Chandri MacLeod (chandri) wrote,
Chandri MacLeod
chandri

"Textbooks are a racket!” --my Library Culture prof, every semester

I went to a meeting this morning - representing our department at a presentation a textbook publisher was making to the bookstore - that filled me with conflicted feelings, i.e. “us v.s. students” and  “textbook publishers are the devil.” Most of them re: textbook publishers and the way they’re slowly taking over teaching duties in some disciplines. 

A number of our Business instructors take their entire syllabus (reading list, assignments and exams) straight from the publisher-designed course package, unchanged, slap it into an online course shell, and call it done. They don’t create any new content themselves; just teach the text, word for word. I always hated that when I was a student; I felt cheated, because from my POV, I wasn’t just paying for the textbook or their notes, but for the instructor’s time.

I am all for more online content: for digital alternatives to overpriced physical texts, for more seamless integration of textbook material into online courses, for course design and interface design that better facilitates mobile learning (*coughD2Lstilldoesn’thaveafuckingappcough*), but there is a “too far,” and I remain unconvinced that students learn very well or fully when everything is just about satisfying the specific formula from the publisher. Criticism? Discussion? Synthesis? Not to mention it makes cheating that much easier (BUSM has the highest levels of cheating of any department at our college). 

Idk. Makes me uncomfortable that we charge them as much tuition as we do for what sometimes is basically a discounted access code to a pre-made course with little instructor interaction.

But hey, the publisher rep brought muffins.

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