Apr 09 2012

E-Textbooks Versus Print Books: Will the Traditional Book Survive?

New CourseSmart study says college students are embracing digital textbooks.

Today's university libraries might be filled with rows of books, but the library of the future will carry more of a digital load and not so much paper weight. A recent survey of 500 college students offers some insight into this trend.

The study, by digital textbook publisher CourseSmart, found that 98 percent of students own a digital device, and 73 percent say they could not study without using some form of technology — yet another a sign that technology now plays a significant role in higher education, as students are not only comfortable with their notebooks, but with the use of e-textbooks as well.

The benefits of digital textbooks are numerous. For starters, e-textbooks are "greener" and more easily updated, unlike their paper counterparts. Respondents outlined other key reasons for using e-textbooks:

  • 52 percent like e-textbooks for their search features. 
  • 48 percent choose e-textbooks for the lower price. 
  • 25 percent like the instant access. 
  • 20 percent like the highlighting features. 
  • 19 percent cite portability. 
  • 6 percent prefer reading in a digital format.

Students even claim they save time during the semester by using e-textbooks:

  • 23 percent save two hours. 
  • 11 percent save three hours. 
  • 17 percent save more than three hours.

Will the trend of e-textbooks continue to rise? 54 percent of students report they may buy an e-textbook next semester, while 38 percent say all their books will be digital — which leaves us asking, what will education look like in years to come?

View the survey results in full via eCampus.com

E-Textbooks Versus Print Books: Will the Traditional Book Survive?


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