TO THE EDITOR:
Derek Fulton wrote in “Online textbooks have crossed the line,” that digital classroom resources are a waste of money.
I am writing to disagree with his proposition that these online resources are a) over-priced and b) poor alternatives to paper textbooks. To the first point, as Fulton himself writes, Mastering Physics ($115) and SimUText ($80) are both cheaper than most hard cover textbooks ($132.50 in his example).
Creating novel, interactive content also requires more thought than writing paper textbooks, as I witnessed last summer while interning at SimBio, the maker of SimUText software.
Fulton’s assertion that “doing homework on paper and getting personalized feed back is free” is the most absurd. Biology classes here tend to be larger than 200 students. The time that taxpayer-paid professors would spend grading homework is certainly more valuable than student fees for online platforms.