Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Conference Ponders Cost of Textbooks

As college and university students head back to campus for another term, they may feel no one cares how much they pay for course materials—if the online complaints are any indication.

However, the stakeholders involved in the development, selection, and distribution of course materials are taking students’ concerns seriously. They will explore challenges and solutions at the inaugural Textbook Affordability Conference on Feb. 11-13 in San Diego, CA.

NACS is joining with the Independent College Bookstore Association (ICBA), Verba Inc., and the California State University System’s Affordable Learning Solutions (ALS) program to co-host the event, which is open to anyone interested in textbook affordability.

The conference will approach the question of affordability from various aspects—teaching and learning, content and platform development, libraries, campus administration, sales and distribution, governmental policies, and open resources—with a particular focus on the role of campus bookstores, where the majority of students still acquire the bulk of their course materials. Stores already work with instructors, publishers, and distributors to obtain materials for students and generally serve as students’ go-to helpdesk when they have questions.

TAC attendees are also invited to take part in the ALS conference on Feb. 13.

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