Professors affirm self-authored textbooks are beneficial to students

By Noah Torr | Executive Producer

Buying textbooks can often be a college students nightmare. The hunt for the cheapest version of any book can lead to many headaches and late nights, and these books can also add up to be over hundreds of dollars. Students may have noticed that professors that write their own textbooks.

Dr. Carey Newman, editorial director of the Baylor University Press, said self-authored textbooks provide another layer of depth to the classroom learning experience.

“We’re seeking to create textbooks that are Baylor specific and Baylor class specific,” Newman said.

Dr. Doug Weaver, professor of Baptist studies at Baylor, co-edited the reader used in the introductory 1350 Christian Heritage class. He said he does not collect any royalties from his book.

“If there are any royalties that come from the sale of those books, it goes to the department of religion,” Weaver said. “It doesn’t come to me.”

Weaver also said he knows the student lifestyle isn’t very lavish so one of his main concerns when publishing the book was the cost.

“I know y’all have to pay a lot of money, but we really did work hard from the beginning to have a manageable price,” Weaver said.

“Exploring Christian Heritage” can be found used on Amazon for $38.21 and book is available at the Baylor Bookstore at a 25 percent discount.

Dr. Alton Hassell, senior lecturer in the Baylor Science Department, has written or helped write over 20 textbooks. One of his books, “Chemistry in Whispering Caves” is a mystery novel he uses in his ‘Chemistry in Society’ course.

A former student of Hassell, Michael Karr, said the book isn’t worth the money and that it doesn’t add to the class experience.

Hassell, on the other hand, said he believes his book is vital to deepening the overall learning experience in his course.

“It helps students to understand a little bit of how a chemist might look at things [in everyday life],” Hassell said. “[It follows] a chemistry graduate student and how everything she sees she thinks of in terms of chemistry.”

You can find “Chemistry in Whispering Caves” used on Amazon for $35.42.