FlatWorld Survey Highlights Professors’ Price Sensitivity When Evaluating College Textbooks
Cost is a significant factor for professors selecting course textbooks, according to responses from professors who use FlatWorld textbooks at U.S.-based universities
BOSTON, June 25, 2018 — FlatWorld, a publisher of the most affordable high-quality college learning materials, today released results from a survey of professors who have adopted FlatWorld learning materials about their criteria for evaluating college textbooks.
FlatWorld received responses from 139 professors across more than a dozen academic fields. Approximately 70% of the respondents were from four-year colleges, and 30% from two-year colleges.
The results shed light on a variety of criteria that professors use to evaluate textbooks, concerns about open education resources, and a continued demand for print in an increasingly digital world. Key findings included:
- Cost is the most-cited consideration for adopting new textbooks: When asked about what professors consider when reviewing a new textbook, “cost to students” was ranked highest (91.2%), followed by “core textbook content” (73.2%), “test items to supplement quizzes and test” (65.0%), “electronic availability” (60.8%), “instructor manuals” (61.2%), and “PowerPoint lecture notes” (52.6%).
- Print is still a valuable resource: 77.7% of respondents reported they prefer to evaluate the print version of the book they are considering for adoption.
- Professors’ primary OER concern is quality of material: 58.4% of respondents had used or considered OER materials. Of those, 40.3% of respondents cited “quality of material” as a downside of using OERs, followed by “amount of time required to prepare and maintain” (19.5%) and “lack of supplements” (14.3%).
- Newness is an important adoption criterion: 41.2% of respondents cited “publication date” as a key adoption criterion, with four years the point at which the average respondent felt a publication was old or outdated.
“Professors are keenly aware that the prices of many textbooks on the market today are simply absurd,” said Alastair Adam, co-CEO of FlatWorld. “They want to use high quality textbooks, but also realize that assigning a textbook with an exorbitant price tag will result in much of their class searching for outdated editions, or simply not buying the textbook. When professors discover FlatWorld, they’re generally thrilled to find that our learning materials are the best of both worlds in terms of quality and price.”
FlatWorld is a publisher of the most affordable high-quality learning materials, including both digital and print textbooks, and a robust homework platform. FlatWorld publishes more than 135 titles, and the majority of FlatWorld’s textbooks cost between $24.95–$29.95 for digital access. More than 4,000 professors at universities across the U.S. have adopted a FlatWorld textbook. To learn more, visit www.flatworld.com.