Shayla King had seen campus store sales declining for some time. But more recently King, Bookstore Manager at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, noticed something particularly troubling. “We had students coming into the bookstore to take pictures of the ISBNs just to go online and get the book elsewhere,” she says.
That’s if they got them at all. According to NACS’ 2020 Student Watch Report, nearly 30% of today’s students do not purchase all of their required course materials1. They simply go without, and hope for the best.
And this was before the pandemic hit.
If the case for a campus-wide, Digital-First approach to course materials – a model in which every student automatically receives digital textbooks, through the LMS, as part of their tuition – was strong before, it’s practically imperative now, with schools and students facing severe financial strain, and concerns about affordability, equity, and access moving to the fore.
“Today’s students have enough to worry about, without stressing over something as fundamental as obtaining affordable course materials,” says Greg Fenton, founder and CEO of RedShelf. “In a Digital-First future, all students will have what they need to succeed at their fingertips. If your school hasn’t already begun making the shift, now is the time to do so.”
The good news is that hundreds of colleges and universities have already begun to shift to this model – and that it’s proven to be a win for students and schools alike.