18 courses to use e-books only

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COURSESEnglish course selection does not have e-book version.

By Cassandra Rodriguez

crodriguez719@student.alamo.edu

When fall registration begins April 21, students will notice an extra charge on the bill for several core classes.

This charge is the cost of the e-book for the course, as part of an instructional materials strategy, which requires students to pay for textbooks at the time of registration. It was approved at the Jan. 21 board meeting.

Eighteen courses across the district have been selected to be part of the e-book implementation beginning fall 2014.

For ENGL 2322, British Literature, which is on the list, the department has agreed to continue using Norton Anthology, although, e-book won’t be ready until spring 2016.

English Chair Mike Burton said the book has a lot of material, it’s one of the most popular texts for British Literature and this college has been using it for the 30 years he has worked here.

“There is not an e-book for this course,” Burton said, adding that three of the colleges in the district have also selected this text. “It is very difficult to have an e-book for this book because it’s more expensive to clear the copyrights due to piracy risks.”

For three math courses, MATH 1314, College Algebra, MATH 1414, College Algebra, Precal Track, and MATH 1442, Elementary Statistical Methods, math Chair Said Fariabi said the e-book is not a conflict with professors or students.

“Most faculty are using technology anyway,” Fariabi said.

He said faculty have used online learning resources, such as MyMathLab and Connect, for more than five years. “It’s not just an e-book. The technology we are using is a platform students can use to learn,” he said.

Two psychology and one sociology course will required e-books next semester.

Psychology Chair Thomas Billimek said a bigger concern for faculty is the availability of Internet connection for students to access course materials.

He said some professors use the textbook as a base and build on it.

“I’ve had very few students elect for an e-book,” Billimek said, adding that he has no problem with either textbooks or e-books.

Psychology sophomore Charlie Strange said she rented one of her psychology books online for $16 and doesn’t think the district can provide a lower price.

For accounting courses ACCT 2301, Principles of Accounting 1-Financial, and ACCT 2302, Principles of Accounting 2-Managerial, business Professor Larry Rosinbaum said the discipline teams for the five colleges have selected “Financial and Managerial Accounting” because they have been trying to move to a common book across the district.

He said students only have access to the first half of the book when they take ACCT 2301 and access to the second half for ACCT 2302.

“The district can’t charge full price for half of a book,” Rosinbaum said.

He said students prefer the textbook version because they use books a lot in class, and some professors will have to adjust the way they teach if e-books are used.

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