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DDs math class instructor last quarter didn't have online work--he used the textbook, although he referred to some online instructional videos of his. I think he was very old school...he also worked his students hard but DD loved his style and his class. This quarter (different instructors) most all of DDs work is online. I'm concerned that all the screen time is stressing her out a bit. She doesn't have ADD/ADHD or any issues like that. I just think it's overstimulating and unhealthy in general for everyone (though some manage it better than others, I suppose).  I understand that things are vastly different today than when I went to school, but is that what all/most classes are like? Are real textbooks becoming a thing of the past in college and all the work/reading now online? 

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IMHO, yes. You can still get paper textbooks but all of dd's problem sets have been online because they can be checked automatically. I buy the three hole punched textbook bundled with the online access code for dd when I can.

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My DS has done a lot of dual enrollment, and most of the homework has been online (he's taken primarily science and math classes, which lend themselves easily to online problem sets). We love paper books, so tend to get the cheapest paper versions (lots of his texts come as hole-punched loose leaf bundles). We pull out a few chapters at a time and throw them in a binder. It makes his backpack lighter to only juggle a few chapters at a time, and we've found that format to be convenient. 

Turning in the online problem sets has been easier for us than managing lots of paper, but most assignments have the option of printing out the problems. A student who can't stand staring at the screen could work primarily on paper and then type up answers when done. Lots of these homework management systems give two or three tries on a given problem, and his Webassign for calculus even linked directly into the corresponding section of the textbook online, so a student could review the exact material covered in the problem.

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Ds goes to a small LAC.  His work is not online. He buys textbooks/other books and takes paper exams. He even prints out his papers to hand-in. ( of course, his graphic art classes used computers, but they had paper books, too.)

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DS has had actual, physical books for all but 2 classes (journal articles and other readings were posted online for those 2). Even the online or "hybrid" classes he's taken, where the lectures themselves were online, have had actual books assigned, although I think there were e-versions of the texts for students who preferred that (DS just bought the physical textbooks). However, all but one of the classes did require submitting assignments online, and I think most quizzes were online as well. He's only had one class, taught by an older professor, that handed out paper assignments which were expected to be turned in at the next class, and all exams/quizzes were done with pencil & paper in class. 

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This is school-dependent, but yes, many colleges are going to online texts, online homework submissions, etc. Kids usually prefer them, publishers get more money (online codes can't be resold), and teachers of large sections can assign homework which is checked by the computer.

DD's language classes are mixed - one uses etexts/online homework, two are paper-and-pencil. But, one language is online homework for the first three semester's -- she just tested into a higher level class. This semester, he physics & Calc are etext/online submittal. She has a physical version of the Calc text but chose to stick with the etext for physics.

We asked about this at every college we toured. All DD's top picks were using etexts/online homework submission, unfortunately.

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Seems like my kids DE and university experience is mixed.  Depends on the prof and the class.  A lot of career paths are dependent on online competency these days so I don't have a problem with college ready students being required to operate that way.  It's also saved us a fair amount of money in textbooks, though we do buy one if my son wants one.

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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IMO the best things about traditional textbooks are being away from the computer display and being able to hold a real book in your hands and read it as in years past. DD began using eBooks for Math during High School. Those were, I believe, the first courses they converted. This week the Spring 2020 semester began and she is taking Calculus. The package of the Access Code and the eBook is $99.80 plus tax.  From threads here on WTM in recent years, I believe that many schools charge that much, or more, just for an Access Code. The real issue to me when reading those threads on WTM, was that many times the Access Code was not used.  The information on the UNC Bookstore web site for the Calc course DD is taking was NOT to buy it, until attending the first session of the course and the Instructor would explain/suggest what to buy or not to buy and why.  We have seen (and purchased or rented) eBooks that were so much less expensive than regular hold in your hand textbooks that there was no possibility we were going to buy the actual textbook and DD used the eBook. And, eBooks don't add weight to the Backpack a student is lugging around the campus, with their laptop and other stuff in it. On one occasion, last semester, Psychology course, DD had both the eBook and the regular textbook, because the regular textbook came in late and I suggested that she go to the UNC Bookstore and buy or rent the eBook.  That, IMO, is ideal, if one can do it, because both formats have their advantages and disadvantages.  

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IMHO, yes. Even courses which I would consider traditional 'reading' courses such as history or literature are starting to include more and more online reading. I am also sad about this for a number of reasons; however, because of this we often do not need to buy any textbooks at all. We also don't need access codes for these classes. Obviously, this can reduce cost greatly (the only positive about this I can see).

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Yep.  I think all of my dd's classes have an ebook option.  Since we know my dd prefers paper textbooks and learns better with them, we generally buy the paper version, but that often includes the ebook version as well.  And yes, most of her assignments are submitted online.  All the kids carry laptops to class and in their backpacks.  Every class.  The teachers have quizzes and such that they have to be able to access that way.  It's a computerized world, at least at her university.

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Yes, my son has a choice of online or "hybrid" classes for his major classes. Which sucks because he learns better in person. There's talk of changing his major and spending an extra year in school for more in-person classes. Even his in-person classes have all their assignments/tests online. He is in a technology based field but I wish it was in an actual class room. I feel he's being robbed of his college experience. Now for Books he's still a DE student so he gets the cheapest book allowed. Some times it's print and some times it's online

Edited by Miguelsmom
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We are in our first year of DE, and most classes need the online codes and the textbooks are optional.  This semester she has 4 classes-  with 4 places online to do work.  My MathLab, Globalyceum, Cengage,  and the Chemistry class is no textbook, but printable handouts and video links in BlackBoard.  My DD has gotten out the high school textbooks for the courses, to use as references.   I may buy the Psychology textbook if I can find it cheap, bc she does prefer textbooks.  It seems the teachers prefer to just do everything within the websites.

  

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I've seen a mix. In the class I TA for, they take online quizzes set up in Canvas (like Blackboard) and there is an ebook text option. 

Other humanities courses I've seen use Canvas for posting readings, but generally aren't strictly from a textbook, but either sections of books or articles. Most history professors I know don't use textbooks beyond survey level courses. They may used focused readers, like primary source readers from Bedford St. Martin or use Canvas to post their own selection of primary sources. 

The challenge I've seen with textbooks is that if you don't assign some sort of weekly assignment from the book, the students neglect the readings. 

 

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Online texts are a way to make things significantly cheaper for students, but it is still possible to get paper copies of textbooks. get an older edition as a reading copy and only do the online hw.

With the push for making education more affordable, many instructors use online grading systems because it cuts down on manpower for grading. Not all courses do; in our intro courses, we found a way to make student accountable for the homework without using an automated homework system. But you can still work out the problems on paper and only input the answers.

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Personally, as a mature student going back to university, I really appreciated the on-line text as I could adjust the font size, I didn't have to bend my head/neck down so my posture was better, and reading on-line is not the same as playing computer games in its negative effect. I also loved the price! 

I read traditional paperback novels, journals, etc. daily, and while I like the feel of the paper, there are some issues. I need my reading glasses or I'll strain my eyes, and I have to hold the book at a good angle so my neck doesn't get sore.

My dc in university seem to have a combination of both on-line resources and option of buying textbooks. The mix and choice is a plus, I think.

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My DD's college is pretty heavily onboard with Pearson, but we've had good luck using Rate My Professor to find the "dinosaurs" who still teach more actively. Her one last term would print out the problem sets and make the kids do them on paper and turn them in :). I usually get the print/online bundle-it is a LOT easier for DD to use the online text on a tablet when she is not at home, but to use the print book, which she prefers, at home. (As a homeschooler, she is used to being Able to mark in books, so she likes print for that reason)

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