Re: Courses’ online practice problems costly

Dear Editor,

I am taking three introductory science courses this semester. Thankfully, I was able to save some money by purchasing used textbooks. Though velocity might change over time, introductory physics largely doesn’t.

But I still had to spend large sums of money for each of my introductory science classes on online homework problem sets. These problem sets are produced and then sold by the large textbook publishers and are a required component of many introductory science courses at Temple.

I’m more than happy to complete problem sets for my classes and I understand that online homework is easier for professors to grade. But prices for required online homework websites are astronomical and add additional burdens to already tight student budgets. And there’s little-to-no incentive for textbook publishers to reduce the price of online homework sets because they realize students are required to access the sites, and must do so regardless of the cost. Many of my professors realize the growing cost of textbooks is a burden for students and have recommended that we purchase used or older editions of our books to save money. I would like to see them also address the growing cost of online problem sets. Perhaps Temple could create its own online online homework site for students — or work with textbook manufacturers to reduce the costs for the student body. That’s a change over time that I think everyone — particularly those of us in introductory physics — could get behind.

Melody Kramer
Class of 2017

1 Comment

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I’m an Econ major, and online courses have been a nightmare. The pearson rep assured us that buying a brand-spanking new textbook would give us access to MyEconLab, the online problem sets. I spent 110 dollars on a new book specifically because I had been told it was going to come with the online courses, and that the website was “undergoing changes” and I might not be able to buy it online; I got the book, no access code, and ended up having to spend 55 dollars extra. I don’t mind having to pay for learning tools, but 55 dollars to do something professors can do for free on BlackBoard seems a little wasteful.

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