Textbooks, Access Codes, and the Pandemic
decorative PIRG report pic
The cost of textbooks and course materials has been a barrier to success for many students for many years. Unfortunately, pandemic conditions have only made this problem even worse. Some key findings from a new report from Student PIRGs called "Fixing the Broken Textbook Market" include:

  • Students continue to skip buying assigned textbooks despite concerns it will impact their grade
  • More students are skipping access codes during the pandemic
  • COVID-19 is hitting students hard and impacts course material affordability
  • Lack of reliable internet correlates with significant issues for course material access and student success
  • Food insecure students skip buying course materials at significantly higher rates.

Most factors that contribute to the affordability of higher education are beyond the control of most faculty, but textbooks and course materials are one area where we often do have some power to lessen the financial burden on students.

You can learn more about free and affordable Open Educational Resources and course materials and find out if it is an option for your courses from ETSU's Open and Affordable Course Materials Program and sign up for an upcoming workshop. Support from Sherrod Library and CTE and stipends for implementing Open or Affordable course materials are available to faculty and teachers of all rank.
Fall Workshops from the CTE
Wednesday Oct. 6, 1:30-3:00PM
Thursday Oct. 7, 10-11:30AM
Learn about Open Educational Resources (OER) and Affordable course materials and see how you can integrate them into your courses. Also, learn about the Open/Affordable Awards and other institutional support. 

Friday Nov. 19, 10-11:30AM
As instructors we want to ensure that our students leave our classes having learned something. However, how well do we measure what was actually learned? 

Friday Oct. 1, 1:00-2:30PM
Friday Oct. 29, 1:15-2:45PM
Are you tired of trying to decide if a student's work should get an 90% or 94%? In this workshop, we'll explore how to implement a new kind of grading system, Specifications Grading, that keeps failure from being fatal and puts students more into the driver's seat...and with the added benefit that your grading decisions *might* become easier! 

Please note, most workshops are now offered online via Zoom. Check the registration page for modality and location details.
May Your Teaching Be Most Excellent