Faculty can tailor textbooks, offer low-cost print copies at campus store
HOUSTON -- (March 3, 2016) -- University and college instructors will soon have the option to create a customized, open educational resources (OER) textbook and offer low-cost printed copies of the book to their students through their campus bookstore, thanks to a new partnership between Rice University-based publisher OpenStax and wholesale textbook distributor NACSCORP, a subsidiary of the National Association of College Stores.
OpenStax and NACSCORP will begin offering customization services this spring through the Affordable Custom Content Enhancement System (ACCES), an online platform that will allow faculty to create a book that is tailored to the needs of their classroom. Faculty will be able to modify OpenStax OER titles by reorganizing chapters and sections; adding their own text, illustrations, equations, charts and materials; and inserting material from educational publisher Dover Publications, which is providing ACCES with a large catalog of material that includes anthologies of classic literature, poetry, plays, music scores and other publications.
"The OpenStax-NACSCORP custom print partnership is a direct response to faculty requests for customized print versions of OpenStax textbooks that will provide students with useful and affordable course materials," said David Harris, editor-in-chief of OpenStax, a nonprofit that makes college more accessible for students by making high-quality textbooks available free online and at low-cost in print. "Many faculty want to use technology to tailor material for their students, but they don't want to sacrifice quality. They want to start with a rock-solid, peer-reviewed textbook -- preferably one with full-color illustrations and a full suite of homework and testing modules -- and they want to make only the changes that are relevant to their teaching. That's exactly what OpenStax and NACSCORP are offering."
R. Todd Smith, director of campus store services at The Loch Shop at Clayton State University, in Morrow, Ga., said OER supporters on his campus have asked for customization services.
"Our store is hearing from faculty and other campus OER advocates that content customization will be a natural progression of OER and that faculty are looking for a platform where they can customize content," Smith said. "We are seeing OpenStax OER content adopted on our campus, and we have had good results supporting students with affordable print copies of the books."
ACCES is designed to display the associated print costs of revisions in real time so that faculty can easily track the printing costs of book sections as they work. Both the total overall book price and the price associated with the section being modified will be available. In addition, ACCES will automatically format pages and create a new index.
"Dover has been publishing books for 75 years, and we have always delivered a high-quality, value-driven product across a wide range of fields, making it accessible to everyone," said Jennifer Feldman, Dover Publications' publisher. "We believe that ACCES is consistent with our mission, so we look forward to adding works of literature, poetry and music scores to this new platform so that educators can easily access our vast array of content."
OpenStax's 16 college titles are being used by nearly 400,000 students at one-in-five degree-granting U.S. colleges and universities this academic year. The number of instructors adopting OpenStax's books jumped by more than 100 percent in 2015, due in part to a 2014 distribution partnership with NACSCORP that made adoption easier and allowed OpenStax to drop prices on every print title in its growing catalog.
"We are committed to providing our campus store partners with the textbooks their faculty demand, including inexpensive OER titles and customized materials," said Kurt Schoen, president and chief operating officer of NACSCORP. "OpenStax's books are known for quality, and we're pleased to partner with them to offer faculty the option of tailoring these top-quality books to better meet the needs of their students."
OpenStax's print-on-demand partnership with wholesale textbook distributor NACSCORP gives instructors the option of customizing a textbook that students can purchase at their campus bookstore.
(Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
More information about ACCES is available at http://accesyourtextbook.com
About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceUniversity.
OpenStax provides open educational resources and textbooks free online for any student, anywhere and partners with companies that provide fee-based products and services that enhance the value of its books for both instructors and students. OpenStax is a nonprofit initiative of Rice University and is made possible by the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the 20 Million Minds Foundation, the Maxfield Foundation, the Calvin K. Kanzanjian Foundation, the Bill and Stephanie Sick Fund and the Leon Lowenstein Foundation.
Oberlin, Ohio-based NACSCORP LLC has served the college store market for more than 50 years, helping more than 3,600 educational retailers compete more successfully in today's competitive marketplace by providing consistent and reliable wholesale distribution of course materials, products, and services. NACSCORP is a leading higher education new and used text and trade book supplier. NACSCORP is a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of the National Association of College Stores, the professional trade association for the collegiate retailing industry.
About the National Association of College Stores
The National Association of College Stores is the professional trade association representing the $10 billion collegiate retailing industry. NACS represents nearly 4,000 campus retailers and approximately 1,000 industry-related companies that supply course materials and other merchandise and services to campus stores. NACS provides education and other resources that help its member stores support student success, the campus experience, and the academic missions of higher education institutions. NACS is headquartered in Oberlin, Ohio. Additional information can be found online at www.nacs.org.
About Dover Publications
Dover Publications, Inc., founded by New Yorkers Hayward and Blanche Cirker in 1941, is headquartered in Mineola, New York. More than 10,000 titles include books on architecture, astronomy, chess, clip art and fine art, crafts, history, literature, and mathematics, as well as music scores, the world’s premier paper doll line, value-priced Dover Little Activity Books, and titles by over two dozen Nobel Laureates. Dover also offers eBook versions of thousands of titles, available at a variety of online retailers, including the Apple iBookstore, Google, and Amazon.
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