Professors’ use of e-reserve rises

The fairly new electronic reserve system, which allows professors to have their students access course materials and supplemental readings online, has been growing in popularity since it first arrived at the University in 2006. According to University library archives, 179 professors requested e-reserve materials at its 2006 debut. Having grown nearly every year since then, that number has increased by 48 percent as of last fall. Final numbers havenâÄôt been documented yet for spring semester, but it is expected to increase again. As the e-reserve system has risen in popularity, the number of courses with traditional print reserves has dropped by an estimated 131 courses between fall 2006 and fall 2008. University libraries spokeswoman Marlo Welshons said in an e-mail that the only semester that didnâÄôt show an increase in e-reserves was spring 2008, which was odd because there are typically more requests for e-reserves in the spring versus the fall. Welshons attributed the slump to the fact that Magrath and Walter Libraries dropped the e-reserve that semester, but said she wasnâÄôt sure why. WomenâÄôs studies professor Susan Craddock is a part of the growing number of faculty that use the system for their courses in an attempt to give students different ways to access course materials. Craddock said she wanted to give students other ways to get course information but make it affordable and convenient at the same time. âÄúReadings tend to be expensive,âÄù she said. âÄúMost students, if not all, have access to computers.âÄù Craddock, however, said her use of the e-reserve system was not going to serve as a complete replacement for issuing required textbooks. Genetics sophomore Sarah Murawski said she prefers using e-reserve to buying her own books or dealing with print reserves. âÄúItâÄôs accessible to the whole class,âÄù she said. âÄúYou donâÄôt have to compete for the book.âÄù Moodle , another supplemental online aid for professors, was established last semester as a replacement for WebVista. Still in its early stages, Moodle has become a favorite for many University courses, according to the Moodle website. Fall 2008 showed 401 courses using Moodle and 481 courses are using it this spring.