Sunday, March 6, 2011

Electronic Books

My research explored Kalamazoo College student’s response to the growing amount of technology in the classroom, specifically their take on using electronic books in place of paper textbooks. From my survey of sixty respondents, I found that the average K college student spends between $170 and $215 on books per quarter, and buys around 4 or 5 books.

On the main topic of my research, I found that eighty percent of the student body prefers textbooks to electronic books. Ninety percent said that this was due to the ease of using textbooks, including things like the ability to write in the pages and ability to read. Sixty-five percent said that the availability of textbooks was what caused their preference. Only a little over six percent of the respondents said that they preferred to use electronic books to anything else. Although only about twenty-seven percent of those surveyed had ever bought an electronic book of any kind. In terms of policy, over half of the surveyed indicated that they agreed or strongly agreed with the idea that teachers should try to choose textbooks that are available in both electronic and paper forms.

In comparison to the rest of the nation, Kalamazoo College students feel very much the same as other students. A broader survey, done in 2010, reported that seventy-five percent of students preferred paper textbooks to electronic books. It seems as though this new technology has not caught on with the college community yet, and may not for many years. There was no statistical difference between the opinions of freshmen and seniors on their preference to textbooks or e-books. This study brings about evidence that should encourage electronic book companies to make some changes to their technology and marketing if they want to gain the approval of the collegiate community.

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