April 23, 2014

Online search versus $168 textbook

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Schaffhauser, D. (2011) Student Research: Can Googling Replace $168 Intro to Psych Textbook? Campus Technology, February 16

11 University of Cincinnati seniors in the psychology program presented at an Educause event a comparison of the content of traditional college texts, one of which costs $168, to content they found for free on the Web. They found the online material to be as good as the material in the textbook. However, it should be noted that they were helped to search online by an instructor.

Nevertheless, given that the students were developing core skills of how to search, analyse and evaluate information relevant for their course, as well as comprehend the content, the learning outcomes are likely to be even greater.

More research needs to be done on this, but anything that satisfactorily avoids the ridiculous costs of introductory textbooks is to be welcomed.

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