New Digital Textbook Options

Posted on September 24, 2012 by Sally Mesarosh

Bookstore

Affordability is a critical issue in education today.  The Mesa Community College Bookstore works closely with Follett to offer students a large assortment of affordable course materials to address the needs of both students and faculty.

“We certainly recognize that our students have a choice of where they buy their books,” said Sonja Ibarra, MCC’s bookstore manager.  “We want to ensure that we are an available resource that provides not only the right material for their classes but also the right format, being new, used, digital format or the most popular option of rental.”

Digital Options:  Because there is no “one size fits all” platform for digital content, MCC and Follett have implemented a digital strategy that is flexible, cost-effective and reflective of the campus’ larger course material goals.

One of the most popular new digital offerings is CafeScribe, a cloud-based digital textbook platform that provides efficient study tools and easy online, offline and mobile studying. Café Scribe saves students up to 60 percent off the price of new textbooks and can seamlessly integrate with most learning management systems.

“As technology continues to advance, so do the needs of our students,” Ibarra said.  “One of the most common questions we get is, ‘Can I purchase my text in a digital format?’ While this encompasses a small portion of our overall sales, it is certainly one of the most talked about option we offer.”

Inkling is another digital platform for interactive learning content, available at efollett.com. The platform uses multimedia and self-assessments for an immersible student experience.

Follett also partners with Copia Interactive to provide students with access to digital trade and traditional course material titles. The Copia platform allows users to share notes and comments submitted by other readers.

Currently, 16 percent of the textbooks used at MCC are digital. In the future, course content will continue to be distributed in many formats and on a variety of platforms. Follett is developing a new “digital shelf” solution with a single sign-on to allow users to organize and access their entire library of digital course material.

In addition to the new digital offerings, students are also able to save money on textbooks with the more traditional methods of buying used books, selling back books and renting books.

Rentals: Rental is MCC students’ number one savings program, representing 40 percent of overall textbook savings. Currently, 35 percent of the titles used at MCC can be rented. Renting a textbook can save students at least 50 percent.

Used Books:  Used textbooks save students 25 percent over the price of new textbooks. Used savings represent 24 percent of total textbook savings.

Buyback: Students receive up to 50 percent of the purchase price for books. 35 percent of total student textbook savings come from the buyback program.

“No matter the format or style of book that students may need for a class, they can always be comfortable with the decision to choose the Mesa Community College bookstore, where they know that we have the right options for continued success,” Ibarra said.