The Perceived Value of College Physics Textbooks: Students and Instructors May Not See Eye to Eye Journal Article uri icon



  • Physics instructors generally tell their students to read the textbook assignments before coming to lecture. While the textbook is a part of nearly every physics course, it is not clear how students use it. Only a small number of previous studies have asked how students actually use their textbooks. One such study measured the amount students read a particular introductory physics textbook at two institutions. This study showed that at one institution less than 40% of students in introductory physics regularly read the textbook assignments, but that at an institution where students were required to submit reading exercises, 55% of students regularly read the textbook.1 However, this study did not explore the effects of reading or whether different courses or different textbooks affected student reading habits. Another study, in chemistry, reported a significant correlation between the time spent reading and course grades for general chemistry students; lower performing students actually read more. This study, however, also reported that for organic chemistry students there was no correlation between time spent reading and course grades.2

publication date

  • September 1, 2006

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • December 4, 2014 5:01 AM

Full Author List

  • Podolefsky N; Finkelstein N

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0031-921X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1943-4928

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 338

end page

  • 342


  • 44


  • 6