Recently, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette made headlines for a $1,000 eBook. The access code for an introductory accounting course was purposefully priced at almost 4x the cost of the printed textbook. Criticism of the university and publisher spread quickly over social media, accusing them of price manipulation and scamming students into more debt. UL-Lafayette’s response did not do much to assuage anger, causing much disbelief that the institution acted on “good intentions.” Even further providing fuel for the fire when the price of the digital version was changed to match the print version and not significantly lower like most digital texts.
With a virtual course materials platform and faculty adoption and analytics tool, Akademos helps to solve, and prevent, this problem every day. An integrated virtual bookstore allows students to see which textbooks are required, which are suggested, and the real-time costs of each available option – new, used, rental, eBook, Marketplace – all on one intuitive screen. A sophisticated adoption tool provides faculty with real-time availability and pricing of potential course materials – prior to a book being selected. Along with options to utilize OER, digital learning materials, and create customized CoursePacks, it is easier than ever before to make course materials more affordable.
On an institutional level, systems are needed to give both faculty and administrators tools to understand affordability of textbooks and related academic materials. On an individual level, students need to spend less money on textbooks and faculty want the students to succeed. Increasingly, the high costs of textbooks and other course materials are barriers to student success and administrators need to change long-held views or risk their reputations in a very public forum.
To learn more about how you can address textbook affordability and help your students succeed, contact us for more information.