Faculty FAQ

To meet the needs of our faculty and students, the University Bookstore is providing a new delivery model for digital content.  As the publishing industry continues to evolve with digital content, Kent State University looks to our bookstore partner to navigate these changes and provide our faculty options to address these changes. Today, more and more faculty are adopting eTextbooks or publisher interactive digital applications or courseware (examples: Pearson MyLabs, McGraw Connect, Cengage MindTap), and our bookstore is responding to the request for a seamless delivery experience.  The bookstore’s "First Day™" model, which we have named Flash Books, is an inclusive access program that provides for delivery of a publisher’s digital content within Blackboard Learn for access to students on the first day of class.

What is the Flash Books Model?

Flash Books, built upon the First Day™ Model, is a process that allows the bookstore and publishers to partner in delivering affordable course materials to students in one seamless process. The publisher, working with the University Bookstore, provides each student with access to their digital courseware and eTextbook within Blackboard Learn. The bookstore facilitates faculty enrollment into the program, preferred pricing, students opt-out option, and all accounting and management of the program. The bookstore has always been our brick & mortar and online provider — now they are expanding their services to Blackboard Learn. More information can be found at www.kent.edu/provost/textbook-affordability.

What are the benefits of the model?

Here are a few of the key benefits:   

  • Single Sign-On – Students will have a single sign-on through the Blackboard Learn on the first day of class with no additional access code required
  • Convenience – No need to shop around for the lowest price or navigate finding the right product
  • Course Material Charge – Payment is made as a material charge with the course and allows for traditional funding (student financial aid) to cover costs or delayed costs
  • Preferred Pricing – Below market value pricing that reduces the cost on required material
  • Value Print Option – Supplement to online content is made available in the University Bookstore based on publisher availability
  • Consistency – Consistent first day of class delivery of digital content for students within a course
  • Compliance – OE guidelines of below market pricing, delivery by the first day of class, and providing the students with an option to opt-out is all provided by the University Bookstore
Do I still have the autonomy to select what course materials I use for my course in this model?

Yes, but keep in mind that Flash Books is for digital content (eTextbooks or Interactive Courseware, e.g. MyLabs, Revel, MindTap and Connect). Utilizing digital course material through this model is simply an alternative delivery method to our students through BLACKBOARD LEARN with a charge added to the course, eliminating the need for access codes.

Does the Flash Books delivery method provide my students with real savings over the marketplace?

Yes, the University Bookstore negotiates discounted pricing that meets the guidelines of the Department of Education. These guidelines require a below-market cost for the required course materials in the Flash Books pilot.

What is DOE?

DOE is the Department of Education, a federal department that promotes student achievement and preparation for global competiveness by fostering education excellence and ensuring equal access. With inclusive access, the department is requiring three standards be met when applying charges that are paid by students for educational materials.

What publishers/course material are currently available in the Flash Books program?

Currently, the University Bookstore has national agreements with three of the largest publishers for interactive courseware and eTextbooks: Cengage, McGraw and Pearson.  In the future, additional publishers will be added to the program for interactive courseware.  For eTextbooks, the bookstore works with all publishers and availability in the program is based on if pricing meets the DOE guidelines.

Is there particular publisher content that works best in Flash Books?

Digital Interactive course materials and eTextbooks are the most compatible formats for the program and provide the greatest cost savings.

How long will my students have access to their Flash Books interactive content?

Digital Interactive Courseware, such as MyLabs, Connect and Mindtap, is only available for the length of time that BLACKBOARD LEARN is open to the student for a specific course.

How long will my students have access to eTextbook content in the Flash Books model?

For an eTextbook, the DRM (Digital Rights Management) provided by the publisher will spell out the options available for the eTextbook. The length of time may vary from 120 days to complete ownership through a download. For eTextbooks that allow ownership beyond the course, students may access their eTextbook content by logging into their bookshelf at mydigitalcontent.com after the course(s) has ended.  Students can also access their eTextbooks offline by downloading the Yuzu® app for iOS or Android™.

If a student needs to retake a Flash Books course, will they be charged again?

If the student is required to pay tuition again to retake the course, then there will be another Flash Book charge for the course materials.  If the student feels there are extenuating circumstances, they can submit a special circumstance form electronically at https://www.kent.edu/studentaffairs/flashbooks.

What are the other benefits for my students for delivery in the Flash Books program?

Research with our students has shown that 60% of students attend the first day of class without their course material.  Flash Books delivers the course material in the Blackboard Learn and no matter the method of payment or availability of funds at the start of classes, all students have access at the same time. Students prefer the delivery model for the convenience of access within the Blackboard Learn and the elimination of access codes.

If I need my students to have access to my content materials in the Blackboard Learn prior to classes starting, can I do that with this program?

Yes, provided the content delivery was set up with the Blackboard Learn administrator or faculty member by working with the publisher and the bookstore, then content is available when the course is open for students.  The bookstore can provide a timeline to cover key dates for implementation.

When do I have to enroll into the Flash Books model and share the content I will be using?

The deadline for becoming part of the Flash Books program is closely aligned with the textbook adoption timeline each semester.  The actual deadline date is available from the University Bookstore.

How will my students know their materials content is integrated into the Blackboard Learn and that a course materials charge will be assessed?

When the student registers for the class, the Flash Book charge amount is noted in the class notes section.  When the student clicks the link to purchase their course materials, there is a notification that the course materials will be delivered through Blackboard Learn and the cost will be assessed to the student’s account.  Additional information is also available at www.kent.edu/studentaffairs/flashbooks.