classes, yet they still have hardcover textbooks they read and study for tests in all of their classes. Many of their teachers will assign supplemental material using digital interactive tools on the Chromebooks, but the main assessment still comes from the offline textbooks.
College of DuPage recently adopted a new textbook adoption tool, Follett Discover. This new tool is fully integrated into Blackboard, and the link to adopt textbooks can be found in our course shells. According to the flyer sent to us by the College of DuPage Bookstore, the Follett Discover tool provides an easier way to research course materials, share reviews and discuss content with your peers, and to adopt non-traditional materials. Follett Discover allows you to go online from a single destination, discover and research from Follett’s extensive and publisher agnostic library, and instantly adopt them.
- Log into Black Board
- Select your Course
- Click the “Follett Discover” link
- Choose your course to adopt books
- Start Discovering