Professors recommend Cengage eTextbooks because of their affordability, accessibility, and convenience
Students appreciate interactive features and customizable settings.
Professors state that they will continue to recommend Cengage eTextbooks after the pandemic.
Digital reading is not a new concept. In fact, the first eBook in history was created by Michael S. Hart in 1971. He launched Project Gutenberg and digitalized the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The popularity of reading on electronic devices has increased exponentially over the 50 years since then.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated eTextbook usage in colleges. Although remote learning has definitely fueled the rise in eTextbooks, there are many other factors that have influenced students and professors to adopt the technology and continue using it. One-third of eTextbook use growth is likely to be driven by instructors and two-thirds by student activity across the market. Cengage interviewed students and instructors to learn more about their attitudes towards eTextbooks and how they compare to traditional printed textbooks.
Why would professors recommend Cengage eTextbooks for their students?
The top two reasons Cengage eTextbooks are recommended to students by professors who surveyed them were affordability and accessibility. It is not easy to afford college, and most students are willing to spend every penny. According to the College Board data, the average undergraduate student spends approximately $1,240 per annum on books and supplies. This number is expected to rise.
A recent survey of University of Central Florida students found that 30% of respondents had opted to not purchase textbooks due to their high cost. The same survey revealed that 41% of respondents had delayed purchasing textbooks and 15% avoided taking certain courses due to high textbook costs.
A student savings plan can be a more affordable option. Cengage Unlimited eTextbooks, the student subscription that saves you money, gives you access to our entire library of thousands and study tools. A student can get online and offline access across all disciplines for $69.99, which is less than the average cost of a hardcopy textbook. The average student could save approximately $1,100 a year by purchasing Cengage Unlimited eTextbooks. Students can still rent hardcopy books from Cengage Unlimited eTextbooks, but they only need to pay shipping and handling.
Students often have to wait for shipping or for the campus bookstore to replenish the books they need before purchasing print textbooks. Cengage eTextbooks are recommended by professors to their students for instant access and cost-savings. Cengage eTextbooks are accessible on a variety of devices. 95% of students have access to smartphones. Students can also download the Cengage mobile app and take their reading offline. No WiFi, no problem.
Professors may also find the seamless integration of LMS (Learning Management System) attractive. Professors can integrate the entire eTextbook, or just a chapter. This allows students to have all their course materials in one place that can be accessed immediately after class begins.
What do students think about eTextbooks?
Students appreciate the convenience of not having to carry multiple textbooks and being capable of accessing their learning materials from anywhere. Students also appreciate the search feature, which allows them to quickly find relevant content and save it with annotations and bookmarks.
We spoke with students who reported that prolonged reading on an electronic device can cause eye strain. We recommend increasing font size, switching to “night-mode/dark-mode” and using the 20/20/20 rule: for every 20 minutes of screen time, spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away.
Although some students still prefer to read printed textbooks, data suggests that eTextbooks may be more effective for students. A study on eTextbooks revealed that student attitudes are not always in line with their actual learning outcomes. It stated, “The use etext with annotations (instructor commentary, one multimedia learning video) improved participants learning, but they perceived the etext as less effective at meeting their learning needs.” This interesting split result was due to participants not recognising the value of etexts. The researchers concluded that this was likely due.