The Direct Network

Best of 2017: Digital Content

Posted by Liz Schulte on Jan 3, 2018 5:30:00 AM
Topics: digital content, OER, adaptive courseware

Digital content is an important piece of the course materials puzzle. It provides students with options, savings and interactive learning. When choosing whether to adopt an eBook, alternative content or a custom course pack, it is critical to understand the ins and outs of each option so you can make the best decision for your school.

Best of 2017: Digital ContentThat’s why we have compiled five of our most popular posts on digital content from 2017.

  • The Pros and Cons of OER
    Students need ways to lower costs. Naturally, they look to schools to provide them with better solutions. In turn, many schools look to Open Educational Resources to help accomplish that goal. However, these no-cost options are just a piece of the course materials puzzle.

    See the potential strengths and weaknesses of adopting OER.
  • Print Vs. Digital Course Materials
    “Print is dead.”

    “Digital will never last.”

    Everyone has an opinion about the print vs. digital debate. Facts and figures can be quoted on both sides, making a compelling argument for each. The cost of print can be too much for students to shoulder. Retention is harder to achieve with digital. Back and forth, the argument can go on forever because the truth is neither platform is inherently bad or good. Both have unique pros and cons that make the decision about which one to choose nearly impossible.

    Take a deeper look at the print vs. digital debate to find the best solution for your school.
  • Are Course Packs the Right Option for You?
    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 due to financial concerns.

    Students are increasingly unhappy with the cost of course materials—especially when the whole text isn’t used in class. Course packs provide a way to supply students with all the materials they need at a fraction of the cost. 

    Find out more about course packs in this excellent article.
  • Virtually Confused: How to Talk Digital With Faculty
    When faculty adopt low-cost digital options like inclusive access or alternative content, it serves the official school bookstore. Even if it doesn’t boost overall revenues, students are more likely to purchase the lower-priced texts on time. When students have required materials, their grades improve, retention increases and the school reaps the reward of a reliable revenue stream. There’s only one problem: too many faculty members aren’t aware of digital options. That places the onus on administrators to educate teachers.

    Discover more about communicating with faculty members about their digital options.
  • Quality Counts: Why Faculty Need Streamlined OER
    State legislators and administrators alike wonder why faculty aren’t clamoring to use Open Educational Resources. Though the academic community has been abuzz with talk of OER for years, research shows teachers have been slow to latch onto the trend.

    One 2016 survey from Babson College found that only 6.9% of 3,000 faculty questioned planned to use OERs within the next three years. Why? An Independent College Bookstore Association survey of faculty at two and four-year institutions showed that 97.1% put their own assessment of quality above other criteria like cost or colleague recommendation when considering a textbook adoption.

    Read out how faculty view OER, and how you can help them navigate the digital terrain.

Digital Consulting Group


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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