Topics to consider when selecting textbooks for your courses
Please include the bookstore when determining format of materials
After deciding what textbook or materials to use for your course, we encourage you to include the bookstore staff if you have questions regarding the format to use and offer to students. We would be happy to work with you and the Publishers representative you are working with to determine what is best for our students. Always remember, it is the reps job to sell as many books, packages, access codes as possible… and our students best interests are not always their first priority. Please contact your school office if you have questions regarding any uniform text adoption that may already be in place for your course.
Uniform text adoption = Quantity discount! Other benefits...
Uniform textbook adoptions can potentially lower textbook costs in several ways:
Occasionally publishers will reduce the cost of a book/pkg if a certain quantity can be ordered. So, the more of a certain title we can use, the more leverage we would have to try to negotiate further discounts. See what others within your department are using. If more classes can get together and use a uniform text, we should be able to offer a lower price to our students, and have more used books available. It also makes a much better rental book candidate if the potential number of students notice, having a uniform text adoption for all sections of a course helps to ease the disruption. Faculty already know what is being used; students don’t need to worry about showing up their first day with the wrong materials.
Consider Open Education Resources (OER)?
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that exist in the public domain or have been released under an open license. This means that those resources can be used free of charge and distributed widely. Types of open educational resources include: full courses, course materials, modules, learning objects, open textbooks, openly licensed (often streamed) videos, tests, software, and other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.
One example of OER is open textbooks, which are released under Creative Commons, or similar, license. They are often written and published by faculty, with the support of universities or new commercial companies. For a good overview, see Educause’s 7 Things You Should Know About Open Educational Resources (pdf) and 7 Things You Should Know About Open Textbook Publishing (pdf).
A word about packages with access cards
Often times, the publisher will “throw in” an access card; package it with the text for no or little additional cost to encourage purchase of the package. If the access card isn’t used in the course, it frustrates and confuses students; they are purchasing a card that “the teacher never even used”. Book packages with access cards have little to no chance of being rental candidates. It also will limit or negate any returns that we are able to take from students. The buyback value is also impacted since bookstores don’t know for sure if the card is a required component or not. Publishers want to sell new books, we like to make used books available and therefore the book without access card is a better choice if you are not using the access.