Textbook policy needs review before implementation

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By Katherine Garcia

kgarcia203@alamo.edu 

Although the proposal to enforce one textbook per course at all the Alamo Colleges has been approved, it will take some time for the policy to take effect.

A committee of two faculty members from each of the Alamo Colleges will evaluate texts.

Business Professor Larry Rosinbaum and math chair Said Fariabi have been chosen as this college’s representatives.

The standard for selection is which texts produce the most successful students.

“We’re still trying to figure out what that (success) means,” said Mike Burton, English and reading chair.

He said success should not be evaluated by how many students get an A, B or C because it “doesn’t really say anything about the quality of education they’re getting.”

He said the current classes among the five colleges will be studied to determine which is the most effective.

For example, each English class across the district would be evaluated to determine which pedagogy — or a method of teaching — and textbook are the best.

Upon registering, students must pay for the instructional materials with tuition and fees.

Faculty members may use other source materials as long as students can access them for free.

The manager of this college’s bookstore in the basement level of Loftin Student Center is not expecting a great change.

“I don’t think it’ll have that much of an effect,” Melvin Johnson said. “We’ll do whatever the district wants us to do.”

He knew the district was considering switching to ebooks, but he did not know if his regional manager  in Dallas was contacted about the proposal and did not wish to release his number.

“I’ll cut down on inventory, but we’ll get books,” he said.

Chancellor Bruce Leslie said this college’s bookstore has a contract with eFollett.com, a company that provides books for a network of bookstores across the country, and the books could be printed out on campus for a minimum of $15.

“You can’t monopolize it,” said John Njam, L&M bookstore manager. “Students have the right to go wherever they want.”

For now, most titles are available with an ebook if students request them.

A pilot of ebooks only with the option to print out the text was tested at St. Philip’s College, Leslie said. “As far as what I was told was that none of the students printed it, that they were satisfied to have it electronically.”

Leslie said that in the event that a textbook without an ebook equivalent is chosen, students could get the book from this college’s bookstore.

“We’re moving away from textbooks,” Leslie said.

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