Student FAQ | Flash Books | Kent State University

Student FAQ

To meet the needs of our faculty and students the University Bookstore managed by Barnes & Noble College 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?

The Flash Books pilot is a collaboration between Kent State University, the University Bookstores and publishers to deliver affordable course materials.  The required course materials are accessed by students through Blackboard Learn without access codes.  The University Bookstore facilitates faculty enrollment and negotiate preferred pricing. The costs for the course materials are reflected on the student account.

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 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 Barnes & Noble College
Does the Flash Books delivery method provide me 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.

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

Digital Interactive Courseware for example MyLabs, Connect, Mindtap are only available for the length of time Blackboard Learn is open to the student for a specific course.

How long will I 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. For offline access to the eTextbook, students can also download the Yuzu® iOS or Android™ apps from their respective app stores onto a maximum of two devices.

When will I be able to access the content for a course in the Flash Books model?

Flash Books delivers the course material in 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 Blackboard Learn and the elimination of access codes.

If I need to have access to my content materials in 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.

How will I know my instructor’s course is in the Flash Books program?

In FlashLine, if you click the $ sign on your schedule of classes, you will be able to see the amount of the Flash Books charge.  In addition, when you click the link to buy your books, there will be a notification that the course materials will be delivered through Blackboard Learn and the cost will be assessed to your student account.   Information will also be available at www.kent.edu/studentaffairs/flashbooks

Do I have to participate in Flash Books for a course?

No, you have the ability to opt out of receiving your required course content for any course that is in the Flash Books program.  You must opt out during the 100% tuition refund period for your class.  The opt out process for the course materials is through Blackboard Learn.  If you opt out… you are required to obtain the course materials on your own.  Since Kent State is getting the most beneficial price for these required course materials, we encourage you to not opt out.

Where can I find what date the opt out option expires for a class that is utilizing Flash Books?

If you view your class schedule in FlashLine you can click on the CRN and the web page displayed will show you the refund % dates for the class. The last day to opt out is the last day of the 100% refund period.

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