Professors requiring self-authored books: beneficial or not?

By Kelly Bush
October 6, 2016

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Creative Commons

When you think of authors of a textbook, you think of people who are inconceivably smart. Not that your professors aren’t smart, but it is rare to find a professor who requires a book they have written for a course. There are some professors on campus who do this for their courses.

“I use the book because it’s the best book for the course, and the students will succeed more,” Dr. James Hedtke, professor of history and political science, said.

Hedtke explained that in one of his co-written textbooks that notes from his lectures are in the back of the book. He finds that it is helpful for students to use his own book, they have an advantage, to move along with the course.

Creative Commons
Creative Commons

Even though the book is written by the professor, much of the proceeds do not go to them. Due to the fact that students are buying books from Amazon, Chegg, or renting them, the proceeds goes directly to that vendor. Students rarely complain about buying the book because it is available online and also available in the bookstore.

Some students who do not have a professor who uses their written text books are curious as to what the teacher says.

“I would like to see how they would write a book, their thoughts and experiences,” Kelly Guarino, senior business administration major, said.

Professors always want to know what the students think and know about the subject, but how well does the professor know and where do they get all of their information? Hedtke explained that teachers always want students to do research in papers but his writing his textbook shows his own research.

“I would rather a standard textbook to get some different points of views and avoid conflict of interest,” Mike Doyle, education major, said,

If students aren’t only hearing what their professors say about the subject it will broaden their mindset.

“I can see how it is fair, but I disagree with the practice. A big point of college is forming your own ideas,” Doyle said.

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Kelly Bush

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