By: Megan Montgomery
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) — The times of technology are advancing and so are the prices of online websites used in the classroom. In addition to the price of textbooks, students are now asked to buy online access codes for some classes in order to do homework and other activities.
The biggest problem facing students is the hefty price of an access code in addition to a textbook. Forty-two percent of students in a class requiring online access are asked to purchase a textbook as well, according to a survey recently conducted.
One professor at UTC says that she was unaware of the initial price of the online access code when it was first required for her students. She has seen more effective learning with the additional practice outside of the classroom and considers the online work a necessity.
Sophomore Alexis Scott says she likes online work because it shows you the correct answer right away, unlike having to wait on a test to see what you need to work on.
Freshman, Jenna Stewart uses a website to complete work for her Spanish class. She says, “The answers are really obscure and way too specific so I end up missing the questions.”
Stewart doesn’t believe the material is worth her money because she learns more from the lecture and the book.
This isn’t a problem faced only by students at UTC. University of Maine student Luke Thomas took to the internet when he and his fiance at the time were both forced to buy a $150 bundle for an English class. They attempted to share a book and access code, but the code, which could only be purchased in addition to the textbook, was essential to participation in the class discussion.
The situation presented by textbook providers is that access codes are very rarely offered separately from a textbook, forcing students to spend the extra buck. This process makes the value of textbooks near to nothing because bookstores are unwilling to buy back a book that can only be sold with an access code.
This extra investment in online access only lasts a limited amount of time. In the survey conducted, only six percent of students have been able to use an access code for longer than two semesters.
College is stressful time without extensive financial burdens. One student suggests that online access only be mandatory if it is used extensively in the classroom not just for additional exercises. Another student suggests that the purchase of students’ online access be included in the technology fee of tuition.
Online codes and website access are a fairly new concept in the classroom. One way to help prepare for the price is to make sure you are getting a good deal on the other textbooks you purchase.
One blogger took the time to analyze the prices of the average price of textbooks at leading bookstores and compare their prices as well as include tips on how to buy smart on ExtraBux.com.
For more information about buying textbooks cheaper and more efficiently, check out some other students’ research:
1. “UTC student are going broke due to textbook prices” by Taylor Ellis
2. “How Do Teachers Choose Textbooks: A Guide for UTC Students” by Rose Street
3. “Bookstore Buybacks: Things You Need To Know About The UTC Bookstore” by Arielle Henson
4. “Students pay for textbooks they don’t use” by Kami Rowe