College Freshmen Increasingly Unprepared
New Textbook Supplements Helping More Students Succeed
Professors are Cost-Conscious, but Value Effectiveness More
WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- More than half (55 percent) of college instructors say this year's entering freshmen are not ready for college-level studies, according to a new Zogby International study that was released today by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). The figure is even higher at two-year colleges, where three-quarters (75 percent) of faculty members consider incoming students to be unprepared. To address this growing challenge, a majority of college professors (53 percent) are using some form of textbook supplements or integrated learning tools in their classrooms. "These findings are a wake-up call for anyone who is concerned about the future of higher education and America's competitiveness," said Patricia Schroeder, president and chief executive officer of AAP. "Too many college students are not ready for college work, and they need new types of learning tools to succeed." The survey found that: * Two in three professors (65 percent) say that supplemental course materials, such as study guides, online homework and tutorial systems, help retain students who might otherwise fail to complete courses or drop out of school. * Nearly eight in ten (79 percent) college-level instructors say their less-prepared students would do "significantly better" in introductory- level courses if they spent more time using supplemental materials. Nine in ten professors (90 percent) say these students would do better if they made greater use of the assigned textbook. "Professors say these tools enable students to learn more efficiently," said Bruce Hildebrand, AAP's executive director for higher education. "In response, publishers are offering more options than ever before for textbooks and integrated or supplemental learning materials." The findings released today are relevant for all students, the study noted, not just for those who are less prepared. Among these findings: * More than three in four professors (77 percent) say that supplemental materials "clearly enhance most students' learning." * A 57 percent majority say most students would be more successful in their coursework if faculty members required the use of supplemental materials. * More than four in five (86 percent) instructors require or recommend supplemental materials for their students, an 11 percent increase from an earlier faculty survey conducted by Zogby in December 2004, and about the same number (90 percent) require or recommend a textbook for courses they teach. "To meet the needs of diverse student populations, college instructors are relying more heavily on new types of learning tools that accompany today's modern textbooks and personalize the learning process," said Schroeder. "The fact that the use of these materials has increased 11 percent over a year and half ago is a clear sign that professors are seeing positive results, and that means academic success for more students." When deciding which textbook to adopt for their courses, the survey found that instructors consider both price and quality. According to Zogby International, "Professors are requiring the materials they believe can help their students succeed -- new textbooks and supplemental tools -- which suggest professors believe the price of success outweighs the cost of failure." Approximately three quarters (73 percent) of instructors agree that price is important to them when choosing a textbook, but nearly as many said the usefulness of the textbook is the more important factor. By more than 17 to one (71 percent to 4 percent), instructors said they place more importance on the effectiveness of a learning tool than on the price. Today, publishers offer a variety of supplemental materials, including study guides, practice quizzes, and interactive or online tutorials. In addition, modern textbook choices can range from split editions, textbooks by the chapter, electronic versions, black-and-white editions, custom books and abbreviated editions, thereby providing students with lower costs and better value. Zogby International conducted the nationwide survey of more than 500 college or graduate school instructors at two-year and four-year institutions. To view the complete survey results, please visit the Association of American Publishers at http://www.publishers.org. About the Association of American Publishers: The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP's more than 300 members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies -- small and large. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and professional markets, scholarly journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association's highest priorities. About Zogby International: Zogby International, a leader in the field of public opinion, has been tracking public opinion since 1984 in North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Zogby International is constantly searching, testing and measuring hypotheses and principles on polling and public opinion research. Working with a panel of psychologists, sociologists, computer experts, linguists, political scientists, economists, and mathematicians, the company explores every nuance in language and tests new methods in public opinion research. Survey Methodology: Zogby International conducted online interviews with 502 college / tech / graduate professors from August 29 - 30, 2006. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.
SOURCE Association of American Publishers
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