Disadvantages of an Online Textbook
With all of the new technology has come the college e-book. I have been a college student for the last 6 years completing my bachelor degree online and now working toward my master degree. I have experienced the use of print books and e-books. In this instance I do not believe technology has served us well. There are many disadvantages to online college text books.
The biggest disadvantage to online textbooks is the cost. Colleges that use online textbooks do not offer the option of using a print book. They charge a specific amount for e-book usage which in most cases is close to the $100.00 range. Granted purchasing hard copy textbooks are much more expensive than the e-book but many students such as myself, rent the textbooks for a fraction of the cost. In some instances a textbook is under $20.00 for a semester rental. The online e-book would be a great deal if students had the option of renting a hard copy or using the online books. That is not the case however, if the school offers the e-book the student pays the fee for book usage whether he or she rents a hard copy or not.
When you have a hard copy book and need to look up information you simply go to the index to find the page number. It is not that simple with an e-book. With an e-book you can click to search but many times it will not bring up what you are searching for. If you want to find the index you have to scroll through the whole book to find it. Things are not as readily at your fingertips as they are with a hard copy book.
Finding specific pages in an e-book is difficult too. If your assignment calls that you read page 254 you can’t just turn to page 254. The e-book has tabs on the left to click on for finding pages but they usually do not work. If you click on page 254 it might bring up page 139. This is frustrating when you are looking for a specific page.
Most online college textbooks can only be viewed on a computer. This makes it hard to kick back in a chair and read text.
Many students such as myself like to highlight important information as I read. This is not possible with an online e-book. Well it might be but the book is so user unfriendly and stressful that it is not worth taking the time to figure out how to highlight text.
My experience with the online e-book has been nothing but frustrating. By the time I am done looking for the text that I need to read I am so irritated and angry that I cannot even focus on the assignment. The hard copy book is friendlier and easier to read.
Picture by Google.com