Writing in the ALT newsletter Jim Farmer charts the rise in the popularity of textbooks and accompanying supplementary material (e-learning content) amongst Faculty in the US.
Publishers are investing billions of dollars in developing these materials, an investment colleges and universities will not able to match - even if they work collectively.
Publishers have developed a business model to support a large investment in the development of course materials, have created a direct and productive relationship with faculty, and have focused on learning how students learn. This seems to be model where faculty, students, and publishers all benefit at least in the short term and in the absence of any more creative approach within higher education.
As always Jim illustrates his arguments with lots of thought provoking statistics. Well worth a read.