In an advanced University of Cincinnati class, associate professor of psychology Charles Ginn
assigned a take-home midterm.
Two questions on the test asked students to relate the material they studied to their lives.
The third question was objective.
In PowerPoints, Ginn
clearly covered what they needed to know to answer the question.
told them what page they needed to study in the textbook.
But 30 percent of the students gave the same wrong answer that had nothing to do with the coursework.
asked the class what happened.
A student cautiously raised his
"I googled," he
They copied and pasted an answer without reading it because they couldn't afford expensive textbooks.
As a result, they got an "F" on the midterm.
started thinking about textbooks.
At the University of Cincinnati, Ginn is leading a team this fall that's searching for more cost-effective textbooks for "Introduction to Psychology" courses.
would like to see that number drop to $50 or less.
envisions professors customizing eTexts with their content.
envisions students printing eTexts from a kiosk in the campus bookstore.
That way, if some students prefer reading a chapter or the full text on paper, they can do so in either black and white or color.
"The idea is not to force everybody into eBooks," Ginn
Before the psychology midterm incident, Ginn
hadn't considered the cost of books when he
By changing the way professors adopt "Introduction to Psychology" textbooks, Ginn's
team plans to negotiate agreements that benefit students, the university and publishers.
And they'll decide which books to choose based on feedback from everyone who's affected by or interested in the decision.
"If there's a reason why it doesn't work, then I want to know before we adopt and not after," Ginn