Course Materials News 09/01/2022

By Michael Moore | September 1, 2022
Course Materials News

Course Materials News 09/01/2022

There were some recent developments in course materials that I wanted to share some thoughts on. The first was the National Association of College Stores (NACS) released a new Student Watch Report and the second was Student Monitor announcing they were adding questions to their semi-annual trends report about Inclusive Access.

Student Watch News

NACS recently released their Student Watch™: Attitudes and Behaviors toward Course Materials: 2022 Report. The report included responses from 39 campuses and over 11,800 students. Interestingly, the report indicated that the average student spending for course materials in 2021-2022 was at its lowest point since NACS began tracking the data in 1998. I wanted to highlight some responses from the report that pertain to Inclusive Access:

  • The report indicated that 39% of respondents received their course materials through Inclusive Access(IA), up from 15% in 2018-2019.
  • Over 50% of responses indicated that Inclusive Access would be better than the traditional course materials acquisitions process.
  • About 54% of those who obtained their course materials through Inclusive Access were at least somewhat satisfied with the program and another 30% were neither satisfied no dissatisfied.
  • Of students who were satisfied with the Inclusive Access program, over 70% said they were satisfied with the program because they had the materials on the first day of class, didn’t have to shop around for course materials, and/or they knew they would have all of the materials and the correct editions.
  • Over 40% of students who indicated they were satisfied with the program said they were satisfied because their materials cost less, and they had the ability to pay later or through tuition.
  • Over 30% of respondents reported accessing free downloadable materials.

Student Monitor News

Student Monitor produces a national, syndicated market research study focused on trends at four-year institutions. In their reports they have found that student attitudes towards digital textbooks have shifted positively. As such, they want to explore how students feel about Inclusive Access. In their article they said, “IA is here to stay, and we are excited to introduce IA research as a new component in our Fall 2022 report…”. This is an interesting development to learn more about how Inclusive Access is perceived at four-year institutions. My research on Inclusive and Equitable Access has been more two-year focused, so I am interested to see Student Monitor’s Fall 2022 report.

Wrap Up

While Inclusive Access is just one program to reduce the cost of and increase access to course materials, it is gaining traction. I am interested to see how the results from Student Monitor match up to the responses NACS received from their report. Regardless of your personal opinion of programs like IA, the more we can learn about their effectiveness and student perceptions, the more we will be able to adjust them to meet the needs of students. As always, thanks for checking in and I’ll see you next time.