Textbook Alternatives



It seems as if textbooks are a thing of the past. If you’re looking to incorporate textbook alternatives into your classroom but don’t know where to start, here are a few ideas.

PDFs – You can share chapters or excerpts from books, articles, or just about any other type of document by creating a PDF and sharing it on your content management site.

eBooks – I think it’s safe to say that a large number of students own their own computer and most students at least have access to one. Websites like eBooks.com and CourseSmart offer a wide range of academic books and textbooks that are, for the most part, cheaper than traditional textbooks but still perfect for the classroom.

Hybrid eBooks – Companies like Flat World Knowledge and Vook offer ebook type products, but with additional features and tools like video (Vook) and the ability to edit text as needed (Flat World).

Additional Resources – Not all classes need textbooks, electronic or otherwise. I’ve taken quite a few, actually, that include handouts from the instructor, some articles or PDFs posted online, and a few supplementary, read-at-will sources. Not a single textbook involved. In some cases, I learned the most in these types of classes. Finding the best resources to use takes some time on your part, but your student will appreciate not having to spend the big bucks for a textbook they might have never used in the first place.

What textbook alternatives do you use? Share with us in the comments or tweet @SAGrader. We’d love to add your ideas to the list!