MBS Direct is happy to introduce our newest implementation designed to help simplify course packs for you and your faculty members: MBS Direct’s custom course material site, eText Builder. By utilizing this exciting new site, your instructors will be able to create printed or digital (or a combination of the two) course packs on their own and see exactly how much each will cost as they continue to add items.
Previously, faculty members had to pull everything together in a digital format before sending it off to MBS Direct, who would then take it to one of our course pack providers to be proofed and priced. Only after this step was complete would an instructor be able to decide if the price of the course pack they created was worth it. If it wasn’t, they’d have to go through that whole process again. Sounds time consuming, doesn’t it?
But now, by taking advantage of eText Builder, you can cut process down from a matter of days and weeks to a matter of minutes and hours. If an instructor knows what he or she is looking for, there is no reason they won’t be able to complete their course pack and know exactly how much it will cost all in a single sitting.
The way the site works is by connecting its users with XanEdu’s repository of tens of thousands of searchable articles and primary source documents, which the company licenses and manages. That way, a faculty member can pick and choose between those documents and decide which will work best in their classroom. And as they do so, the site will display the price of your course pack as it stands at any given moment.
But this site doesn’t just speed up the process. It also gets your instructors valuable experience in choosing OERs for their classes, allows instructors to include their own materials not available within the repository and perhaps most importantly, offers lowered costs overall. An instructor can even combine the materials within repository with anything from blog posts to PowerPoint slides that they have on their own computer, simply by uploading the files to the site*.
*Note: When an instructor uploads their material, they have to select whether the piece is already copyright cleared or if they need XanEdu to clear it for them. If the instructors says it is copyright cleared, they assume liability and XanEdu does not do any further clearance on the piece.
Overall, MBS Direct believes that this site is a crucial next step in providing cost-effective course materials to our partner schools. If instructors are willing to put in the (comparatively less) time and effort to make use of the eText Builder, then we are confident that their school and their students will both see benefits.