Textbook Publishers License Content to California State University
For the fall semester, California State University (CSU) has launched a pilot program to license digital course content for select course sections from five educational publishers: Bedford, Freeman & Worth (BFW) Publishing Group, Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson and John Wiley & Sons Inc. According to CSU, the program "promises students will pay the lowest price available for the licensed, digital version of their course materials that are interactive and engaging."
Through the program, students participating in 32 pilot-program course sections were required to purchase digital-content subscriptions for their personal use through their local campus bookstore, according to Erik Fallis, media relations specialist with the CSU Office of the Chancellor. Students were informed of this requirement when they registered for the courses.
"However, courses chosen for this program were chosen partially because there were other course sections available in the same topic that students could choose, as an alternative, if they still wanted to use the printed book," says Fallis. "Faculty members all opted in to the pilot program as well. So, in both cases, the goal was to maintain choice for faculty and students."
The pilot program will collect and analyze student and faculty user data during the fall term to learn more about usage and preferences for digital materials.
“Offering faculty the choice of a licensing model gives them the option of finding the highest quality content at the lowest cost,” says Gerard L. Hanley, Ph.D., senior director of academic technology services for the CSU. “… This is a wonderful example of an academic institution and publishers working together for the benefit of our students.”
“For the past several years, we have offered numerous low-cost options to professors and students, but we are continuously exploring new avenues, and we are excited about this new model for teaching and learning with digital materials,” says Tom Scotty, president of sales, BFW Publishing Group.