Professors Worry About the Cost of Textbooks, but Free Alternatives Pose Their Own Problems - The Chronicle of Higher Education
peter.suber's bookmarks 2019-01-09
"When it comes to textbooks, faculty members have a lot of feelings. Many of them negative. But their thoughts on digital coursework and openly licensed materials aren't any less conflicted.
These opinions, found in "Freeing the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2018," a survey of more than 4,000 faculty members and department chairs released Wednesday, paint a complex picture of a fast-changing landscape, one in which instructors and students have more options about course materials than ever before, yet the best path forward remains unclear.
This is the fourth such survey done by the Babson Survey Research Group, and it captures some key trends....
22 percent of people who teach introductory courses, subjects in which free textbooks are most commonly available, use [open textbooks] as required material, up from 15 percent last year. Yet the percentage of faculty members who say they will use, or consider using, open materials in the next three years actually dropped slightly, with the numbers now at 6 percent and 32 percent respectively...."