According to a Huffington Post article published in January 2013, students will spend about $650 on textbooks each year; this doesn’t count the cost of additional supplies students are either required or encouraged to purchase. A year later, the Huffington Post published another article stating that students don’t necessarily even purchase textbooks due to the high costs.
Here is how I choose a book for my Introduction to Oral Communication course. These are listed in the order of importance I rank things, from greatest to least.
- Content. The book students buy must serve a purpose and help scholars learn the key concepts of the course
- Reading. Reviewing the same sections in a variety of books, I looking at how texts appeal to a variety of reading abilities and learning styles
- Price. Starting with the publisher’s suggested retail price, I search for ways to reduce the price (different binding, formats, or reducing unnecessary content, etc.)
- Extras. If the text offers online access, printed study aids or review questions, or other resources to scholars, this is a HUGE benefit!
- Assessment. How this textbook evaluates content knowledge matters to me, and I look for ways to ensure that this evaluation reflects course goals and objectives.
That’s why I chose this edition of Human Communication in Society. By opting for the dual format, you save about $40 off a new text price. Yes, it’s more expensive than buying only the used print edition; however, a student can use the online resources in a variety of ways. (I will be posting about some of the REVEL features in a couple of days.)
A parting thought for you: your exams are largely based on understanding your book’s content. Keep that in mind as you make the decision to purchase and use the book!