On the Pros and Cons of Being a Faculty Member at E-Text University

Jenny S. Bossaller and Jenna Kammer


Professors are under intense pressure to write more papers and teach more students. Several large publishing companies offer e-texts that offer time-saving solutions to instructors. Such e-texts might include not only text but also interactive learning activities, videos, and simulations. Furthermore, they are often integrated into the learning management system (LMS) and include self-grading quizzes that feed directly into the LMS’s gradebook. Such solutions might be particularly attractive to administrators because they offer a way to teach more students (possibly using adjuncts) for less money, particularly if the university enters into a cost-saving relationship with a particular company. This essay discusses such e-texts in terms of academic freedom, using excerpts from conversations with instructors who have used various e-texts in their classes. These instructors often take a pragmatic approach to the materials but fear losing control of what and how they teach.

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