BISG Research Shows Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education

[Press Release]

BISG Announces the Publication of New Research into Student and Faculty Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education

New findings show significant traction for interactive learning tools and other forms of active learning

(New York, NY: August 18, 2015) The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) has just released new findings from surveys conducted in Spring 2015 and analyzed in two publications, Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education, Volume Five Report 2, and its companion study, Faculty Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education. Both reports are available for immediate download; click here for Student Attitudes and here for Faculty Attitudes. The raw data is also available via a dynamic online portal called Real-Time Reporting (RTR), which provides real-time web-based access to the raw survey data that is drillable, sortable, and accessible on demand.

The reports reflect five years’ of survey data, providing an unparalleled assessment of the trends transforming higher education content and consumption patterns. Taken together, the reports also consider a wide range of other trends in the ways students and faculty members select, acquire, assign, teach, and consume educational content in various formats.

Nadine Vassallo, BISG’s Project Manager for Research and Information, said, “In a time of decreasing enrollment, it’s critical for higher education institutions and publishers to understand and respond quickly to the changing needs and behaviors of students. These reports help publishers and service providers identify the areas where their products can best address these needs. ”

Topics include:

  • the teaching and learning methodologies most likely to change
  • the reasons for the growing use of specific new methods and technologies, including flipped learning and adaptive learning
  • the increasing integration of content and pedagogy
  • the use of social media and mobile apps for higher education
  • other trends in content usage and acquisition behaviors, both legal and illicit

More than 50% of students now rate the Integrated Learning Systems (ILS) experience as superior to their course experiences using only traditional textbooks. Students place the highest value on those approaches—like ILS and adaptive learning tools—that help them succeed, increase their grades, and reduce study time. Students, institutions, and faculty also increasingly define successful outcomes in terms of achieving defined learning objectives, rather than specific grades.

The reports also provide an overview of the changing nature of student populations and the most important strategic initiatives being adopted by institutions to improve student success and reduce drop-out rates, from drops in the percentage of tenured faculty to institutions’ use of big data to increasing support for active learning models.

The newly-released Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education, Volume 5 Report 2 was based on a Spring 2015 survey of 1,600 students at a range of colleges nationally. It provides vital information about the velocity of the trends and research published in Report 1, which was based on a Fall 2014 survey. Faculty Attitudes was based on a Spring 2015 survey of over 1,600 faculty members.

The reports were prepared by the Book Industry Study Group, Inc. with reporting and editorial analysis by Steve Paxhia and with data provided by Nielsen Books and Consumers, used with permission of the Nielsen Company. For more information or to access the full data set, please contact Nadine Vassallo in the BISG office at For a press copies, please contact Jeanette Zwart at

BISG thanks Platinum Sponsors McGraw-Hill Education, and Gold Sponsors Barnes and Noble College, Cengage Learning, and Follett Higher Education Group, for their support of both projects, and Cengage Learning for their lead sponsorship of Faculty Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education.

About BISG:
The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) is the book industry’s leading trade association for standards, education, and research and information. BISG facilitates the connections and conversations that solve common problems, advance new ideas, and more profitably bring published content to readers. For over 35 years, BISG has provided a forum for all industry professionals to come together and collaboratively address issues and concerns to advance the book community. Its 200 members include publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media.


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