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FACULTY WATCH
Highlights from Faculty Watch Attitudes & Behaviors toward
Course Materials 2016-17 Report

Most faculty assign a required textbook/course material

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Some faculty don’t require a textbook

While the majority of faculty required at least one course material, 24% indicated that they did not require course materials for at least one of their courses. Sixty-two percent cited that students could get by with other materials and 25% felt the materials were not worth the expense.

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Majority choose the materials assigned, but some do not

Eighty percent of faculty indicated they select the course materials they assign, and 29% report using a standard set of required course materials that were selected by a campus or departmental committee/designee or at the district, system, or state level.

 

Quality is the most important factor when choosing course materials; cost a close second

Overall content quality and cost are considered important by an almost equal percentage of instructors when selecting course materials. However, 52% of faculty selected content quality as the most influential factor compared to only 12% who selected cost.

 

Many do not understand their role in textbook affordability and don’t view it as a priority.

While in most instances, faculty are selecting the materials students are asked to buy, 55% of faculty report being unsure about the role they play in textbook affordability and more than 40% of faculty do not view textbook affordability as a priority for their institution, themselves or the campus store. 

 

Faculty are slow to shift to digital: majority prefer print

When asked about their format preferences, 50% of faculty say they prefer a print textbook while 20% prefer using print with additional digital components. Only 7% of faculty stated they prefer using a digital format while teaching.

 

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Faculty mainly unfamiliar with open educational resources

Despite the buzz surrounding open educational resources (OER), many faculty still lack knowledge about these materials. Overall, 48% of instructors are not aware of or have only heard about OER, while 34% are aware of OER and how they can be used.

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