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pedagogy, publication, research

UMass Boston eBook Survey Results

In December of 2011, I administered a survey students to find out whether they would choose to use an eBook, if one were available for a text that had been adopted in their course.
A few months before , I had been part of the discussions with faculty teaching French who had chose a textbook that was available as an eBook. Professors asked one another whether students were comfortable with the eBook format, how the price of an eBook compared with a printed text, and whether lower pricing of an ebook might affect student preference. Many were uncertain how content delivered electronically would affect their pedagogy or whether accessibility by students to mobile devices and/or computer to “read” eBooks was sufficiently high on this campus to offer students this option. However, since publishers of textbooks increasingly offer electronic versions of their texts in whole and abbreviated “customized” versions, professors anticipated that electronic books over time will be an important option to consider when ordering textbooks for students. If you walk through the aisles of the Campus bookstore at UMASS Boston, you can already find among the shelves “digital” option available in several courses. So, why do eBooks appeal to students, and what do professors have to know about student preference for learning formats?
Here are some facts uncovered from the survey

Demographics of respondents

  • There were 11 questions in the survey answered by 158 respondents :
  • 150 were undergraduate students,1 graduate student, 5 lecturers, 2 faculty,and 1 other;
  • 45 or 28.5% of the respondents were male and 71.5% or 113 of the respondents were female
  • The largest population of respondents were between 18 and 29 years old
  • 18-20 38.6%
    21-29 46.2%
    30-39 8.9%
    40-49 3.2%
    50-59 1.9%
    60 or older 1.3%

The first question identified the respondent by name and email.

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