By Brad Whitehouse
Associate News Editor
At the Ted Rogers School of Management, more and more textbooks are becoming available online. But despite the advantages of going cyber, many students say they won’t be ditching their old-fashioned books and highlighters anytime soon.
“We thought that students were more tech savvy, but interestingly enough most students are printing them out,” said Ida Berger, a marketing professor at Ryerson University.
When the faculty revamped the marketing program last year, one of the changes they made was to offer the books exclusively online. But many students are resisting the transition.
“I hate everything about online,” said Shanelle Persaud, a first-year retail management student. “I don’t like reading on a computer. I can’t focus. I can’t highlight key passages.”
For Persaud, the only upside is the price. At $75, the online material is over a hundred dollars cheaper than some of the softcovers she had to buy. Her statistics textbook cost her over $200.
“For a business textbook, it’s a bargain,” she said. But for students who print out the materials, there’s an added cost. “It’s another ten cents per page and God knows how many pages it is,” said Jasmine Gale, a second-year undeclared arts student minoring in business marketing.
She said she also had problems paying for the resources online because it required a PayPal account and a credit card. Other students don’t like the idea of paying for web material whatsoever.
Berger said that she’s had complaints from students who think the online resources should be included in the cost of student fees.
“Students seem to be not clear that this is equivalent to a textbook,” Berger said.
Stephanie Oliveira, a third-year business management student, had the option of buying one of her course books online or in print for the same price. She said she chose the print copy because she can read it anywhere. She doesn’t need internet access, and there’s no batteries required.
“If you’re on the bus going home, you can have the book to read,” she said.
But Berger said students aren’t taking advantage of all of the extra features that online resources offer. She said online materials are more current and flexible. The newest information for her course was added after Labour Day and can be changed year to year. There’s no worry of dating the book, because the material can be easily changed over time. Students can also use the computer to search the online materials for key terms. “
Try doing that in your textbook,” Berger said.
Photo: Marta Iwanek