Students are the brightest, most resourceful, individuals you will meet. They know value when they see it–what is and what isn’t worth it. They will not pay $200+ dollars for a textbook that isn’t used, and they don’t. Students will rent the book, or buy a used copy for a fraction of the new cost. In fact, using these methods, students are paying less for textbooks now than ever.
Still, they do know value. If students don’t like paying too much for something they don’t use, perhaps they will pay a small amount for something they will use. As part of Purdue’s affordable textbook initiative, I’ve created an anti-textbook for my Child Psychology class—A Child Psychology Primer. It provides just the bare essentials-the key concepts, methods, and findings that you simply have to know to usefully apply child psychology. This primer gives the essence of what child psychology is all about and what you can do with it. Much like “priming the pump” or laying down a coat of paint primer, this book serves as a jumping off point for future exploration, and to list a few added benefits:
- It costs a fraction of what textbooks normally cost.
- It perfectly matches the content of what I teach
- Because I’m in control of the content, revisions can happen in minutes.
- It is available in paperback and electronic formats so students can read it wherever they need it.
I think students will appreciate that value.