Course material selection is a crucial step towards solidifying student success. Doing things like picking the optimal curriculum, considering whether to bundle the costs of course materials in with tuition and making other crucial choices can help your school to provide quality, affordable content delivered on-time, which can increase student success.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of best practices to help your school work its way through the adoptions season. Something to keep in mind as you browse through these suggestions is this: Adequate time and proper effort are necessary components for reaching the best possible results.
1. Make informed decisions to best meet learning objectives
Discovery and research are key parts of fulfilling this goal. In order to make those informed decisions, the person or people in charge of selecting content will have to do their due diligence. There is a massive amount of content out there – from free to paid, print to digital, static to interactive – and picking the content that will best meet each course’s learning objectives is very important in determining student success.
2. Explore format options
Whether it’s print, digital, OER or custom course materials, there are a lot of format options to choose from. With such variety, it’s important to be thorough in the search to find which options are right for the class and the students. Some options might be inexpensive, but will they help contribute to your students’ mastery of concepts?
3. Provide affordable options without sacrificing quality
Considering how many options are out there, there should be a way for your school to find the optimal combination of quality and affordability. Will free or low-priced OER provide the necessary information to your students? How about older print editions – are they up to date on current and correct concepts? There are pros and cons to most combinations of quality and affordability, so finding the one that works best for you and your students is crucial.
4. Encourage adoptions to be turned in early
The earlier your staff submits their adoptions, the better chance your school will get the books they want. This is true for a couple of reasons. First, earlier adoptions mean, depending on the content, your school may have the ability to source more inexpensively, specifically by having access to more used books if they so choose. Second, by providing your school adequate time to source the precise number of copies it needs, they’ll be able to ensure that content can be distributed to students before classes begin.
This will require whoever is selecting your school’s content and whoever is managing procurement to work together. Maintaining a strong and communicative relationship between those two entities will benefit everyone involved in the long run, especially if they are able to meet the goal of having adoptions submitted early.
5. Meet HEOA guidelines
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires every higher learning institution in the United States that receives federal funding to disclose accurate course material information, including ISBNs at the time of registration so students can better understand the costs of those materials and shop elsewhere, if applicable.