This is not a study, but purely my individual response.  I use the Laboratory Manual in Physical Geology from Prentice Hall, edited by Richard M. Busch, associated with NAGT and AGI, for a summer beginning lab course in Geology at the University of Nevada Reno.  While there are many excellent web resources and even an accompanying CD, I teach a summer course that is filled with non-majors, so the lab manual is concise, convenient, and most important, it's in hand when the students come to class.  With only 10 class meetings, I use most but not all of the manual.  I would love to construct a course with web resources, given the right environment.
--Maureen Leshendok

Maureen Leshendok 
Reference Department
Elizabeth Sturm Library
TruckeeMeadows Community College

>>> Maggie Benoit <[log in to unmask]> 4/27/2009 7:52 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 knows 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