ERIC Number: ED551355
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov-6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
College Student Use of Textbooks
Aagaard, Lola; Skidmore, Ronald L.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Baton Rouge, LA, Nov 4-6, 2009)
It has been reported (Aagaard & Skidmore, 2004; Sikorski et al., 2002) that only a minority of college students actually read the course textbook in preparation for examinations. Although professors widely lament students' propensity to ignore the carefully chosen textbooks, research specifically investigating why this phenomenon occurs is minimal. Bookstores have reported that fewer students are buying textbooks, perhaps due to rising costs (Mehegan, 2004). A volunteer sample of 19 undergraduate students at a regional university in the midsouth participated in a semi-structured focus group interview regarding their use of college textbooks. Questions were asked concerning textbook cost, course requirements related to the text, student knowledge of textbook features, performance in the course related to textbook use, and the pros and cons of e-textbooks. Researchers took notes on a laptop and also audio-taped the interview. Student responses were analyzed using the constant-comparative method. Results indicated that students were buying textbooks, although they felt that any further rise in cost might prohibit them from purchasing texts for all courses. Generally, students reported that they were not reading the textbooks, as such. They used them more as a reference in case they needed further explanation of a concept they didn't fully understand from the professor's lecture, notes of the lecture, or the additional material (PowerPoint slides, diagrams, etc.) made available online by the professor. Students liked having physical texts, but some were open to the idea of e-textbooks. They noted that being asked questions over information that was covered only in the textbook would get them to at least skim the assigned chapters. Frustration was expressed with teachers who assigned a text but never required anything that would force use of the textbook by students. Interview questions for textbook focus groups are appended.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A