As the summer session closes and the fall semester gears up, I have a minor dilemma to solve. For the grad course I’m teaching, I’m trying to decide between a coursepack and the electronic reserve system through the EMU library.
A bit about each (at least how it works at EMU), with advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of the coursepack:
* I drop off what I want included in the coursepack with one of the various companies in town that do this, and boom!, I’m done. In other words, I have virtually no leg-work on my part.
* Students show up to class with a “hard copy” of the reading.
Disadvantages of the coursepack:
* They cost too much money for students who are already (in general) paying too much money for things across the board.
* I have to have my “act” together in order to put together the coursepack– in other words, if I don’t have something ready well before the semester starts, it can’t be included.
Advantages of Electronic Reserve:
* It’s free to students– all they have to do is access the web site.
* I can do it on the “fly,” meaning that I don’t have to have all of the readings decided in advance (and this could be the “make or break” deal for the class I’m teaching this fall, I might add…).
Disadvantage of Electronic Reserve:
* I have to do more work by converting files into PDFs to be accessed by students (kind of a time-consuming pain).
* Students won’t automatically print the documents off, which lowers the chance that they will actually read the articles.
I don’t know which I’m going to pick. Any thoughts, especially from students (past or present) at EMU?