To Maggie & the group,
To put my 2 cents in, it seems that I am n the minority on this issue.  I use the lab manual by Jones & Jones, published by McGraw Hill.  I used to teach at a different community college where we used the AGI lab manual (had no choice).  I liked it, and it works well.  When I found the Jones & Jones, I saw a couple of things that swayed me :(1) better illustrations of minerals & rocks (although the AGI is pretty good), and the real deal-breaker was (2) innovative exercises for rivers & groundwater. 
David H. Voorhees
Assistant Professor of Earth Science and Geology
Waubonsee Community College
Rt 47 @ Waubonsee Drive
Sugar Grove, IL 60554
[log in to unmask]

>>> Maggie Benoit <[log in to unmask]> 4/27/2009 9:52 AM >>>

I am trying to get an idea what role the commercially available lab manuals play in driving undergraduate instruction.  I've been poking around on different databases, but I can't find any literature on this.  Some of the information I'm looking for involves: What % of institutions rely on these manuals for their introductory geology course laboratory instruction, and are there any studies regarding the efficacy of these manuals? Does anyone know of any papers that would be helpful?

  I'm planning on calling publishers and asking them for some statistics (who kno ws if they are believable or not), but I was hoping there might be some scholarly work on this topic.

  I appreciate any insight that you would have on this...  I'm kind of new to the geoscience education realm. 

   Thank you for any help you can offer,
     Maggie Benoit

Margaret H. Benoit
Assistant Professor of Physics
The College of New Jersey
Science Complex P-113
Ewing, NJ 08628