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E-readers No Replacement For Textbooks, Students Say

A new study says that ebook readers have a long way to go before they replace textbooks at colleges. According to a year-long study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, college students are happy sticking with their traditional textbooks, PC Mag reports.

However, the study pointed out that e-reader manufacturers have a potentially lucrative market, but existing e-reader designs do not allow students to interact with texts in the same ways as physical books.

During the study, the University of Washington found that students want their e-readers to allow them to take notes easily, check references and view figures and graphs.

Two of the biggest challenges that e-reader makers are facing is how to allow people to switch between reading styles and providing a physical cue with the e-reader.

“There is no e-reader that supports what we found these students doing,” said Alex Thayer, a UW doctoral student in Human Centered Design and Engineering.

“It remains to be seen how to design one. It’s a great space to get into, there’s a lot of opportunity,” he added.

The research is based on interviews with 39 graduate students in the University of Washington’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering