According to the campus rag, "Unlike in previous years, students in Economics 10: “Principles of Economics,” the foundational course for the Economics Department, cannot purchase used textbooks, which often offer a cheaper alternative to the new books. Instead, they must purchase access to the MindTap learning system, an online platform developed by the textbooks’ publisher that includes test preparation materials, problem-sets, and quizzes for the course. An online copy of the textbook is included on MindTap’s website, and students also receive a loose-leaf hard copy.
"The access will expire after 12 months, so students can not resell their textbooks, Mankiw said."
Students aren't happy with Mankiw's aggressive attempt at IP protection and attempt to squeeze out any consumer surplus.
The paper reports:
[S]ome students and the Crimson’s editorial board have argued that the mandatory price is too expensive for an introductory course that is a prerequisite for the economics concentration, as well as other social science concentrations.
“For those students who aren’t privileged enough to buy new textbooks, this is really expensive and burdensome,” Irene Limb ’18, a student in the course, said.
Limb also questioned the necessity of using MindTap instead of a free website, such as Canvas, the online learning platform that the College’s courses use.As of Monday evening, 647 undergraduates were enrolled in Ec 10, the College’s largest class this semester.