College Students Prefer Print Over Digital Textbooks

Posted by at 9:39 pm on May 31, 2010

Even with new digital handheld gadgets, smart phones, pads, and laptops glued to every college student’s hand, 74% still prefer to use a printed textbook when taking a class, according to the findings of a new Student Watch study conducted by OnCampus Research, a division of the National Association of College Stores (NACS) that helps companies better understand the college market.

The survey also found that 53% of students were unsure about purchasing digital textbooks or would not consider buying them even if they were available.

“The findings of the report are not surprising,” says OnCampus Research Manager Laura Cozart. “Every new innovation takes time before the mainstream population embraces it.”

Currently, of the NACS member stores that offer digital content, e-books comprise only 2-3% of course material sales. However, Cozart noted predictions that digital could make up 10-15% of textbook sales by 2012, given content is made more interactive and faculty become more comfortable using it.

The survey, sponsored and published by the National Association of College Stores Foundation, was conducted this past fall at 19 campuses nationwide

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