Notes in the Margins: Textbooks, online classes and the national anthem

Innovative new teaching method puts college students in the driver’s seat A handful of colleges across the country have decided to dramatically mix things up in the classroom. Schools like UCLA, University of Virginia, James Madison and Carnegie Mellon have started programs allowing undergraduates to come up with their own ideas for classes and, in turn, the students lead semester-long classes on topics ranging from ethnic strife in Africa to the world of Harry Potter. (USA Today)

Rental & Used Textbooks Cheaper Than Digital 92% of the Time While the saved costs of physical manufacturing and shipping make price an advertised selling point for many etextbook retailers, a student who is making purchasing decisions based solely on cost will likely find a better deal elsewhere. (Mashable)

Indiana college will play ‘America the Beautiful’ instead of national anthem A small college in northern Indiana that decided to stop playing the national anthem at sporting events will play “America the Beautiful” instead. Goshen College’s president says “America the Beautiful” is more fitting with the Mennonite Church-affiliated school’s pacifist traditions while also honoring the country. (Associated Press via Chicago Tribune)

How the world looks to today’s college freshmen To today’s college freshmen, the following things are true: Music has always been available via free downloads. Fake Christmas trees have always outsold real ones. (The Washington Post)

Online Enterprises Gain Foothold as Path to a College Degree Some recent entrants into the field of online education offer grounds for both concern and hope. (The New York Times)