Would you rather take a core course in your major that uses a publisher's textbook or one that uses a course pack (i.e. text is written by prof and/or collated from other sources) at a reduced price?
The cost of education ...
I think it's unconscionable that the choice must be made.
I prefer a course that utilizes both, actually.
Yes, that's the best of both worlds but doesn't help reduce the cost of education.
Depends on the subject.
Agree, but that's why I said core course in major (as opposed to a elective seminar course or a gen Ed course). Say it's an import course for your field.
Textbooks often cover a lot of related material never specifically covered by the course. Like getting a bonus education at no extra charge. Way better.
Agreed. Some people complain that textbooks have too much information but I always liked having as much info for my buck. I also like the graphics.
My experience is that the textbooks are better.
Agreed. Some books are terrible, but most have gone through a good deal of editing and are packed with information and nice graphics. Course packs can sometimes seem like they were thrown together in a rush.
Text books are ridiculously priced. The schools and publishers make out like bandits. Particularly when they revise it; often making the previous version pretty worthless.
Schools only make money if students buy through the bookstore and a good chunk goes to the book distributor which is the middleman between publishers and schools.
I agree publisher prices are ridiculous but part of the issue is that it's so easy now for students to find used textbooks or skip the book and try to get by with internet searches, so they need to raise prices on those that buy the book.It's a mess.
I've never seen, had any experience with, or even heard of a course pack prior to this question, so I chose textbook.
It's not very common. So profs do it to cut down on costs to students and tailor the course to what they teach. It's great in theory, but some profs are better teachers than writers :)
Coursepack, but I've had a few that were unfairly priced.
My issue with courspacks is that it very much depends on the prof. Some are good but some not so good. It's a crapshoot. Textbooks can be bad too, but I've liked most of mine. Just not liking the price.
My experience may be atypical, but I've found that a professor who designs the content is more engaged/interested in teaching. However, when it's a school-specific text, I have been disappointed.
When I was an undergrad some profs got busted for getting kickbacks from the company making some of the course packs.
Yep, there's been a few profs busted for doing that. (Or maybe I just keep hearing different stories about the same prof).