Online homework programs burn holes in student pockets

Joe Timmerman

Certain classes at this university require students to use an online program to complete and submit their homework — for instance, Accounting 100, Finance 100 Economics 101 and Physics 202. There are certainly some advantages to online homework, like faster feedback and much less work for professors and teaching assistants. However, at what expense? For many of these programs, there are two ways to gain access: either purchase the textbook new or purchase an access code for the program separately. In some cases, access to the online program can cost more than $100 – as much or more than the new textbook itself.

Considering that online coursework programs are priced in such a ludicrous manner, it becomes clear this is nothing more than an attempt by textbook companies to quash the used textbook market.

But why would professors choose to use these types of programs? After all, professors have been through their fair share of school. They understand how budget-busting purchasing textbooks can be. While I’m not a mind reader, allow me to hazard a few guesses.