By Daniel Morley
BLACKWOOD- Students and professors weigh in on the impact of online websites for textbooks. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
Several courses at Camden County College use textbooks with accompanying websites. These websites are used to complete assignments and count towards the student’s final grade.
Elise Favilla, professor of Spanish, uses the “Dos Mundos” textbook for her classes. She believes the website helps reinforce what her students learn in class.
“If I’m teaching a lesson on direct object pronouns and I’ve just presented a PowerPoint and we’ve done it in class, as a follow up, I will assign assignments that will give them practice with direct object pronouns online,” said Favilla.
Sam Daniano, 19, Blackwood, secondary education major, said her problem with these websites is logging in.
“It was really frustrating. Sometimes logging in wouldn’t work for a whole day. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with my internet connection, so there was no reason for it,” said Dadiano.
Favilla said that these problems are rare and that there are ways for students to fix these them.
“There are cases where a student might email me and say I had trouble logging on tonight, but that is not the norm. We do give students a support email, and when students email them with questions or concerns, they do get a response,” said Favilla.
Because courses differ, various problems arise from course to course. Another subject in which a textbook website is used is mathematics.
Nina Fonte, 18, berlin, nursing major, said the biggest problem with mathematics websites is that the answers the website wants are too specific.
“If I didn’t type the answer out exactly how it wanted, then the whole question would be wrong. My homework would take twice as long as usual,” said Fonte.
Penny Luczak, professor of mathematics, agrees that Fonte’s complaint is shared by many of the students.
“The student’s main complaints are about how picky the sites are about syntax,” said Luczak.
The biggest concern for these websites however, is the ease with which students can cheat.
“They are able to cheat if they get someone else to do the work for them. It would be impossible for me to prove people are cheating though I would have a good idea based on test grades,” said Luczak.