Page 15 - Campus Technology, July 2017
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Indiana U.” He’s right about the capacity for additional growth. According to reporting online by the IU Office of the Registrar for Fall 2016, the Bloomington campus had 6,696 course sections issuing 10 or more credit hours during the semester. That means, according to the numbers, fewer than four in 10 sections (38 percent) have bought into the use of digital materials and Day One Access. Growth is organic — “section by section, instructor by instructor,” Wheeler observed.
What’s the Day One Access Holdup?
If the model is proven and growth is relentless, the question remains, how come more instructors — or institutions for that matter — aren’t dumping the traditional textbook? Wheeler thinks ownership of the problem is the big obstacle.
“If you wanted to sell athletic-wear to the university, there’s probably two people you’ve got to deal with — the athletics director and the director of purchasing,” he suggested. “Who makes the decisions for e-texts at campuses? No one owns it. There’s no one who owns the whole of the problem, and so what you find is it’s very easy for anyone to say no and stop it from moving forward.”
The naysayers may include those who see a threat to bookstore revenue or administrators already beleaguered by dozens of other priorities and lacking the bandwidth to take on another one. It could be the campus leaders who believe
that shifting e-text billing to the bursar’s office will require approval by the trustees or regents because the addition of course materials into the mix will give the impression that the cost of college has gone up. In reality, said Wheeler, “they’re reducing the overall cost of attendance.”
“Time and time again, what we found when those are investigated is that they’re not really very deep obstacles. But there’s no one to own and champion it,” Wheeler said.
Moving Forward With Unizin
Soon, however, institutions ready to go in the direction of Day One Access could have help from Unizin. This is the organization created by Indiana U and other large institutional partners to develop services that could replace major paid third-party applications such as learning management, digital textbook and data warehouse platforms. The goal: to enable higher ed to own its data.4

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