Friday, April 10, 2009

Combatting the Cost of Texts

In response to current economic spasms, Dr. Otero has asked that all UHP instructors try to keep the cost of books down to $50 per course or less. This means that we will be relying more on other ways to access texts, including E-Reserves and hardcopies of course readers which can be purchased through the UHP office. Jenny has also suggested that we might even provide course readers on disk, which would be cheaper than paper versions. (Incidentally, the UHP does not profit from these readers—you are charged only what it costs to produce them.) In the case of E-Reserve documents, students need not even pay directly for printing out the readings if they use the main university computer pods. (Of course, in this case, your student fees help defray the cost of paper and ink, so technically, this isn’t entirely free.)

My question, then, is this: given a choice, would you prefer E-Reserves, hardcopies of readers, or copies of readers provided on disk? So far in my two classes, students have overwhelmingly voiced a preference for E-Reserves, but some are interested in the disk option. Let us know what you think by commenting here; your preferences will definitely influence the choices many of us make about how we help you access texts for classes.

1 comment:

Jynne said...

I like the idea of discs because they would be a lot cheaper. I could scan/pdf the texts, load them on discs which we could sell for a couple of bucks from the office to recoup the costs. This saves us a lot of clams on toner and paper. Discs come in huge spindels and are a lot cheaper to buy in bulk. Furthermore, students would have future access to those readings (unlike e-reserves which get erased eventually or printed booklets which might get pitched in the rubbish heap--or we hope the recycling bin).
Of course if we were an affluent department we would provide all of this and more to our students for free.