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I have a question for the group regarding the textbook provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. In essence the provision requires that textbook publishers and bookstores make available to students the ISBN of any required text as well as alternative (to the campus bookstore), transparent purchasing options.


As textbooks move more and more to a software platform, there exists the potential to place that software in campus computing labs. If campus computing lab software is funded through student fees, could we be unintentionally violating the textbook provision of the HEOA?


The concern appears to be that purchasing textbook software via student fees removes any purchasing options a student might otherwise exercise.


Would appreciate any insight!


Gail Niklason

Directory, Institutional Effectiveness

Weber State University

Ogden, UT 84408

(801) 626-8586

gniklason@weber.edu


Gail
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

I have a question for the group regarding the textbook provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. In essence the provision requires that textbook publishers and bookstores make available to students the ISBN of any required text as well as alternative (to the campus bookstore), transparent purchasing options.


As textbooks move more and more to a software platform, there exists the potential to place that software in campus computing labs. If campus computing lab software is funded through student fees, could we be unintentionally violating the textbook provision of the HEOA?


The concern appears to be that purchasing textbook software via student fees removes any purchasing options a student might otherwise exercise.


Would appreciate any insight!


Gail Niklason

Director, Institutional Effectiveness

Weber State University

Ogden, UT 84408

(801) 626-8586

gniklason@weber.edu



Gail
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Hi Gail,

Interesting question to which I offer one quick observation.

The intent of making the ISBN available is to facilitate discovery of purchasing options, including used (paper) books. As we move to digital, it seems that used books will become a logical impossibility.  They are licensed, not sold. Moreover, the publisher could become the single source of digital texts.  There's really no need for intermediaries, including the Campus Store. In other words, there may soon be no other alternatives to inform students about. 


I’d like to offer a bit of perspective on HEOA…

 

The intention of the Act is to drive affordability through transparency.  In this case, the requirement of institutions of higher education to post the required materials (ISBNs, along with a short series of required details…) to the schedule of classes, or other appropriate portal, ahead of registration.  The key here – ensuring students understand the total cost of education, inclusive of materials, prior to registration.  No surprises.  An important note… the posting and access of this information needs to be publicly accessible (outside of school firewalls)… again, they aren’t really a ‘student’ until that registration actually takes place.

 

Today, and likely well into the future, the campus stores play a huge role in compliance – and in the transaction itself.  Systemically, the campus store was architected to collect, manage, and ultimately communicate/order/sell these required materials.  Since schools, themselves, don’t have systems to recommend, collect, adopt, and store this information – they tap the campus store to help in these requirements.  The store, in addition, provides services… like the balance and reconciliation of financial aid and student accounts, which each individual publisher doesn’t do.

 

The net result of these provisions… those that encourage transparency, is a more competitive marketplace – fueled by lower prices and deeper format options.  Transparency of information, earlier in the educational process, only encourages the behavior we already see… students shopping from multiple sources to gather the course materials they need to be successful.  This reality has, in many cases, redefined the campus store.  Because there will be a transaction (of a physical or digital book,) local funding…like financial aid and scholarships, and an institutional need to have a neutral party solely dedicated and focused on course materials – the campus store will continue to have a prominent role well into higher ed’s future.

 

 

 

Liz Pisney
Director, Product Management - Academic Tools and Utilities

 

 

Tel: 630.371.7114 | Cell: 630.750.4161
Follett Higher Education Group
Intellectual Property
1818 Swift Dr. Oak Brook, IL 60523
lpisney@follett.com



 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE eTexts Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Frank Lowney
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 11:51 AM
To: ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ETEXTS] Question about the Textbook Provision of the HEOA

 

Hi Gail,

 

Interesting question to which I offer one quick observation.

 

The intent of making the ISBN available is to facilitate discovery of purchasing options, including used (paper) books. As we move to digital, it seems that used books will become a logical impossibility.  They are licensed, not sold. Moreover, the publisher could become the single source of digital texts.  There's really no need for intermediaries, including the Campus Store. In other words, there may soon be no other alternatives to inform students about. 

 

 

Evening all,

 

As someone who has been involved with this topic for almost two decades I feel obligated to speak up here.  Much of what Liz presents is accurate, about the intent of the law, but at the same time she is glossing over the major issues with its impact and administration.  The purpose of the "Act" was to strongly drive the market model.  Unfortunately for the vast majority of students, who need access to accessible and affordable materials, the legislation does almost nothing to provide that.  It does not help that most of the Administrative regulations that are needed to move the legislation have never been introduced and until that happens it is pretty much pretty language without any enforcement.

 

Unfortunately the "Act" does not speak to anything beyond "physical" textbooks and supplemental materials.  This is a widely recognized issue, and one that is becoming a significant issue as curricular materials move" slowly" towards digital provision.  It is also one of the reasons that the NFB and others have introduced what is now called the "Teach Act".  The purpose of this legislation is to actually move forward the recommendations of the AIM Commission and hopefully result in meaningful curricular change in American higher education.  Given that less than 35% of students actually purchase the course textbook it is time we look at meaningful and realistic course curriculum.  Projects such as Connexions, the work of the Sloan Foundation and the HP Foundation have moved affordable and openly accessible curriculum forward in a substantial way.

 

These claims of the redefining of the campus store are more marketing speak than any reality.  Actually the majority of campus stores do have this capability and do a very good job at it. I am sure the NACS (National Association of Campus Stores) would take issue with the statements being made here.  Follet, along with most of their commercial competitors, has been in preventing transparency and affordability in the marketplace.  Primarily under the concept of "proprietary commercial information". So I would take anything that they have to say with a serious grain of salt.  I am more than willing to have further conversations with their staff, just as I have with  most of the for profit "bookstore" vendors.  When they actually provide accessible purchasing portals and true support for curricular access I am more than willing to take them seriously.

 

Ron Stewart

 

From: The EDUCAUSE eTexts Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Pisney, Liz
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 3:03 PM
To: ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ETEXTS] Question about the Textbook Provision of the HEOA

 

I’d like to offer a bit of perspective on HEOA…

 

The intention of the Act is to drive affordability through transparency.  In this case, the requirement of institutions of higher education to post the required materials (ISBNs, along with a short series of required details…) to the schedule of classes, or other appropriate portal, ahead of registration.  The key here – ensuring students understand the total cost of education, inclusive of materials, prior to registration.  No surprises.  An important note… the posting and access of this information needs to be publicly accessible (outside of school firewalls)… again, they aren’t really a ‘student’ until that registration actually takes place.

 

Today, and likely well into the future, the campus stores play a huge role in compliance – and in the transaction itself.  Systemically, the campus store was architected to collect, manage, and ultimately communicate/order/sell these required materials.  Since schools, themselves, don’t have systems to recommend, collect, adopt, and store this information – they tap the campus store to help in these requirements.  The store, in addition, provides services… like the balance and reconciliation of financial aid and student accounts, which each individual publisher doesn’t do.

 

The net result of these provisions… those that encourage transparency, is a more competitive marketplace – fueled by lower prices and deeper format options.  Transparency of information, earlier in the educational process, only encourages the behavior we already see… students shopping from multiple sources to gather the course materials they need to be successful.  This reality has, in many cases, redefined the campus store.  Because there will be a transaction (of a physical or digital book,) local funding…like financial aid and scholarships, and an institutional need to have a neutral party solely dedicated and focused on course materials – the campus store will continue to have a prominent role well into higher ed’s future.

 

 

 

Liz Pisney
Director, Product Management - Academic Tools and Utilities

 

 

Tel: 630.371.7114 | Cell: 630.750.4161
Follett Higher Education Group
Intellectual Property
1818 Swift Dr. Oak Brook, IL 60523
lpisney@follett.com

 

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE eTexts Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Frank Lowney
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 11:51 AM
To: ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ETEXTS] Question about the Textbook Provision of the HEOA

 

Hi Gail,

 

Interesting question to which I offer one quick observation.

 

The intent of making the ISBN available is to facilitate discovery of purchasing options, including used (paper) books. As we move to digital, it seems that used books will become a logical impossibility.  They are licensed, not sold. Moreover, the publisher could become the single source of digital texts.  There's really no need for intermediaries, including the Campus Store. In other words, there may soon be no other alternatives to inform students about. 

 

 

I have a question for the group regarding the textbook provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. In essence the provision requires that textbook publishers and bookstores make available to students the ISBN of any required text as well as alternative (to the campus bookstore), transparent purchasing options.


As textbooks move more and more to a software platform, there exists the potential to place that software in campus computing labs. If campus computing lab software is funded through student fees, could we be unintentionally violating the textbook provision of the HEOA?


The concern appears to be that purchasing textbook software via student fees removes any purchasing options a student might otherwise exercise.


Would appreciate any insight!


Gail Niklason

Directory, Institutional Effectiveness

Weber State University

Ogden, UT 84408

(801) 626-8586

gniklason@weber.edu


Gail
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

I have a question for the group regarding the textbook provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. In essence the provision requires that textbook publishers and bookstores make available to students the ISBN of any required text as well as alternative (to the campus bookstore), transparent purchasing options.


As textbooks move more and more to a software platform, there exists the potential to place that software in campus computing labs. If campus computing lab software is funded through student fees, could we be unintentionally violating the textbook provision of the HEOA?


The concern appears to be that purchasing textbook software via student fees removes any purchasing options a student might otherwise exercise.


Would appreciate any insight!


Gail Niklason

Director, Institutional Effectiveness

Weber State University

Ogden, UT 84408

(801) 626-8586

gniklason@weber.edu



Gail
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Hi Gail,

Interesting question to which I offer one quick observation.

The intent of making the ISBN available is to facilitate discovery of purchasing options, including used (paper) books. As we move to digital, it seems that used books will become a logical impossibility.  They are licensed, not sold. Moreover, the publisher could become the single source of digital texts.  There's really no need for intermediaries, including the Campus Store. In other words, there may soon be no other alternatives to inform students about. 


I’d like to offer a bit of perspective on HEOA…

 

The intention of the Act is to drive affordability through transparency.  In this case, the requirement of institutions of higher education to post the required materials (ISBNs, along with a short series of required details…) to the schedule of classes, or other appropriate portal, ahead of registration.  The key here – ensuring students understand the total cost of education, inclusive of materials, prior to registration.  No surprises.  An important note… the posting and access of this information needs to be publicly accessible (outside of school firewalls)… again, they aren’t really a ‘student’ until that registration actually takes place.

 

Today, and likely well into the future, the campus stores play a huge role in compliance – and in the transaction itself.  Systemically, the campus store was architected to collect, manage, and ultimately communicate/order/sell these required materials.  Since schools, themselves, don’t have systems to recommend, collect, adopt, and store this information – they tap the campus store to help in these requirements.  The store, in addition, provides services… like the balance and reconciliation of financial aid and student accounts, which each individual publisher doesn’t do.

 

The net result of these provisions… those that encourage transparency, is a more competitive marketplace – fueled by lower prices and deeper format options.  Transparency of information, earlier in the educational process, only encourages the behavior we already see… students shopping from multiple sources to gather the course materials they need to be successful.  This reality has, in many cases, redefined the campus store.  Because there will be a transaction (of a physical or digital book,) local funding…like financial aid and scholarships, and an institutional need to have a neutral party solely dedicated and focused on course materials – the campus store will continue to have a prominent role well into higher ed’s future.

 

 

 

Liz Pisney
Director, Product Management - Academic Tools and Utilities

 

 

Tel: 630.371.7114 | Cell: 630.750.4161
Follett Higher Education Group
Intellectual Property
1818 Swift Dr. Oak Brook, IL 60523
lpisney@follett.com



 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE eTexts Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Frank Lowney
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 11:51 AM
To: ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ETEXTS] Question about the Textbook Provision of the HEOA

 

Hi Gail,

 

Interesting question to which I offer one quick observation.

 

The intent of making the ISBN available is to facilitate discovery of purchasing options, including used (paper) books. As we move to digital, it seems that used books will become a logical impossibility.  They are licensed, not sold. Moreover, the publisher could become the single source of digital texts.  There's really no need for intermediaries, including the Campus Store. In other words, there may soon be no other alternatives to inform students about. 

 

 

Evening all,

 

As someone who has been involved with this topic for almost two decades I feel obligated to speak up here.  Much of what Liz presents is accurate, about the intent of the law, but at the same time she is glossing over the major issues with its impact and administration.  The purpose of the "Act" was to strongly drive the market model.  Unfortunately for the vast majority of students, who need access to accessible and affordable materials, the legislation does almost nothing to provide that.  It does not help that most of the Administrative regulations that are needed to move the legislation have never been introduced and until that happens it is pretty much pretty language without any enforcement.

 

Unfortunately the "Act" does not speak to anything beyond "physical" textbooks and supplemental materials.  This is a widely recognized issue, and one that is becoming a significant issue as curricular materials move" slowly" towards digital provision.  It is also one of the reasons that the NFB and others have introduced what is now called the "Teach Act".  The purpose of this legislation is to actually move forward the recommendations of the AIM Commission and hopefully result in meaningful curricular change in American higher education.  Given that less than 35% of students actually purchase the course textbook it is time we look at meaningful and realistic course curriculum.  Projects such as Connexions, the work of the Sloan Foundation and the HP Foundation have moved affordable and openly accessible curriculum forward in a substantial way.

 

These claims of the redefining of the campus store are more marketing speak than any reality.  Actually the majority of campus stores do have this capability and do a very good job at it. I am sure the NACS (National Association of Campus Stores) would take issue with the statements being made here.  Follet, along with most of their commercial competitors, has been in preventing transparency and affordability in the marketplace.  Primarily under the concept of "proprietary commercial information". So I would take anything that they have to say with a serious grain of salt.  I am more than willing to have further conversations with their staff, just as I have with  most of the for profit "bookstore" vendors.  When they actually provide accessible purchasing portals and true support for curricular access I am more than willing to take them seriously.

 

Ron Stewart

 

From: The EDUCAUSE eTexts Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Pisney, Liz
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 3:03 PM
To: ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ETEXTS] Question about the Textbook Provision of the HEOA

 

I’d like to offer a bit of perspective on HEOA…

 

The intention of the Act is to drive affordability through transparency.  In this case, the requirement of institutions of higher education to post the required materials (ISBNs, along with a short series of required details…) to the schedule of classes, or other appropriate portal, ahead of registration.  The key here – ensuring students understand the total cost of education, inclusive of materials, prior to registration.  No surprises.  An important note… the posting and access of this information needs to be publicly accessible (outside of school firewalls)… again, they aren’t really a ‘student’ until that registration actually takes place.

 

Today, and likely well into the future, the campus stores play a huge role in compliance – and in the transaction itself.  Systemically, the campus store was architected to collect, manage, and ultimately communicate/order/sell these required materials.  Since schools, themselves, don’t have systems to recommend, collect, adopt, and store this information – they tap the campus store to help in these requirements.  The store, in addition, provides services… like the balance and reconciliation of financial aid and student accounts, which each individual publisher doesn’t do.

 

The net result of these provisions… those that encourage transparency, is a more competitive marketplace – fueled by lower prices and deeper format options.  Transparency of information, earlier in the educational process, only encourages the behavior we already see… students shopping from multiple sources to gather the course materials they need to be successful.  This reality has, in many cases, redefined the campus store.  Because there will be a transaction (of a physical or digital book,) local funding…like financial aid and scholarships, and an institutional need to have a neutral party solely dedicated and focused on course materials – the campus store will continue to have a prominent role well into higher ed’s future.

 

 

 

Liz Pisney
Director, Product Management - Academic Tools and Utilities

 

 

Tel: 630.371.7114 | Cell: 630.750.4161
Follett Higher Education Group
Intellectual Property
1818 Swift Dr. Oak Brook, IL 60523
lpisney@follett.com

 

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE eTexts Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Frank Lowney
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 11:51 AM
To: ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ETEXTS] Question about the Textbook Provision of the HEOA

 

Hi Gail,

 

Interesting question to which I offer one quick observation.

 

The intent of making the ISBN available is to facilitate discovery of purchasing options, including used (paper) books. As we move to digital, it seems that used books will become a logical impossibility.  They are licensed, not sold. Moreover, the publisher could become the single source of digital texts.  There's really no need for intermediaries, including the Campus Store. In other words, there may soon be no other alternatives to inform students about. 

 

 

 

While I replied directly to Gail in more detail back in early December, considering the confusion surrounding the HEA Section 133 textbook disclosure provisions reflected in the question and the replies, I thought I would help explain the requirements under the law to the larger list serve as well.

 

I am the closest thing to a national authority on the subject of the HEA Section 133 textbook provisions as well as the dozen or so similar state course material regulation laws having been involved directly or indirectly in every law that has been enacted on this subject over the last 10 years.

 

To Gail’s questions, the publisher disclosure provision Sec 133(c) require certain disclosures to faculty and other campus adopting entities (like a department), not to students.  Similarly, the federal law requires (Section 133(d) Title IV funded institutions of higher education to disclose information on required AND RECOMMENDED textbooks and supplemental materials for enrolled students.  This is normally done through the campus bookstore that administers the textbook adoption process on most campuses and verifies the information before it is provided to students through a collaboration with the registrar and IT departments..  Many state laws are far more specific on regulating the adoption process including the role of faculty and bookstores and what considerations and steps must occur before an adoption is final and information is provided to students. For example, the state law may require faculty to verify they plan to use all of the material designated as required and if not, work with the bookstore and publisher to come up with an alternative that is cost effective.  

The law Section 133(f) “encourages” institutions to disclose to students “institutional” based programs that can help save students money or meet their unique study needs.  The reference in the law to “alternatives” was not about alternatives to the campus bookstore, rather the law says: “available institutional alternative content delivery programs.”  The main intent there was accessibility and universal design (that language appeared in earlier versions of the bill), but the language was revised and broadened so it could also include things like loose leaf, custom content, digital alternatives, content chunking (like individual chapter sales), etc.

The transparency in purchasing options comes from the information and choices disclosed and offered by the institution and the earlier intended timing of the disclosure -which encourages disclosure as early as registration when practicable. 

I would add that well over 200 colleges and university bookstores have added in recent years online price comparison and shopping tools to their websites and mobile platforms in part to expand on student choice and transparency in the spirit of HEOA and student interests.  My former colleague Mark Nelson and I wrote a paper on this topic in Educause review you may find of interest: http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/tales-canary

 

If anyone else has HEA Section 133 or applicable state textbook laws questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am happy to help in any way I can.

 

Thanks!

 

Rich Hershman

 

 

Richard Hershman
Vice President of Government Relations
National Association of College Stores

1233 20th Street, NW

Suite 204

Washington, D.C. 20036
www.nacs.org
E-Mail: rhershman@nacs.org
Phone: (202) 778-4598

Fax: (202) 223-1297

 

 

 

 

I have a question for the group regarding the textbook provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. In essence the provision requires that textbook publishers and bookstores make available to students the ISBN of any required text as well as alternative (to the campus bookstore), transparent purchasing options.


As textbooks move more and more to a software platform, there exists the potential to place that software in campus computing labs. If campus computing lab software is funded through student fees, could we be unintentionally violating the textbook provision of the HEOA?


The concern appears to be that purchasing textbook software via student fees removes any purchasing options a student might otherwise exercise.


Would appreciate any insight!


Gail Niklason

Directory, Institutional Effectiveness

Weber State University

Ogden, UT 84408

(801) 626-8586

gniklason@weber.edu


Gail
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

I have a question for the group regarding the textbook provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. In essence the provision requires that textbook publishers and bookstores make available to students the ISBN of any required text as well as alternative (to the campus bookstore), transparent purchasing options.


As textbooks move more and more to a software platform, there exists the potential to place that software in campus computing labs. If campus computing lab software is funded through student fees, could we be unintentionally violating the textbook provision of the HEOA?


The concern appears to be that purchasing textbook software via student fees removes any purchasing options a student might otherwise exercise.


Would appreciate any insight!


Gail Niklason

Director, Institutional Effectiveness

Weber State University

Ogden, UT 84408

(801) 626-8586

gniklason@weber.edu



Gail
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Hi Gail,

Interesting question to which I offer one quick observation.

The intent of making the ISBN available is to facilitate discovery of purchasing options, including used (paper) books. As we move to digital, it seems that used books will become a logical impossibility.  They are licensed, not sold. Moreover, the publisher could become the single source of digital texts.  There's really no need for intermediaries, including the Campus Store. In other words, there may soon be no other alternatives to inform students about. 


I’d like to offer a bit of perspective on HEOA…

 

The intention of the Act is to drive affordability through transparency.  In this case, the requirement of institutions of higher education to post the required materials (ISBNs, along with a short series of required details…) to the schedule of classes, or other appropriate portal, ahead of registration.  The key here – ensuring students understand the total cost of education, inclusive of materials, prior to registration.  No surprises.  An important note… the posting and access of this information needs to be publicly accessible (outside of school firewalls)… again, they aren’t really a ‘student’ until that registration actually takes place.

 

Today, and likely well into the future, the campus stores play a huge role in compliance – and in the transaction itself.  Systemically, the campus store was architected to collect, manage, and ultimately communicate/order/sell these required materials.  Since schools, themselves, don’t have systems to recommend, collect, adopt, and store this information – they tap the campus store to help in these requirements.  The store, in addition, provides services… like the balance and reconciliation of financial aid and student accounts, which each individual publisher doesn’t do.

 

The net result of these provisions… those that encourage transparency, is a more competitive marketplace – fueled by lower prices and deeper format options.  Transparency of information, earlier in the educational process, only encourages the behavior we already see… students shopping from multiple sources to gather the course materials they need to be successful.  This reality has, in many cases, redefined the campus store.  Because there will be a transaction (of a physical or digital book,) local funding…like financial aid and scholarships, and an institutional need to have a neutral party solely dedicated and focused on course materials – the campus store will continue to have a prominent role well into higher ed’s future.

 

 

 

Liz Pisney
Director, Product Management - Academic Tools and Utilities

 

 

Tel: 630.371.7114 | Cell: 630.750.4161
Follett Higher Education Group
Intellectual Property
1818 Swift Dr. Oak Brook, IL 60523
lpisney@follett.com



 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE eTexts Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Frank Lowney
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 11:51 AM
To: ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ETEXTS] Question about the Textbook Provision of the HEOA

 

Hi Gail,

 

Interesting question to which I offer one quick observation.

 

The intent of making the ISBN available is to facilitate discovery of purchasing options, including used (paper) books. As we move to digital, it seems that used books will become a logical impossibility.  They are licensed, not sold. Moreover, the publisher could become the single source of digital texts.  There's really no need for intermediaries, including the Campus Store. In other words, there may soon be no other alternatives to inform students about. 

 

 

Evening all,

 

As someone who has been involved with this topic for almost two decades I feel obligated to speak up here.  Much of what Liz presents is accurate, about the intent of the law, but at the same time she is glossing over the major issues with its impact and administration.  The purpose of the "Act" was to strongly drive the market model.  Unfortunately for the vast majority of students, who need access to accessible and affordable materials, the legislation does almost nothing to provide that.  It does not help that most of the Administrative regulations that are needed to move the legislation have never been introduced and until that happens it is pretty much pretty language without any enforcement.

 

Unfortunately the "Act" does not speak to anything beyond "physical" textbooks and supplemental materials.  This is a widely recognized issue, and one that is becoming a significant issue as curricular materials move" slowly" towards digital provision.  It is also one of the reasons that the NFB and others have introduced what is now called the "Teach Act".  The purpose of this legislation is to actually move forward the recommendations of the AIM Commission and hopefully result in meaningful curricular change in American higher education.  Given that less than 35% of students actually purchase the course textbook it is time we look at meaningful and realistic course curriculum.  Projects such as Connexions, the work of the Sloan Foundation and the HP Foundation have moved affordable and openly accessible curriculum forward in a substantial way.

 

These claims of the redefining of the campus store are more marketing speak than any reality.  Actually the majority of campus stores do have this capability and do a very good job at it. I am sure the NACS (National Association of Campus Stores) would take issue with the statements being made here.  Follet, along with most of their commercial competitors, has been in preventing transparency and affordability in the marketplace.  Primarily under the concept of "proprietary commercial information". So I would take anything that they have to say with a serious grain of salt.  I am more than willing to have further conversations with their staff, just as I have with  most of the for profit "bookstore" vendors.  When they actually provide accessible purchasing portals and true support for curricular access I am more than willing to take them seriously.

 

Ron Stewart

 

From: The EDUCAUSE eTexts Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Pisney, Liz
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 3:03 PM
To: ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ETEXTS] Question about the Textbook Provision of the HEOA

 

I’d like to offer a bit of perspective on HEOA…

 

The intention of the Act is to drive affordability through transparency.  In this case, the requirement of institutions of higher education to post the required materials (ISBNs, along with a short series of required details…) to the schedule of classes, or other appropriate portal, ahead of registration.  The key here – ensuring students understand the total cost of education, inclusive of materials, prior to registration.  No surprises.  An important note… the posting and access of this information needs to be publicly accessible (outside of school firewalls)… again, they aren’t really a ‘student’ until that registration actually takes place.

 

Today, and likely well into the future, the campus stores play a huge role in compliance – and in the transaction itself.  Systemically, the campus store was architected to collect, manage, and ultimately communicate/order/sell these required materials.  Since schools, themselves, don’t have systems to recommend, collect, adopt, and store this information – they tap the campus store to help in these requirements.  The store, in addition, provides services… like the balance and reconciliation of financial aid and student accounts, which each individual publisher doesn’t do.

 

The net result of these provisions… those that encourage transparency, is a more competitive marketplace – fueled by lower prices and deeper format options.  Transparency of information, earlier in the educational process, only encourages the behavior we already see… students shopping from multiple sources to gather the course materials they need to be successful.  This reality has, in many cases, redefined the campus store.  Because there will be a transaction (of a physical or digital book,) local funding…like financial aid and scholarships, and an institutional need to have a neutral party solely dedicated and focused on course materials – the campus store will continue to have a prominent role well into higher ed’s future.

 

 

 

Liz Pisney
Director, Product Management - Academic Tools and Utilities

 

 

Tel: 630.371.7114 | Cell: 630.750.4161
Follett Higher Education Group
Intellectual Property
1818 Swift Dr. Oak Brook, IL 60523
lpisney@follett.com

 

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE eTexts Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Frank Lowney
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 11:51 AM
To: ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ETEXTS] Question about the Textbook Provision of the HEOA

 

Hi Gail,

 

Interesting question to which I offer one quick observation.

 

The intent of making the ISBN available is to facilitate discovery of purchasing options, including used (paper) books. As we move to digital, it seems that used books will become a logical impossibility.  They are licensed, not sold. Moreover, the publisher could become the single source of digital texts.  There's really no need for intermediaries, including the Campus Store. In other words, there may soon be no other alternatives to inform students about. 

 

 

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