Implementing an online bookstore to manage all of the course material logistics doesn’t mean it is necessary to get rid of the on-campus store. Campus stores can be a central location where students frequently gather to shop for spirit wear, grab coffee and snacks, and meet up with peers. Mitchell Technical Institute has partnered with us to manage their course materials while they focus on selling tools, spirit wear and other goods to support their programs, scholarships, and more.
Self-operated bookstores are becoming increasingly burdened by the complex requirements of managing course materials from negotiating prices with multiple publishers, to navigating state textbook regulations, competing with online sellers, and managing custom course packs and digital materials. Fast-evolving textbook service demands can strain staff and resources.
Dozens of variables impact how well a college student learns and retains information, and the most obvious factors are the textbook and course materials the student uses.
But until recently, it's been difficult to make a connection between course material content and student success. Knowing if a student has obtained a textbook, let alone opened it, is something that faculty and administrators have largely been unable to monitor or measure.
In the coming weeks, millions of students will be returning to college and university campuses. The air will be full of excitement as existing students settle in for a new year and new students look forward to a new chapter. Dorms will fill up with boxes and suitcases and the quad will fill with tables representing campus activities and student organizations. Campus bookstores will offer extended hours as students search for their books and materials. These students will spend hundreds of dollars, some over a thousand, this semester alone. Increasingly, this spend will not occur inside the bookstore.
Tipping points can be defined by a series of changes, often small ones, that become critical enough to bring about an unstoppable change. The use of digital course materials in colleges and universities is already at its tipping point.
Institutions are Gaining a Winning Edge by Transitioning to a
Virtual Course Materials Platform
Between 2006 and 2016, the cost of college textbooks increased by 73%, which was over four times the rate of inflation. (1) Today, with individual textbook costs climbing to hundreds of dollars each, it should be no surprise that many students are looking outside of the school-sanctioned bookstore to find affordable sources when buying their course materials or, worse, not buying them at all. If college and university leaders hope to meet the growing needs of their student populations and scale for an increasingly digital future, they’ll need to address these trends.