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2018 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey: Results and Findings
Donaldson, Robin · Opper, John · Shen, E.

Published8 February 2019
PeriodicalPages 1-35
PublisherFlorida Virtual Campus, Office of Distance Learning & Student Services
CountryUnited States, North America

During March and April 2018, more than 21,000 students participated in a Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey conducted by the Florida Virtual Campus’s (FLVC) Office of Distance Learning and Student Services. The survey examined textbook affordability and acquisition at Florida’s public higher education institutions. Previous surveys were conducted in 2010, 2012, and 2016. In this survey, students were asked
to use their recent personal experiences to provide insight on how the cost of textbooks and course materials impact their education, purchasing behaviors, academic completion and success, the study aids they find most beneficial to their learning, and their use of financial aid to address these costs.

The purpose of the 2018 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey was to identify:
-The amount of money that Florida's public College and University students spent on textbooks and course materials during the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters;
-The frequency with which students buy textbooks that are not used;
-How students are affected by the cost of textbooks;
-Which study aids students perceive to be the most beneficial to their learning;
-Changes in student responses from previous surveys.

All of Florida’s higher education institutions participated in the study. The Florida College System (FCS) sent requests for participation and reminder emails to college Chief Academic Officers. The Board of Governor’s (BOG) sent requests to university Provosts to solicit participation. The requests for participation contained a link to the questionnaire, purpose, and request that the questionnaire be administered between March 1st, 2018, and April 30th, 2018. Institutions were asked to use their campus communication avenues to direct students to participate in a short survey.

The questionnaire included 14 multiple–choice, multiple–select, and constructed response items drawn from the 2016 cost related questions as well as additional response items that reflected the current legislative status and concerns in Florida. The goals, research questions, and questionnaire items were developed in consultation with the Board of Governors (BOG) of the State University System of Florida and the Florida College System (FCS). The estimated time to complete the questionnaire was 10 minutes.

The first few items addressed basic demographics (e.g., degree, institution, area of study). The remainder of the questionnaire addressed money spent on texts, textbook use, academic impact of textbook costs, and perceived value of different study aids.

This report is intended to assist FLVC, the Florida Legislature, and higher education institutions in better understanding the significant impact that high textbook and course materials costs have on the state’s public college and university students. It is also intended to support the development of recommendations, best practices, and legislative changes that result in an effective, statewide approach to textbook and course materials affordability.

Keywords student survey · textbooks · Florida

Published atFlorida
RightsCC BY
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