Living in a material world

The Course Material Services Team, a new university committee on campus, has been formed to help all faculty streamline the process of finding and implementing course materials. This committee is formed by members from the Campus Store, Print & Mail Services, Teaching & Learning Technologies, the Registrar, and Marriott Library. This team has expertise in the publishing and course materials industry and keeps an eye on new trends, technology, modes of access and understands the importance of keeping costs down for students and faculty alike.

“We seek to address the concern of costs and will strive to improve the course material process by bolstering resources and services for teaching faculty, ensuring adherence to the U.S. Higher Education Opportunity Act, making recommendations to the Academic Senate and the U of U Curriculum Review Board’s Special Course Fee Committee, and addressing copyright and fair use issues,” said Associate Librarian Allyson Mower.  Mower continued, “We are looking for representatives of the Academic Senate and ASUU to join the team for the 2017-2018 academic year.”

The goal for the coming academic year is to increase the number of teaching faculty and department coordinators that respond with information about assigned course materials by the time registration opens for students to 80 percent. They challenge departments to double the data by letting faculty know early what courses they will teach and giving them enough time to both find the right course material for their teaching objectives and relay that information so it can get added to the class schedule.

To further inspire the challenge, the Course Material Services Team now offers course material consultations available upon request by emailing coursematerials@utah.edu Consultations can cover:

  • Publisher price negotiations
  • Library-licensed e-books and journal articles
  • Streaming media licensing and file management
  • Custom course pack publishing and copyright permissions
  • Fair use book chapter (or more) on eReserve
  • Books or films on Reserve shelf
  • Fair use film clip on Canvas
  • On-demand printing and support for self-authored content
  • Finding older editions to minimize costs to students
  • Buyback program with multi-year adoption options explained
  • Inclusive access implementation and management
  • Open educational resources discovery and integration

The committee would like to extend its appreciation to the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Student Textbook Savings that recommended the creation of this group, Senior Vice President Ruth Watkins in getting the right people together.  And to deans and department chairs in helping get the word out this last academic year on the importance of aligning teaching assignments and course materials with the class schedule. Finally, a hearty thanks to all the professors and department coordinators who submit information about their course materials. We have already seen a 7 percent increase (from 47 percent of faculty/department coordinators to 54 percent) who submitted information on time.

Here’s a tongue-in-cheek video to inspire the challenge to our U community.