5 Mistakes to Look Out For As An Online Student

The following is a guest post by Ellie Coverdale, a tutor and content creator. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

Technology is at the stage today where all sorts of different areas of life are being handled over the internet. From grocery shopping to visiting the doctor, the power of the internet is immense. One such area is education. Online education courses have actually been around for many years now, but in recent years there’s been a marked increase in the quality and quantity of what’s being achieved. Some online educational courses are now easily rivaling and even bettering classroom learning and other traditional methods of education. As a method that is still somewhat unorthodox, and certainly nowhere near as explored as the traditional routes, there are things that you need to be careful about with online studies. So, without further ado, let’s look at some of the mistakes you should be avoiding as an online student.

1. Failing to Properly Manage your Time

There’s something so convenient and easy about the idea of online education and, subsequently, it can feel like a method you can adopt without upsetting the rhythms of your life elsewhere. However, this is most certainly the wrong attitude to have. Online education is as important, in terms of the hours you put in, as in the classroom education. And whilst you might be cutting out the commute, there’ s no reason why you shouldn’t be scheduling in a detailed way when you’re at your computer studying and when you don’t have to be. The convenient nature to it makes it so easy to procrastinate. Suddenly you find yourself at 3am watching the lecture you were supposed to watch that afternoon, all because you didn’t manage your time formally and efficiently.

2. Not Firming Up Technical Capacities

Before leaping into your new online course or degree, there are a few things you need to look out for from a technical standpoint. One of the most important of these is making sure you have all of the technical specifications that you need for your device to be able to cope with the programs and processes that you will be running as part of your degree. Having a slow running computer, or, even worse, slow internet could really cripple your ability to complete live tasks. Often online education courses will make you stream live lectures or need to have many different pages and sites open at one time. These sorts of technical pressures can turn online education into a nightmare if you can’t meet them. So get prepared.

3. Always Being Isolated

It’s easy to just be on your own all the time when in online education. It’s one of those mixed blessings. On the one hand, it’s nice to be alone and, for some, it can help you focus better on the material at hand. On the other hand, communal learning has its real benefits and having someone who you can ask questions to or discuss topics with really enhances education. You shouldn’t aim for total isolation in your online course, try and find ways to work around others sometimes. Or, failing that, you should try and Skype or video chat with another student as you do the course together.

4. Allowing Temptation To Creep In

Online learning requires discipline, simple as that. A computer can be used for all sorts of things, a great percentage of which are entertainment oriented. When your computer is also your school, there’s definitely a sense in which it is extremely easy to get distracted on Facebook or YouTube, especially since there’s no-one to stop you. Consider using a site blocker if you have a problem.

5. Not Participating

It’s easy to be in online education and to just sit back and be a passive observer of events. Just because you’re not actually being distracted or procrastinating, doesn’t mean that you don’t need to do more than simply be present. Actively engage, ask questions and try your hardest.

Conclusion

Online education presents a wonderful opportunity to people from all sorts of different parts of the world and from all walks of life to come together, through the power of the internet, and get a really good education from their own homes. Just look out for these pitfalls and you should be fine!

Author’s Bio: Ellie Coverdale works as a tutor and blogger. She loves sharing her insights and tips on authentic, meaningful psychological routes towards learning with her readers. She also contributes to https://studydemic.com/

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

How to Deal with the 5 Biggest Challenges of Online Learning

The following is a guest post by Sadi Khan, a content creator. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

E-learning is a little more than a decade old but it has grown immensely in this short period. The international online learning market is expected to be worth $325 billion by the year 2025.

The reason for this rising popularity is the convenience and minimal cost associated with online learning. It allows students or professionals to take courses that easily fit with their schedules. It is flexible and easily accessible. Plus, you can access the lectures or training material anytime to refresh your memory.

What are the biggest challenges of online learning? 

With many benefits, online learning comes with a few challenges. Luckily, these challenges are not insurmountable. Let’s see how you can deal with the 5 biggest challenges.

Challenge # 1: Digital Literacy 

While attending an online lecture or listening to informative audio is a simple task, one still needs a certain degree of technical proficiency. Watching a video is quite simple, but dealing with an online learning management system requires some understanding of technology. 

One has to log in to his or her account, participate in classes (submitting an assignment or partaking in discussion boards), and communicate with the teachers. If the person does not have basic digital literacy, he or she will find it difficult to make the most of that course. 

Solution:

The instructors or institutes usually provide detailed introductions and instructions regarding the lectures and learning material used in the course. Listening and adhering to these instructions is very important.

Opt for a course that provides technical support. Most online courses come with a full range of support services, including technical support by email, live chat, and phone. One can reach out to the faculty when he or she is facing a problem. Also, a person can avoid many issues by paying careful attention to how the instructor has advised them to navigate the course.

Challenge # 2: Poor time management and procrastination: 

A survey of 1500 online students revealed that flexibility and convenience are the two biggest reasons behind student’s choice of an online course. However, this positive aspect can quickly become a drawback.

Knowing that you can go through the lectures at any time, can lead to procrastination. You might start wasting your learning time in useless click-jumping and internet browsing.

Solution: 

Learn to manage your workload with your eLearning schedule. Make a timetable or class schedule and stick to it. If you have assigned two hours to online learning, make sure you are spending them on going through the course content or assignments. If social media or internet keep distracting you, either go offline while you are studying or use tools to block these sites. Several tools are available to block certain websites during a set period.

Avoid multitasking. Online learning needs to have a dedicated time. You cannot fit it in with other tasks like meals or spending time with your family. It will result in nothing but frustration. Focus on one task and then proceed to the next one. It will not only give you a sense of fulfillment but also helps with productivity.

Challenge # 3: Monotony 

Online learning can be boring. You don’t have classmates or teacher to interact. All you have are lengthy texts and video lectures that you need to go through. Even if the online format entails interesting content like infographics, and videos, things can still get monotonous. Students might eventually lose interest and drop out. 

Solution: 

Find a course that is dynamic, interactive, and fun. Teachers and institutes are getting better at creating more interactive courses and training methods. These courses have the right amount of challenges, videos, storytelling, and simulators to keep you going.

All these things can make it easy to continue with the training. Also, choose courses that offer a certificate or an acknowledgment, so you will have a motivating reason to complete the course.

Challenge # 4: Going Sedentary

The Internet has made it possible to study, work, or shop from home but it also comes with a lot of sitting and prolonged sitting can be as dangerous as smoking. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with serious health problems like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even some types of cancer.

Online learning is convenient but it also means that a person does not have to physically go to college or training institute. This increases a person’s screen time and adds to their sedentary lifestyle, which is detrimental to both physical and mental health.

Solution:

Do not spend hours and hours in front of screens. A simple exercise or activity like running can help you offset the risks of sitting for long hours. Take regular breaks and move away from the screen every 30 minutes or so. It is also important to have a proper desk and chair and a study area. Do not sit in your bed or couch with your laptop.

Challenge # 5: Technical Problems & Glitches 

Depending on where you are located, you can face issues like internet connectivity, hardware or software requirements, browser compatibility, and so on. These situations can be extremely frustrating and time-consuming. This is the reason online learning hasn’t been used to its fullest in developing or third world countries (where it can be the most beneficial).

Solution:

Make sure that you have gone through the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) or ask the training provider about system requirements. Some courses require downloading specific apps or printing out the document. You need to make sure that you will not need a specific program or hardware that you cannot arrange. Don’t be shy of asking for technical assistance when you are facing a problem.

E-learning has a lot of advantages but there are some limitations as well. However, the benefits can easily outweigh the drawbacks. All you need is a good internet connection and you can start a course or degree program that will help with career advancement.

Isn’t that what you want?  

Author’s Bio: Sadi Khan got his Banking and Finance degree through a distance learning program. He currently writes on health and fitness-related topics on RunRepeat, an athletic shoes review platform.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

5 Essential Steps to Study for an Online Exam

The following is a guest post by Robbie Marquis, a college student. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

College is one of the busiest phases of a student’s life. There are so many things to keep in mind and balance that you tend to lose time for other parts of your life. Of course, right now, your studies are your top priorities, but if you ever find yourself cramming for some last minute studying, remember that it definitely will be a difficult task to undertake, but with enough focus and determination, nothing is impossible. To make it easier for you to retain everything that you study, here are some steps that you can take.

1. Turn Off Social Media

Social media has definitely changed how we see our world nowadays. It has altered the way we stay updated about the ins and outs of the current world and the way we keep in touch with the people around us. Essentially, social media has become a very important tool for us to stay in the loop and create new acquaintances.

But if you have errands to do, books to read and online exams to pass, then you will need to keep yourself from checking your social media feeds in the meantime. Whether it is your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other platforms that you use for social connections, if it won’t help you focus on your studies or even pull your attention away from it, it’s better to leave it alone until you are done with your online exams.

Social media has made a reputation on its own for affecting the focus of many students and even affecting their scholastic performances. So if you want to keep your focus on nothing else but your studying, then stay away from any gadgets that may allow you from opening your accounts. Turn off your phone, laptop and other online devices and stick to reading and memorizing your lessons to make sure that you pass your exams.

2. Gather All Your Materials Before you Cram for an Online Exam

There is nothing more frustrating and panic-inducing than knowing that you don’t have all your study materials available. Not to mention that it’s affecting your study session! So it’s ideal to always keep all your books and notes in one place and ready to use at all times. And if you have an exam coming up soon, get all of your materials ready beforehand.

Aside from getting your documents ready, it’s also best to always have your study station ready and available for your sessions. Keep your desk clean and make sure that the only things you have available on your table are your books, notebooks, pens and papers, or if you have notes on your laptop, then you might want to keep that handy, too. Take away anything that might distract you and once you have started studying, you should just focus on getting yourself ready for your upcoming online exams.

Another good thing that you should do is for you to get some important details about your upcoming exams. Once it is announced that you have an online exam coming up, you should write down the exam’s location, date, and time.

It will also be helpful if you can find out what its focus will be as it can help you understand what you have to study and retain. Some professors give out some pointers beforehand, but if it’s something that is not available, you might want to ask your professor to provide these details to you and your classmates as it can help you concentrate your studies only on topics that are covered.

3. Review All Your Notes or Flashcards One More Time

Whenever preparing for an online exam, you should never underestimate the importance of taking down notes or preparing cards to review everything that you have read and studied. By writing things down, you get to retain information better. By reading back the notes you have prepared, you get to refresh the information in your brain and hone your brain’s ability to easily recall information.

This is why it is essential to schedule a study session, either by yourself or with a group. There are, of course, pros and cons to both setups. If you study by yourself, you tend to get bored or get distracted and no one can tell you off or remind you to go back and focus on studying. On the other hand, by studying with a group, you have like-minded people to throw questions and answers to and to review your lessons with, but there is a tendency for the study sessions to veer away from what really needs to get done. But if you are really determined or focused on reviewing and absorbing as much information as you can, there will always be a way. All you need to do is focus, focus, focus.

4. Focus only on the Big Ideas & Key Details

Speaking of focus, did you know that you can teach your brain to be selective in the information that it retains? Instead of trying to cram every single information from a book into your brain, you can instead focus on the valuable information and tune your attention out from the unimportant details. This might sound challenging to some, but there are ways to improve your ability for selective attention.

First of all, you need to identify which of the topics you need to study are the most difficult to retain. Maybe you are doing well with Chemistry, but you need to improve your understanding of some topics in Calculus. By knowing which of the subjects are more challenging for you, you get to improve your focus and prepare your brain as to what needs to be prioritized.

Next, you should establish your goal. The good thing about online exams is that it usually provides the examinees with an introduction about what they will be looking forward to in terms of the exam proper. If you have that information ready, then you can easily shift your focus on what sections or chapters will be included in your online exams. It will also help if you have an idea about the style of the examination. Will it be multiple choice questions, fill in the blanks, essay style, or a mixture of each. By anticipating the challenges that you may encounter in your online exams, you’ll be able to identify what information you need to focus on.

Lastly, you need to keep yourself focused on nothing else but your study session. You might have a few other things on your to-do list, but by understanding the importance of passing your upcoming examination, you can keep yourself from doing other less important matters. By knowing what to focus on and what ideas or topics matter, your brain can then filter out all the unimportant information and just retain all the necessary details.

5. Set Goals & Rewards as you Study for an Online Exam

Studying for an exam involves a lot of focus and hard work. It might sound like it is an easy task to undertake, considering that all you need to do is sit down, read and write down some important stuff. But it takes a lot of energy for your brain to sponge in as much information as necessary in a short span of time. This is why, as much as possible, last minute studying is not always advisable.

Overworking your brain can sometimes affect your mental and physical health. You might have to sacrifice sleep hours, not be able to eat a proper meal, or even have to drink some carbonated, caffeinated or sugary drinks just to keep you going while you burn the midnight oil. By the end of your study sessions and online exams, you might feel so drained out. But you have done your best to ace your exams, so you deserve nothing but some much-needed R and R.

A good practice that usually encourages us to meet a specific goal is by giving ourselves a reward. It could be something like scheduling a relaxing weekend trip to a spa resort with your BFF or significant other if you pass your online exams. Or maybe you’ll throw a house party and invite everyone in your class to join you. Whatever reward works for you, it’s a good thing to give yourself a prize for accomplishing something important.

Whether you are trying to balance your life as a working student, as a parent pursuing a college degree, or as an active member of your college’s org, the fact remains that your study should always be a part of your list of priorities. Studying should always be a constant practice, so that you won’t have to stress yourself and tire your brain out by doing it last minute. A more relaxed and laid-back study session will help improve your focus on everything that you need to retain. This way you are ready, even for surprise quizzes or exams.

Whether you are preparing for a big online test or just for a weekly quiz, it’s still important to be in control of your studies. Remember that it will take a lot of time, energy and effort before you can get that much coveted diploma, so make every moment count. Who knows, if you are hardworking enough, maybe you can get rewarded with some honors on your graduation day!

Author’s Bio: Robbie served as the Vice President of the Student Congress at OU and has dedicated his collegiate time to representing the students. Some of Robbie’s other interests include writing reminders for himself on sticky notes and putting them everywhere, learning how to become a better leader, watching or performing spoken-word poetry, or doing things that inspire him.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

The Most Effective Studying Tactics for Online Learners

The following is a guest post by Stacey Wonder, freelance blogger and content specialist. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

Your parents and grandparents probably never imagined how the education process would change in 20-30 years. Now, you can choose what, how, and where you want to learn without being bothered by location, time, or sometimes even money.

If you are eager to get knowledge without leaving your room, online education is what you need. It allows students all over the world have access to the classes and professional teachers’ assistance.

However, remote studying has its pitfalls, such as the lack of motivation, concentration, or organizational skills. What can you do to make online learning effective? Keep reading to know about the five tactics that every online learner should try.

1. Communicate with Other Students

Entering the common chat for all the students in your online course is a great way to avoid falling behind while socializing even if you are far away. You can simply chat just like with regular classmates, discuss assignments, or help each other with studying.

Such communication will not only help you find new friends and make your studying more interesting; it will also allow you to retain information when looking through the discussions between your peers.

2. Learn How to Take Notes Effectively

Notes are an essential part of studying. Unfortunately, most students don’t pay attention to the note-taking method that they use, which might have a significant influence on their effectiveness.

For example, there are effective note-taking methods that are proven to be effective in any format of learning – online or at the traditional learning institution. Here are a few of them:

  1. The Cornell Method. The uniqueness of this method is in its page layout – the division into a few sections, for example, title, keywords, questions, and summary.    
  2. The Boxing Method. The boxing method is helpful for visual learners (the students who perceive information through visual sources) as it implies breaking the page and the lecture material into logical parts that are written down in the small boxes. This method helps with structuring information and writing it down in a way that makes it easier to later.
  3. The Charting Method. This method uses charts for writing down the main aspects of different terms, events, or facts. This is the most convenient method of note taking for history classes or in cases when you need to compare something according to specific characteristics.
  4. The Outline Method. If you need to take a lot of notes on broad topics or follow the fast tempo of your lecturer, this is the most convenient method. It is similar to the outlines that you usually write when creating an essay or any other type of school paper. It implies using headings and subheadings with the combination of bullet lists and the key ideas written in the form of a brief outline.

So, the note-taking method that you choose depends on the specifics of the subject and the lecture format, but you never know what will suit you the most until you try more than one of them. Sometimes students might combine these methods to increase their effectiveness.

3. Don’t Take Long Breaks

Online learners often have an opportunity to schedule their studies as they want and dedicate time to online studies according to their busy schedule. While this is one of the core advantages of online learning, it often results in long breaks between lessons and study sessions, which isn’t good for proper studying.

If you take many long breaks between your sessions, you increase your chances of spending your time and money in vain as such studying won’t provide you with enough knowledge.

Our memory is a complicated system which demands some repetition from time to time. If you you don’t re-read your notes or textbook, you will probably forget almost everything due to the volume of other information that you perceive every day that replaces information that your brain considers irrelevant. This phenomenon can be proved by the Forgetting Curve of Hermann Ebbinghaus and the experiment with spaced repetitions.

4. Manage Your Time with Planners

Many students suffer from lack of motivation and self-discipline which we usually tend to describe as “the lack of time.” Let’s face it, procrastination takes big chunks of our time and decreases our productivity, especially when it comes to activities that might seem less compelling or relevant.

However, online learning can and should be scheduled just like regular classes in school. Why? Because it helps students to organize their time and get prepared for new study sessions. When your brain is used to the schedule of your classes that you regularly have, you

can see that it’s much easier for you to concentrate and focus on studying.

So, is there any option of how one can ease studying schedules for self-organization? Modern technology will provide you with the answer as mobile apps for daily planning are great for every student:

All these apps are highly effective when it comes to planning your studying sessions, tracking your studying accomplishments and writing down your homework tasks. Online learners will experience the benefits of these apps even more than regular students as they face the need to motivate themselves more and keep up with the course program without any help.

5. Stay Motivated

Motivation is one of the most important parts of self-development. If you lack the motivation to continue your online learning, try some of the following tips:

  1. Establish short-term goals. For example, pass the test, finish a book, complete an assignment, etc. Make a plan and track your progress. This way your growth will be more noticeable to you.
  2. Don’t forget why you do it. You took this online course for a reason, but with time you might forget about it. You can write down your main goal on a paper and put it in a place where you can always keep an eye on it. Or, you can even create a collage or a vision board.
  3. Develop a positive mindset. Sometimes studying may be challenging and overwhelming to the point when it makes you want to quit your courses. Remind yourself that every task that the teacher gives is manageable.
  4. Organize your workplace. Having a clean and organized workplace definitely helps with your motivation and inspiration. Try to make the most comfortable surrounding and avoid distractions to improve your productivity and feel happier.

Every studying program is manageable when you are motivated. Even if you fell behind because of procrastination, you can ask your teacher for an individual class, or hire a tutor to help you with certain tasks. So, never give up and keep a positive approach.

Wrapping Up

Online classes are great for everyone who wants to learn something new. Using different note-taking methods and having a consistent, serious approach will help every online learner to achieve the best results.

If you want to improve your online learning process, be sure to follow the simple pieces of advice listed in this article. Also, don’t forget to stay motivated – sometimes you need to remind yourself that the reason why you learn is to have more opportunities in the future.

Author’s Bio: Stacey Wonder is a freelance blogger and content specialist. She usually writes on educational topics, motivation, productivity, and self-development. When not busy with her projects, she creates short detective or fantasy stories.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Making the Leap: 7 Tips for New Online Learners

28897238_s - Second Copy CroppedWill this semester be your first time taking an online course? While a syllabus should outline the technicalities and course navigation, the mental leap from traditional instruction to a virtual classroom can be daunting. Here are 7 suggestions to make the transition easier.

  1. Recognize that e-learning is different type of learning experience. Don’t compare it to a traditional course. Although it may seem strange, give the virtual learning methods a chance and explore a new pedagogical arena.
  1. Learn how you like. Enrich your learning experience by finding supplementary resources which you enjoy using. They could be familiar resources, like powerpoints and informative videos, or perhaps new tools like prezi or TED Talks.
  1. Share what you find with your classmates. If you liked it, chances are that they will too. You can create a larger and more united environment for your classmate community.
  1. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn. Don’t submit reading responses only in order to make the grade. Choose to make the most of the experience and continually appreciate learning new things.
  1. Team up with another first time e-learner. Whether or not you are taking the same course, it is a good idea to have a friend who can jointly relate to your position.
  1. Find a mentor who had a positive online learning experience. Look around – it is likely that a neighbor or a fellow student made this leap a little while ago. Ask for practical advice and do not scoff at comforting reassurance.
  1. Have fun! – Learning is great.

What helped you make the transition from a traditional student to an e-learner?

Top 10 Learning Techniques: Which Are Most Efficient? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Whether out of habit or by conscious choice, we all make use of learning techniques – such as highlighting, summarizing, or visualizing – when we encounter new information and attempt to store it in our long-term memory. Individuals may even have their own favorite techniques based on whether they are a visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or read-and-write learner.

But not all study habits are created equal; some may be more efficient than others, especially when you factor in how much time it takes to implement each technique.

In an article published in a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers characterized 10 learning techniques according to whether they provide high, moderate, or low utility – basing this rating on each technique’s relative efficacy, ease of use, and applicability to a wide range of learning situations.

The study brings up many interesting points about the benefits and limitations of each learning technique. For example, highlighting or underlining might help you zone in on important information, but it may get in the way of forming a broader perspective and understanding the relationships between disparate pieces of information. Using keyword mnemonics may be effective in helping remember the material, but the authors of this study do not recommend its implementation because it is relatively inefficient when you take into consideration the time needed to generate the mnemonics and practice them.

Check out the infographic below which summarizes the 10 techniques, or read the full article for a more in-depth review of all techniques.

10 Learning Techniques infographic

Copy the text below to embed this infographic on your site!

Top 6 Flashcard Creation Tools for College Students

online flashcards

online flashcards

Using flashcards is a popular way to learn new terms or a foreign language. By reviewing the flashcards over and over again, the information becomes ingrained in your memory so you won’t forget it.

Here are 6 online flashcard-creation tools that let you create your own flashcards, or learn from a pre-existing set of cards:

  1. StudyBlue is a free study app for iPhone and Android. You can learn pre-existing flashcards or make your own. The app tracks your progress and remembers which terms you have already mastered and which ones still need to be reviewed. Your flashcards can include text, images, and audio, and you can convert the information into quizzes or review sheets. You can also join together with classmates or study partners to review together online.
  2. With its clean, straightforward interface, Quizlet lets you not only go through the flash cards, but also practice spelling the words upon hearing them pronounced, take a test, or play scatter or space race.
  3. Examtime has a wealth of features, including flashcards, mindmaps, quizzes, notes, groups, and a study planner. Each deck of flashcards is displayed in a pretty cool 3D style.
  4. StudyStack offers pre-existing flashcards or you can create your own. StudyStack can also automatically create a wide range of different games to help you study, including matching, hangman, crossword, fill-in-the-blanks, quizzes, tests, bug match, hungry bug, unscramble, chopped, and targets.
  5. QuizMeOnline is a social networking site for students. The site offers flashcard creation as well as quiz creation, note-taking, Hangman and CatchME.
  6. BrainFlips has more kid-friendly, colorful interface. Flashcards can be viewed in Introduction, Traditional, or Response modes, depending on whether you want to learn the terms for the first time, review the terms, or test yourself. A scoreboard on the side keeps track of time and how many cards you got right or wrong. You can add text, images, audio, or video to the cards.

We hope you’ll find these tools helpful and can use them to improve your study habits. Which tool is your favorite?

Do Students Prefer E-textbooks to Paper Textbooks?

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As the educational community turns more toward digital content for instruction, publishers have begun to create e-textbooks instead of, or as a supplement to traditional paper textbooks.

At first glance, e-textbooks seem to be the way of the future, offering significant advantages over paper textbooks:

  • E-textbooks are easy to transport, lessening the heavy weight of backpacks and saving shelf space.
  • Purchasing a digital textbook is often cheaper than buying a printed copy.
  • Students can search through the text easily, with just a few clicks.
  • Some e-textbooks have added functionality for bookmarking, highlighting, and adding notes.
  • Digital textbooks can include multimedia content such as videos and sounds that can be played directly within the textbook.

Surprisingly, however, two studies carried out in 2012 revealed that many students actually prefer using paper textbooks rather than digital textbooks for studying purposes.

While many e-textbooks allow for highlighting, bookmarking, and annotating, students find that these study habits are more effective when used in paper textbooks. In a paper textbook, notes are written directly on the page or on a post-it note which jumps out and grabs their attention, whereas e-textbooks often require that the student remembers to check for notes on each page.

Furthermore, students appreciate that they can re-sell paper copies of their textbooks after the course is over; this outweighs the benefits of purchasing the e-textbook at an lower cost from the outset.

Additional reasons cited for why paper textbooks are considered superior include:

  • While using e-textbooks, students tend to feel distracted and tempted to surf the web or check their email and Facebook accounts.
  • Many students find that studying from digital textbooks causes eye fatigue and cannot be sustained for long periods of time.
  • When students read e-textbooks, they tend to skim the content and “dip in and out,” whereas when they read printed textbooks, they read in a more comprehensive and linear fashion.
  • Paper textbooks can be kept for future reference even after the course is finished, whereas many e-textbooks expire or prohibit access after the course is finished.
  • E-textbooks are often incompatible with some types of devices and cannot be easily transferred from one device to another.
  • Students can study from paper textbooks without the need to access electronic devices. This is particularly useful in situations where the internet is not available or electronic devices have crashed or run out of power.

Are e-textbooks truly the way of the future? Will they gradually replace paper textbooks over the course of the next decade, or will paper textbooks remain as a long-standing tradition for years to come? Only time will tell.

Sources: