Print vs Online: does one dominate the other?

By: Samantha Burgess

In a society driven by technology, is print still necessary? Today almost every person has a phone, computer or device that allows them to instantly connect to the internet. The days of writing letters are long gone, and they have been replaced by text, call and social media. Printed books are now available as ebooks or audiobooks, and most newspapers are digital.

At Bryan College, faculty integrates both print and online resources for the students education. Students can easily upload assignments and download powerpoints on Moodle and the library has a large online database.

On the contrary, some professors still give handouts and written assignments and students still use physical textbooks to read and study. Many feel like online resources are quicker and easier to access, while others still prefer to have a hard copy.

Hannah Schultz, professor of history, justice, and government, uses a blend of print and online resources when she teaches.

Schultz prefers physical books because she finds them easier to use; however, she admits online books are sometimes cheaper and easier to access. Online also allows for a more flexible curriculum, and Moodle is a better way of collecting assignments.

“It depends on the type of course and the format in which I am teaching,” said Schultz.  “Choosing a physical textbook isn’t a deciding factor, and I am always pleased when there’s an online option for students who prefer it.”

Sophomore theatre major, Teagan Hughes also feels it is necessary to have both print and online resources: “Sometimes having a physical handout helps me but submitting online papers is easier.”

Matthew Wesolowski, a senior majoring in corporate communication, feels online assignments are always shorter and take less time however; he prefers print resources because he often gets distracted online.

Wesolowski likes Moodle, but feels it could be improved a bit. “My only complaint is that sometimes it takes a while for grades to be uploaded.”

Director of Library Services, Dr. Gary Fitsimmons believes both print and online resources have their advantages. “If you surveyed students you would find that for some disciplines and assignments, online is more useful and for others, physical items are more useful.”

Although students may need a physical book, Fitsimmons feels the library’s 123 databases are likely to help students with almost anything.

Despite living in a technology driven world, print resources are still prominent, as many at Bryan have stated.


Samantha Burgess is a Freshman majoring in Communication with an emphasis in Digital Media. Samantha is actively involved in PCI. She writes Triangle articles on a variety of topics including campus life and current events. When she’s not doing homework, Samantha can often be found curled up with a good book, writing, listening to music, or watching TV.