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Students Have Greater Access to Textbook Information - Because textbooks add to the overall cost of college, Congress put requirements in the Higher Education Opportunity Act that included publisher and school disclosures. While publishers have disclosed textbook information such as price and format options, GAO interviews revealed these disclosures made little difference to faculty who said they prioritize appropriate materials over pricing though they were aware of the textbook affordability issue. From GAO's sample, 81% of schools provided students with textbook information online. (GAO, June 2013)...

Out of Print: Reimagining the K-12 Textbook in a Digital Age - This paper highlights the sea change underway in the multi-billion dollar U.S. K-12 instructional materials market enabled by recent technology and intellectual property rights innovations. With a focus on the ultimate impact on student learning, the report provides examples of lessons learned from recent digital and open (OER) content initiatives by leading states and school districts and offers comprehensive recommendations for government, industry, and educators to ensure that the inevitable shift to digital instructional materials improves student achievement and engagement and efficiently uses scarce resources. (SETDA, September 2012)...

Choosing Blindly: Instructional Materials, Teacher Effectiveness and the Common Core - A new report from the Brookings Institution focuses on instruction materials, which, evidence shows, have large effects on student learning. The authors argue that states, with support from the federal government and philanthropic organizations, should collect systematic information on which materials are being used in which schools. (Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings, April 2012)...

Digital Textbook Playbook - The Digital Textbook Playbook is a guide to help K-12 educators and administrators advance the conversation toward building a rich digital learning experience. This Playbook offers information about determining broadband infrastructure for schools and classrooms, leveraging home and community broadband to extend the digital learning environment, and understanding necessary device considerations. It also provides lessons learned from school districts that engaged in successful transitions to digital learning. (Digital Textbook Collaborative, 2012)...

Virtual Textbook of Organic Chemistry - This online resource provides teachers and students with a comprehensive organic chemistry textbook covering the usual topics treated in a college sophomore-level course. (Michigan State University, 2012)...

Survey of College Instructors Regarding the Use of Supplemental Materials in the Classroom - College-level instructors are increasingly turning to supplemental materials, including both print and online materials, as concerns about the preparedness and engagement of their students grows. This survey of 502 college professors finds a seven-point jump in the percentage of college-level instructors that require supplemental materials in their classrooms in just two years’ time. This comes at the same time that 55% of professors worry that the latest incoming freshmen are unprepared for the rigors of college education, with a large plurality holding the belief that freshmen today are less-prepared than those just four years ago. (Rebecca Wittman and Christian Peck, Association of American Publishers, September 2006) ...

College Textbooks: Enhanced Offerings Appear To Drive Recent Price Increases - This report examines: (1) what has been the change in textbook prices; (2) what factors have contributed to changes in textbook prices; and (3) what factors explain why a given U.S. textbook may retail outside the United States for a different price. The report finds that: (1) in the last two decades, college textbook prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation but have followed closely behind tuition increases; (2) while many factors affect textbook prices, the increasing costs associated with developing products designed to accompany textbooks best explains price increases in recent years; and (3) U.S. college textbook prices may exceed prices in other countries because prices reflect market conditions found in each country. (U.S. Government Accountability Office, July 2005)...


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