Tag Archives: Textbooks

George Washington U. clarifies ‘no alternative textbook vendor’ guidelines

“Faculty members at George Washington University are once again free to tell students they can save money by buying their textbooks online, after the university initially urged professors to stop pointing students to sources other than the campus bookstore. In a letter dated July 17, the university reminded faculty members of its “contractual obligation” with Follett, which runs the campus bookstore. Since the company has the “exclusive right” to provide textbooks and other course materials for all of the university’s courses, “alternative vendors may not be endorsed, licensed or otherwise approved or supported by the university or its faculty.” (via insidehighered)

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Textbook prices still crippling students, report says

“>Despite some recent improvement in textbook market options and transparency, rising prices continue to hinder students who, in the worst scenarios, are turning down classes because the materials are too expensive. “The problem is as dire as ever,” Ethan Senack, a higher education associate at the United States Public Interest Research Group, said in a conference call announcing the findings of the Student PIRGs’ latest report on textbook costs and how students are responding. “The federal government, states and most important, individual campuses, need to support and invest in alternatives outside of the traditional textbook market.” (via Inside Higher Ed)

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Cost of textbooks in focus as universities launch pilot projects

“The fall semester is upon us, and that means one thing: It’s pilot project season for textbooks and their e-alternatives. Most students are stepping into their first class either this week or the next, and many of them will find themselves participating in their institution’s latest cost-saving experiment. In the name of student savings, institutions are testing everything from all-tablet learning to textbook rentals to open educational resources OER — though similar projects delivered mixed results last year.” (via Inside Higher Ed)

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Amazon restricts students from bringing certain textbook rentals across state lines

“Students who rent textbooks through Amazon.com’s Warehouse Deals, Inc. may be unknowingly agreeing to an unusual condition: They are not permitted to cross state borders with their books.According to the Textbook Rental Terms and Conditions page on Amazon.com, when renting through Warehouse Deals, which is an Amazon subsidiary, “You may not move the textbook out of the state to which it was originally shipped. If you wish to move the textbook out of that state, you must first purchase the textbook.” (via Inside Higher Ed)

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Google Play Textbooks to Launch this August

“Google announced today during a huge event that they were creating a new eTextbook section. Diligent young scholars will be able to both rent and buy them on Android and iOS. The new service is poised to launch this August and students will be able to save 80%, compared to physical textbooks. Right now Google has locked up Pearson, Wiley, Macmillian Higher Education, McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning. This will immediately give students access to hundreds of textbooks right out of the gate. Students can also search bookmarks, highlight, and switch to a “night mode” so as not to disturb a sleeping roommate.” (via Good E-Reader)

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Textbook publishers revamp ebooks to fight used market

“A booming market in recent years for selling and renting used college textbooks has saved students across the United States a ton of cash. But it has put textbook publishers in a bind. They don’t make a cent unless students buy their books new. So increasingly, publishers like Pearson Plc and McGraw-Hill Education are turning to a new model: Creating online versions of their texts, often loaded with interactive features, and selling students access codes that expire at semester’s end.” (via Reuters)

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New AcademicPub Service Adds Library Content Deals

“AcademicPub is adding a new service to its AcademicPub Custom College Plus, an automated coursepack service that allows faculty to create legal customized textbooks in digital or print formats from a database of licensed content. AcademicPub is now offering Off The Shelf, a new service that allows schools to integrate any of its standing content licensing agreements into the AcademicPub Custom College Plus Content Library.” (via Publishers Weekly)

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Students, Professors Still Not Yet Ready for Digital Textbooks

“The e-textbook “revolution” is still waiting to start. Students and professors are still not adopting the use of digital textbooks in any great numbers, according to the latest data from Bowker Market Research, presented today in a Digital Book World webcast. Further, the percentage of students who are using them has remained flat over the past few semesters. While publishers are increasingly creating and selling digital materials and students increasingly have the devices on which to consume that content, only 3% of students last semester used a digital textbook as their primary course material (for a specific course). That’s down from 4% for the fall semester.” (via Digital Book World)

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Textbook prices more transparent but still high

“Students have greater access to textbook pricing information thanks to recent federal requirements, a new study shows. But it’s not clear yet what if any effect the changes mandated by the Higher Education Opportunity Act are having on textbook prices, which have continued to rise at an average of 6 percent per year, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” (via Inside Higher Ed)

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Academic e-books: will they ever take off?

“Are physical textbooks on the way out? That’s what one professor seemed to believe when I participated in a debate last weekend about the future of academic publishing. He claimed that they would only survive as artefacts or in special collections; public libraries would have continuing demand for academic books, but not universities. Another observed that some students were already choosing to buy e-textbooks rather than invest in physical books.” (via Telegraph)

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