A total of 32 instructors completed the survey about textbooks, providing us with invaluable information on the instructor viewpoint on textbooks and their use in PACE classes. Thank you to everyone who participated. The responses give us an opportunity to look at what we can do better collectively, and to share some information so that we are on a common understanding.
There was a scattering of responses about the question on whether or not textbooks are mandatory, indicating a shortcoming on our part about sharing that information. With the exception of articulated courses, textbooks are optional. Articulated courses, such as Business Fundamentals, require a textbook for the course, however outside of those courses, instructors can choose to have a textbook as required, as optional, or not at all. (If you’d like to see the full list of articulated courses, click here: http://pace.uwinnipegcourses.ca/pathways-uw-degrees )
When listing a textbook as required, PACE is expecting that 75 to 100% of the textbook will be used in the course. This is to avoid students purchasing a textbook and then not making use of it. The majority of the survey respondents indicated that they are using 75% or more of the book. Most are using the text book as reference material for the course, followed by pre-reading, and then for in class exercises. Making regular and frequent use of the textbook is important to us, as it validates the students’ expense.
A small majority of respondents feel that 75% or more of the students are buying textbooks. To help achieve that, ideas include verbal reminders in class, including talking about the benefits of the textbook, reminding students of different purchasing options (new, used, rental, e-versions), and doing in class exercises that require students to have the textbook.
For our part, PACE will continue to work with students on the messaging of the importance of purchasing textbooks. As instructors, it’s important to plan how to include the textbook in a meaningful way so that the student learning experience benefits from having the textbook. If you experience frustration about students not purchasing textbooks, reach out to your program manager for a discussion so that we are aware of the issue as it happens and can look at the issues and address them.