We asked the University Bookstore, “If you could tell faculty one thing that would help impact the success of their students, what would it be?” They gave us 6 things!
1. Research the Prices.
Our proprietary online platform, FacultyEnlight, offers faculty one convenient location to research, see available formats, compare pricing and adopt course materials, including “desk copies” and OER options. FacultyEnlight features include:
- Research and adopt course materials in one convenient place
- Read peer product reviews and write your own
- Compare textbook cost to student and format availability
- Access previous adoptions from the past two years
2. ISBNs are important.
Did you know that printed textbooks and digital textbooks have different ISBN numbers? This is important to note on your syllabus, as many syllabi only reference the printed version. This will let students know that a digital format is available that can save them money.
3. Course packages can make things difficult.
Often, publishers will discuss creating a “course pack” that can be customized for the university. This option eliminates students’ ability to choose a used textbook option and also prevents them from participating in our Buy Back program at the end of the semester, thus increasing the students’ costs. Students have also reported that course packages are not always used in their entirety, and as a result, they are more reluctant to purchase them, leaving them unprepared for class.
4. eBooks are available for a majority of titles.
Barnes & Noble College continually introduces innovating digital tools and resources to meet student and faculty's evolving needs. As digital course materials grow in popularity, we’re keeping our sights on new ways to create a digital teaching and learning experience that improves student outcomes and retention. With digital textbooks, students can save up to 80 percent off the price of a new print textbook. Right now, 71 percent of faculty nationwide use digital course materials in their classrooms.
5. Order your books on time.
What can you do to help ensure that your students have the most access to affordable options? Early adoption fuels our rental and used textbook and Buy Back programs. When we receive textbook adoption requests early, we have ample time to buy used textbooks from our suppliers before other universities purchase the available inventory and can offer students cash back for the books that will be reused next semester. If book orders come in late, more costly formats may be the only available options left for students. We want to ensure students have access to all the course material formats they need, at a price point that fits their budget. Timely book orders help us do just that.
6. Open Education Resources (OER) and First Day™ are options.
Open educational resources (OER) are a great, low-cost option for students. BNED Courseware, which is based on a foundation of high-quality OER, gives students immediate access to their learning materials delivered through University of Akron’s learning management system. In addition, for instructors who want to adopt open textbooks, but still want students to have the option of owning a printed copy, we have a relationship with XanEdu that can provide low-cost print-on-demand options.
Our First Day™ inclusive access model is where the cost of course materials is added to the tuition for a particular course or program. With First Day™, students are prepared on the first day of class with all their required materials, leading to greater student success. The price students pay can usually be significantly reduced and they can use their financial aid to cover the course materials costs. Faculty can rest assured that all of their students will have the correct required course materials, and will not fall behind due to missing materials.