The Direct Network

Are Course Packs the Right Option for You?

Posted by Liz Schulte on Jul 27, 2017 5:30:00 AM
Topics: course packs, eText Builder, course materials

Schools want to provide students with the best, most well-rounded education possible. In a perfect world, a teacher could draw from multiple sources and develop a syllabus that was specifically designed for the class he/she wanted to teach without costing students more money. However, asking students to purchase multiple course materials for each class is often met with resistance in no small part due to finances. Students are increasingly unhappy with the cost of course materials—especially when the whole text isn’t used. MBS Direct’s eText Builder offers faculty way to provide students with all the materials they need at a fraction of the cost.  

Are Course Packs the Right Option for You?The eText Builder is a content building tool that helps faculty create customized course materials. The course packs can be purchased in bound print editions, digital editions or as a bundle including both. With this service, the instructor can build a collection of all the materials they will cover throughout the semester into course packs, lab manuals or custom books. Using resources from XanEdu™, previously published packs, copyright-cleared scholarly articles, book chapters, multimedia resources and their own original content, the material covered in the course can be carefully chosen from more than 8 million available sources — resulting in a fine-tuned educational resource specifically designed for their class and students. Faculty is assured all of the compiled course materials will be relevant to what will be covered in their class because they chose it. (6 Questions Faculty Have About Creating Custom Course Materials)

The most immediate benefit to building course packs is the cost-savings for students.  Course packs can be priced considerably less than other course materials, especially if the class covers bits and pieces of several different books. Rather than requiring the students purchase multiple books, the necessary parts can be compiled into one more cost-effective version. To further assist in keeping student expenses down, a cumulative cost is displayed before the material is adopted — allowing the instructor to change the material selected and control the final price.

All factors should be considered when making the decision on whether or not to use custom course packs.  They may not be the right fit for every class. While eText Builder offers upfront savings to the students, custom titles can typically only be used in the class they were designed to mirror. If the materials are not readopted, then buyback may not be available on the text. Consider the final cost to students, the effectiveness of the material and the likelihood that the students will purchase the pack when choosing what option will suit your faculty and students’ needs.

Never has it been so easy to piece together professional, copyright-cleared material into one cost-effective package designed head to toe by the instructor for their specific class. With course packs, the ability to create a truly customized educational experience that benefits not only the instructor, but the students as well, is within reach.

Download the free white paper: Increasing Student Engagement through Course Material Selection

About Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte is an author and business owner with a background in customer service, marketing and higher education development.

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