Academic Solutions · Article

How a Complete Access Model for Course Materials Should Work for You

Complete Access Course Materials
October 28, 2020

Colleges and universities are trying to make the best of a complicated moment that requires significant and rapid adaptation. Change is inevitable — but everyone is looking for the changes that will be the most effective and fruitful in the long term. As institutions explore new ways of managing course materials, it’s important to know the full scope of what’s possible.

Complete access models are in the spotlight because they offer greater affordability and access for students are seeking. These models bundle course material costs and include them as part of students’ tuition and fees, delivering all materials by the first day of class. The volume of these programs ensures significant student savings and drives revenue back to the institution.

We know there’s an opportunity for complete access: in recent research, 87% of students said they are interested in lower-priced course materials bundled with tuition. However, not all complete access models function in the same ways or offer the same features and benefits. Here are several examples of how a complete access model can — and should — deliver the most value for you and your campus community.

Faculty retain the academic freedom to choose their preferred course materials

With the switch to complete access, faculty shouldn’t have to change their behaviors significantly. If anything, they should save time, particularly if they’ve been investing time in researching affordable options. A complete access model should allow them to select the best course materials for the term — the savings for students are already built-in. And, if the materials faculty want to adopt are not available, the college store should be able to work with the faculty to add them to the inventory.

Students can get digital or print materials when print is available

It’s simple: in an increasingly digital world, some students still prefer print course materials. The most comprehensive complete access models allow students to choose print or digital, understanding that it’s important to support different learning styles. As institutions move fluidly between in-person and online instruction, it’s more important than ever to ensure students have the learning tools that work best for them.

Students save time as well as money

Complete access is designed to be simple and convenient. Students no longer need to worry about comparison shopping or borrowing materials, and they don’t have to wait for a financial aid disbursement that often comes after classes have started. With complete access, it should be easy and intuitive for students to find their required course materials and delivery method.

Course material revenue stays on campus

The optimal complete access model provides all the right incentives that drive participation — and enthusiasm — among students and faculty. As a result, not only do you deliver significant savings for students and help ensure they’re prepared for class, you do so while recapturing market share from online retailers and other competitors.

You reinforce your commitment to affordability — and elevate your brand

Only 43% of students said they believe their school is improving affordability, according to research conducted for our 2020 National Student Pulse Report. Implementing a complete access model is one tangible way you can lower costs for students and ensure they get what they need to be successful. Meeting these student needs not only supports individual achievement, it elevates your institutional brand.

Barnes & Noble College believes complete access can help institutions solve key challenges and deliver the benefits today’s students need most. For more information, download our latest white paper, The Future of Course Material Management: A Guide to Innovation in Affordability, Access, and Convenience. It highlights the way forward, with solutions, practical recommendations, and results that demonstrate how you can deliver affordability, access, and convenience for all your key stakeholders.

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