College Students’ Usage of and Preferences for Print and Electronic Textbooks
Keywords:Electronic textbooks, print textbooks, college students, textbook prefer-ence, Bahrain Teachers’ College
Although print textbooks have been central for schooling for more than two centuries, electronic textbooks (e-textbooks) are steadily growing in popu-larity among students at all levels of education. This sharp growth has esca-lated the need for further research to enable a better understanding of the changing patterns of students’ usage of print and electronic media. The study explores college students’ usage of and preference for print and elec-tronic textbooks in Bahrain Teachers’ College, in Bahrain. The sample of the study consisted of 271 undergraduate students selected from courses that utilized both formats of textbook as clearly indicated in their syllabi. De-scriptive analyses were used to analyze data collected. Results indicate that regardless of textbook format, the highest percentage of students use their textbooks only when their instructors require them to do so. For print text-books, results show that the highest percentage of students spend between 1 to 3 hours a week on reading. However, for e-textbooks, the highest per-centage of students spend only less than 1 hour per week on reading. An in-teresting finding for this study is that compared to print textbooks, e-textbooks gain a higher percentage of students’ usage when it comes to spending higher numbers of hours of reading per week. The study affirms that students are in general positive to the use of electronic format but still show a preference for print format as the best medium for academic study. Lastly, the study uncovers reasonable findings as to why students prefer one textbook format over the other.
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