The story of one University of Maine student’s quest for a reasonably priced textbook reveals just how complicated course materials have become as the textbook industry makes its awkward transition from print to digital.
This is an interesting intersection of long-held assumptions and practices butting up against the 21st century. Jeffrey R. Young is the author. He writes a lot of good stuff about techy issues in The Chronicle. This is from the Sept. 3, 2012 edition.
Mr. Thomas says he complained to the professor, who brushed off his questions. He then took his case to the campus bookstore, but when its director, Richard Young, called the publisher, he was told that selling just the online-access code “was not an option.” The professor did not return repeated calls to comment for this article.
“The professor had put a wall between course content, and purchasing his textbook was the only route,” Mr. Thomas wrote in a blog post complaining about the situation. Soon after he posted his story, it was picked up by a popular technology Web site, leading other students to post similar frustrations with textbook access codes.
I love that this young man took to the Interwebs to publicize his problem and that it got picked up and became a bit of a meme. Well, good for him and thumbs way down to the arrogant professor who caused most of this nonsense in the first place.