Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Print Preferred by College Instructors

Students are not the only ones on campus reluctant to embrace digital course materials. A new study from the Book Industry Study Group and Bowker Market Research found that print is the format of choice for faculty as well as for students.

In Faculty Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education, a survey of college faculty perceptions on classroom materials, 93% of the instructors surveyed equated success in the classroom to use of assigned materials. However, only 32% of faculty make e-book options available and just 2% of students select that format.

Comparing the faculty survey with BISG’s Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education survey shows just 12% of faculty prefer digital to print, while 16% of students would choose electronic options. The faculty research also suggests a high level of satisfaction with e-textbooks once they are adopted. Of the 20% of faculty members who reported using digital course materials, 90% said they were likely to adopt an e-text in the future.

“The emergence of e-books has led to a lot of confusion in the marketplace about what faculty want from publishers,” said Angela Bole, BISG’s deputy executive director. “While students may be the ultimate consumers of course materials, professors are not only influencers, they are decision-makers. Understanding where they fit on the e- vs. print continuum is essential for any organization serving this market.”

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