Jul. 24th, 2010

ajnabieh: The text "don't ask me, I'm a grad student." (grad student)
[personal profile] ajnabieh
How much do you think it's reasonable to have undergrads spend on books for a class? As a student and/or as a professor?

For faculty, what are the factors you use to determine how much to assign? Need for a comprehensive textbook? Availability of books used/in library/in digital formats? Level of the class/% of majors in the class? Classicness of the books?

I'm starting to think about my syllabus, and looking at two possible edited books. One is a decade old, easily available used, and much cheaper. One isn't published until halfway through August, and twice as expensive (and brand new, so no used copies). It'll help once I get my inspection copy of the new one to see if it's worth the extra money, but still. And then, there's the single-author classics in the field--what if I want to assign two or three chapters? Where do I cut it off?

(For reference, of the three courses I've taught previously, one had no purchased reading (all scans, sucks to be me), one had "buy or borrow or find on Project Gutenberg any version of these classic texts," and one had two books totaling less than US$30.)

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