Student Response to Integrated Learning Systems Warms Up, says New BISG Research
New York, NY May 22, 2012—Integrated Learning Systems are edging out both print and e-textbooks in popularity with students, says new research from the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)'s ongoing study of Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education. The second installment in Volume Two of the study, which is powered by Bowker Market Research, shows that nearly 48 percent of students feel Integrated Learning Systems help with their studying; compare that with 45 percent for the core physical textbook and just 37 percent for the e-textbook. Further, nearly half of student respondents feel that Integrated Learning Systems help them improve their grade, compared with 40 percent for print texts and 33 percent for e-texts.
"Our research shows that students are looking for greater value from their textbook-purchasing dollar," said Angela Bole, Deputy Executive Director of BISG. "How they define 'value' is rapidly evolving as they're exposed to new services and products."
The study shows textbook rentals rising in the past year (now at 11 percent versus last year's eight percent), with a corresponding drop in new textbook sales (now at 55 percent versus 59 percent last year.) Students are increasingly purchasing textbooks online, notably through Amazon.com, with a marked decline in purchasing through on-campus college bookstores. Textbook acquisition from Amazon.com rose from 25 percent to 31 percent while acquisition from on-campus stores fell from 52 percent to 46 percent.
"There are two significant factors in flux in this market," said Kelly Gallagher, Vice-President of Bowker Market Research, a service of Bowker, an affiliated business of ProQuest. "In addition to changes in the retail model, there are continuing changes in the devices students can use to access their text."
Although relatively few students have tablet devices -- just 16 percent compared with 76 percent who own laptops -- many are planning to acquire them, and are looking for course content available on tablet devices. Interest in e-textbooks for the iPad is significant, with 19 percent "very interested" and 28 percent "somewhat interested." An important note: interested is dependent upon e-textbook price points at least 25 percent below the cost of a used print version.