Kent State University continually reviews and assesses best practices to promote affordability of textbooks and course materials.
Best practices fostered by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs include but are not limited to promoting the adoption of course materials by established deadlines, utilizing open source course materials, encouraging faculty to develop course materials, and implementing an Inclusive Access Model for Textbooks and Educational Resources.
Inclusive Access Model for Textbook Purchases
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) promotes solutions that positively impact the costs of textbooks and other course materials for students. Further, House Bill 49 (ORC Sec. 3333.951) requires each state institution of higher education to annually report to the efficiency advisory committee on its efforts to reduce textbook costs to students. Each institution must also study the current cost of textbooks for students enrolled in the institution, and shall submit the study to the chancellor of higher education annually.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, Kent State students saved $1,201,340 through textbook rentals and digitally formatted textbooks. In order to increase the savings to students, the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs proposed this inclusive access model to deliver course materials the first day of classes electronically through the learning management system at below market prices.
A new textbook charge for courses that meet the guidelines established in the Inclusive Access Model for Textbooks and Educational Resources was approved at the Kent State Board of Trustees March 7, 2018 meeting. Under this model, students pay a textbook charge assessed by the Bursar, at the actual negotiated textbook cost. As faculty identify course materials, the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs will collaborate to include identified courses and materials in this model. Costs to students will vary depending on the costs of the course materials and students will only be assessed the textbook charges for courses included in this model. Students may opt out of the textbook charge and obtain course materials individually.
A pilot program, Flash Books will launch for the 2018-19 academic year in Fall 2018. The students will gain access to the course materials through Blackboard by the first day of classes. Students are expected to save between 30-70% per course. The ability to opt out, while not encouraged, is available through Blackboard.
Questions about the Flash Books program can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.