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Electronic Textbooks – Efficient Replacements for Traditional College Textbooks

In the last few years, college campus bookstores have continuously put students under pressure, selling curricular textbooks at prices that exceed the financial possibilities of the average student, already burdened by high tuition costs and additional expenses for one’s education. According to recent studies, a required new course textbook can cost between 0 and 0 in the campus bookstore, students rarely finding better offers in other specialized offline resources. Forced to spend a small fortune in order to gather a minimum number of curricular textbooks, students nationwide suffer pronounced gaps in their budgets during each school year. Although they clearly realize that they are being ripped off, most students continue to spend exaggerated sums of money on new college textbooks available for purchase in college campus bookstores; others look for cheaper alternatives in used bookstores or on the Internet, while some decide to borrow their needed textbooks from colleagues.

According to a recent study conducted by CALPIRG – the California Public Interest Research Group in 59 superior educational facilities across the country, college textbook prices have increased at four times the rate of inflation over the last few years. As very few parties are currently trying to find efficient solutions to the problem, the phenomenon continues to grow and is expected to become even more acute in the near future. Considering the fact that the average cost of college textbooks is estimated at 0 a year per student, study materials substantially add to the already high cost of a higher education.

The high costs of today’s college textbooks represent a problem with many different aspects. The primary reason why college textbook prices have rocketed over the last few years is poor competition on the market. As long as college bookstores continue to hold the monopoly over the specialized market, the costs of new college textbooks are expected to grow further. Although at present there are many competitive resources that offer both new and used textbooks for more affordable prices than those established by campus bookstores, they currently cover a small segment of the market and don’t pose a serious threat to college campus bookstores.

The unaffordable prices of most curricular college textbooks are primarily the consequence of frequent and often unneeded updates and reviews, but also high production costs, according to textbook publishers. Thus, an effective solution to the problem would be to completely eliminate the costs of ink and paper by replacing traditional college textbooks with electronic study materials. In electronic format, the college textbooks of tomorrow will not only be substantially cheaper, but will also include interactive content, thus stimulating students’ imagination and raising their interest for learning.

Digital college textbooks are expected to offer major educational advantages, as they will comprise many different tools into a single volume. Unlike traditional textbooks, such study materials will introduce videos, simulations and various interactive games which will help students better understand the topics discussed in class. The next generation of e-books will open new educational perspectives, creating a new, innovative model for teaching. By corroborating affordability with great educational value, the electronic college textbooks of tomorrow will open many new horizons for students in superior educational facilities worldwide.

About the Author: So if you want to find out more about textbooks and especially about college textbooks, follow these links, you will also find information for the Dutch versions - studieboeken.

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