Barriers To e-Texts Usage And What Prevents Mass Customization Of Texts And Teaching Materials / Human Systems Management / June 2009 / 28(3): 123-130 / Ihssan Alkadi and Jason Matthew Johnson
In 2005, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) delivered a report to Congress on the landscape of higher education. The study answered several questions, among which were: how has the cost of college changed over recent years and what factors have contributed to those changes. The GAO found that textbook prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation for the past two decades. In an attempt to expound on the findings in the study and to explore the potential impact an expanded utilization of e-textbooks on the cost of a college education, this paper will examine the current and future use of e-textbooks in addressing the ever increasing costs of a college education.
In recent history, we have seen technology representan increasing percentage of the core competencies of many industries. Though the textbook industry has been resistant to change, it is undeniable that an electronicbook with a plausible and viable electronic distribution scheme is better than a physical book for several applications; however, physical textbooks offer far too many advantages to be deemed unnecessary. This necessity for both forms of media is why I feel that inevitable changes in the industry are less important than how those changes are implemented. This integrated model represents one way that a fairly large change can be made in the current textbook industry with a minimal amount of friction as we approach our digital destiny.