Of course what they didn't say is that online DRMed platforms give them 100% of the profits instead of losing money to used books or giving the bookstore a cut and they danced around the fact that students loose access to the material after a year so even if they wanted to use the material later on they couldn't (they can just buy a new code!).
Thankfully, our department didn't take the bait and instead worked on creating our own OER https://www.oercommons.org/hubs/open-textbooks but too many educators are falling for it. My hope is that Pearson's move will spur more faculty members to use and create more OER.
It’s a dirty f’ing system when my grades are held hostage by a publisher.
Even if you buy the textbook used, you still have to purchase an online access code from the publisher (often for $100+ for the semester).
The textbook publishers have been working on crushing the textbook resale market for years, and this seems to be the final nail in the coffin.
Am I missing something?
Ripping off students through overpriced mandatory textbooks is not a worldwide phenomena. Through CS Bachelor and Master I too have never had to buy a coursebook. The few books that were needed for extremely standardized courses like math 1-3 were available in sufficient numbers in the library.
It takes two to force students to spend so much on books, a publisher can price their books anyway they like if there isnt a university forcing their students to use them. That for profit universities dont have a problem with that is not surprising.
It is entirely possible that your experience might be relevant for CS, I don't know I did a Physics degree, but there are a lot more degrees out there than CS or Physics, for which your experience might not be representative, in other words: There probably are degrees out there that do require the textbooks or if not actual requirement, it makes the learning experience better.
What is happening now is the publishers are providing a “service” that puts the homework assignments online.
That means you have to pay in order to do the required homework. Eg the books being in the library doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay the publisher. Similarly second hand books are closer to worthless because you still have to pay to have access to, and to submit, your homework.
I suspect legislation that requires the university to cover all fees required for assessment would end this nonsense in short order.
I take your point that if the e-books are available via the library, they will charge the library, probably on a pay as you go basis too
I'm only aware of it because my wife went back to school to completely change field (microbiology now, rather than software)
The Rise in Popularity of Printed Books Continues
Perfect example of rent seeking.
Hopefully people will just flock to alternatives.
I kept all of the textbooks relating to my major for several years. They were good reference materials while completing the degree and were useful as supplementary resources. By the time the second year of undergraduate studies rolled around, the faculty started assigning textbooks that were intended to serve as introductory material to graduate studies. By the time the final year of undergraduate studies rolled around, at least half of the assigned books were intended to build professional libraries.
From an educational and professional perspective, this drive towards rented textbooks is doing a disservice to students. It is treating education as disposable while forcing students to pay even more to build a library that will serve them well in their career.
But with no physical textbooks no-one will know when stuff is removed or changed. This could be a wonderful move, but human nature says it'll be the opposite.
What a lot of horse manure
In theory this model makes sense for a lot of textbooks, in practice I suspect the price difference between buying and renting for a year won't be that big at all.
I would imagine that majority of books would be rented for a year, academic year anyway
Nope. We just can't afford not to rent.
So "afford" becomes a bit odd when someone simply expands their profit margins as much as the market will bear.
Why do you say that?
The current model of forcing student to re-buy books that are only marginally updated on an annual basis is wasteful. The real question is will total cost go up or down. I’m ok if Pearson gets more profits if the costs to students goes down, along with complexity to faculty. (Faculty may get less money)
These were printed and bound (apparently some decades before that the binding had to be done by the students) at some local shop and we bought them as students for something between 7 to 25 or so euros each.
There were a few courses that recommended a particular actual real professionally printed book in addition but those were quite rare in fact, and usually an optional recommendation
This worked quite well by the way, we had a lot of material to study
Edit: Not really. Seems like a common DDoS attack costs about $20 per hour, and an access code costs about $100 USD. Each student could buy about 5 hours of DDoS.
If you covered one or two critical weeks (say the weeks just before and during final exams and midterms), per semester, you're looking at 672 hours of downtime or less. Even a large availability loss-- say, down 50% of the time in peak hours-- would be enough to make the program look risky and fragile.
A 50-student lecture could finance that.