Undergraduate student perceptions of a free textbook alternative

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Institute for Business & Finance Reserach
Course content for business students should be relevant, accessible and affordable. Business and library faculty collaborated to provide undergraduate students enrolled in three sections of Introduction to Marketing with a free online content option. This option included embedded links for all course key terms and concept strategically placed in a Blackboard course site. The 87 enrolled students earned extra credit by participating in 10 surveys throughout the semester. Using content format (traditional textbook, e-book only or combination of both) as an independent variable, authors measured student perception of content quality and convenience. Findings indicate that students who used the embedded ebook links prefer this option to traditional textbooks for relevancy, accessibility and affordability. This paper discusses findings and proposes a model that promotes business and library faculty collaboration, the harnessing of existing electronic library resources and distribution of those resources to students in face-to-face, hybrid and online course environments. Recommendations for application of this model to other courses and disciplines are also discussed.
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