1) How important is it that your instructors are able to choose the course materials that best suit their course?
|Answer:||The selection of textbook and instructional materials remains a faculty prerogative.|
2) Are you open to various textbook delivery models that could help reduce costs and increase equity, such as the Inclusive Access Model in which students receive their materials on the first day of class at the lowest possible cost?
|Answer:||Yes. We understand that there are various delivery models that may help reduce costs and increase equity. The ability to implement each delivery model would be determined by the faculty and administration at each institution and/or the campus bookstore vendor. Materials in these models would still need to be identified as “$20 or less per credit hour” or as “more than $20 per credit hour.” Please note that Florida is currently an opt-in state.|
3) Should the list be comprehensive of all formats available for a given product? (I.E. Ebook, courseware, print/rental, etc.?)
|Answer:||The list should include all formats available for a given product that meets the $20 or less per credit hour price point.|
4) Do we know the definition of perpetual in this instance? Is it the life of the learner or the duration of their college enrollment? If the latter, is there a cap on that?
|Answer:||Access to digital materials would ideally be extended through the student’s enrollment in the university. This would allow students to access content in preparation for program admission exams, exit exams, and certification and licensure exams. However, this is at the discretion of the publisher.|
5) What is the format of the affordable material list, and how will it be distributed? (How should it be organized, what information should be included, etc.)
|Answer:||The list may be a digital and/or print list and would include the title, author(s), ISBN, cost, format(s), information on access on the first day of class, access to digital materials beyond the end of the course, option for print-on-demand, and accessibility for students with disabilities. The list may be shared with campus bookstore vendors for pricing purposes. The list would be shared with faculty during the review process for adoption of course materials.|
6) Who will have access to the list (will other publishers have access to each other’s list and prices)?
|Answer:||Access to lists and pricing information would be at the discretion of each publisher.|
7) How will the per credit hour guideline be weighted to account for unique courses like co-reqs and those requiring lab manuals?
|Answer:||The student cost of course materials, including pricing mark-ups by university bookstore vendors will either be identified as option (a) $20 or less per credit hour or option (b) more than $20 per credit hour but at a noticeably lower retail cost than students would otherwise pay. The total cost of all course materials purchased would fall into one of the two options listed. Lab manuals would be included with other materials for that course, if the lab was a component of the course. If the lab was a separate course, its manual would fall into either option (a) or option (b).|
8) In the spirit of partnership and all parties working together to lower costs, what restrictions/reductions will there be to bookstore margins/markups and school commissions on top of the discounted savings provided by publishers?
|Answer:||We understand that a current practice is the negotiation of pricing between all three entities. We encourage communication between all parties to provide quality and affordable materials to the students in the State University System.|
9) Given the lack of control publishers have on above markups/margins, can all pricing be communicated at the Net price that we actually control?
|Answer:||The pricing of materials from publishers may be communicated as the net price, and it is understood that negotiating the $20 per credit hour option will involve all parties.|
10) Is there a list of authorized distribution partners that can be provided?
|Answer:||At present, Barnes and Noble College and Follett are the on-campus distributors throughout the State University System.|
11) Regarding point 5 of students not paying twice to take a course if dropped, can the SUS or individual institutions help in documenting and tracking what students would qualify as having taken and dropped the course?
|Answer:||A current practice is that the instructor provides documentation to the publisher if a student has enrolled in a course, dropped the course, and then re-enrolled in the same course that utilizes the same course materials.|
12) What are the timing, volume, and access expectations for the print component?
|Answer:||Ideally, students would have access to instructor selected course materials on the first day of class and remain available to students for the duration of their time as an enrolled student. Board regulation 8.003 Textbook and Instructional Materials Affordability, which aligns with Florida Statutes, requires that a list of required and recommended textbooks and instructional materials for at least 95% of all courses and course sections be posted no later than 45 days prior to the first day of classes for each term. The timing of the adoption and the posting requirement help to ensure that students will have access to materials on the first day of class. |
Related to the option for print-on-demand for digital materials, timing, volume, and access would be at the discretion of each publisher, with a goal for consistency across all SUS schools in the policies and access.
13) Can we get more detail around what type and extent of data to which the University would like to have access?
|Answer:||The on-campus bookstore vendors provide the institution with access to data to meet the statutory reporting requirements for the annual Textbook and Instructional Materials Affordability Report, and each institution will report the number of course sections that provided required course materials for $20 or less per credit hour. Additionally, student usage information (e.g., how access, notes, and highlights are used and how these correlate with student performance) would better instructional strategies and interventions.|
14) Can some guidelines be provided on the level of accessibility standards to be met?
|Answer: Given the growth in the use of digital materials, all electronic and information technology must comply with ADA requirements.|
15) Where did the $20 per credit hour figure come from? Is this an average or a set cost?
|Answer:||The $20 per credit hour benchmark is currently used by several institutions, and faculty are recognized for adopting course materials at this cost threshold. The $20 per credit hour is a set cost for any course materials and is determined by individual publishers in collaboration with university bookstore vendors, as applicable.|
16) How will this initiative impact the current opt-in law? Publishers will have more flexibility on pricing models with higher volume. If the Universities are allowed to choose either opt-in or opt-out in the future, would there be an appetite for two different models?
|Answer:||Opt-out provisions are currently not an option as the opt-in provision is based on Section 1004.085, Florida Statutes.|
17) Will all of the Universities be required to participate, or will they each choose to enter into the model independently?
|Answer:||There is no requirement for institutions to participate in the Action Plan, except for the Reporting component. Many institutions have affordability initiatives, some that meet the pricing benchmark in the Action plan, and some that do not. The selection of textbook and instructional materials remains a faculty prerogative.|
18) How will bursar billing (the ability to batch bill student accounts once they opt to buy the content) for course material work at those schools that currently don’t allow it?
|Answer:||The ability to implement bursar billing would be determined by each institution and the campus bookstore vendor.|
19) Will the institutions commit to certain levels of sales to receive preferred prices? If so, what volume pricing models would the SUS entertain?
|Answer:||The review and adoption of textbooks and instructional materials remain with the faculty. Any commitment to achieving a certain level of sales would be determined by each institution; however, the goal is that students at all institutions would be paying the same amount for thesame materials.|
20) Will there be specific print content requirements?
|Answer:||The Action Plan includes the option for students to print-on-demand for digital materials. The option for print-on-demand and the content requirements would be at the discretion of each publisher with a goal for consistency across all SUS schools in the policies and access.|
21) For established content affordability models, such as University of Florida or University of Central Florida, a set of digital transformation best practices has emerged. How can the other SUS schools borrow from these established models?
|Answer: Universities are encouraged to share best practices.|
22) It was mentioned that the FLBOG wants the student price to be the same across the university system. Bookstore inclusive access and standard margins are not the same across institutions (15-30%). Publishers can offer the same net price to the university system, but that won’t guarantee the student price will be the same (and under the $20 per credit hour), given the wide variance in the margin. Are institutions being asked to renegotiate bookstore contract margins? Or, will the FLBOG negotiate directly with Follett and B&N on behalf of the institutions?
|Answer:||The pricing of materials from publishers may be communicated as the same net price to each institution in the SUS. It is understood that negotiating the $20 per credit hour option will involve all parties. Representatives from Barnes and Noble College and Follett have been included in the presentation of the Action plan and the System goals. Institutions are not being asked to renegotiate bookstore contract margins, and there is no intent for the Board to negotiate directly with Barnes and Noble College and Follett.|
23) List of materials and pricing: Have you considered having publishers commit to % off digital list price for both etext and courseware? That may be simpler than pricing title by title (all institutions would know that X publisher offers X% off all courseware). Most publishers have multiple titles for any given course, and each has thousands of higher ed titles. If we are to price by course/title, will the board provide a list of common courses offered at all institutions so the content is correlated for instructors to find easily?
|Answer:||Publishers will determine the best practice to reflect the pricing of textbooks and instructional materials. The list of materials that meet the $20 or less per credit hour would be provided to faculty during the review process for adoption of course materials.|
24) List of materials: an answer to the previous question stated that the list should include “information on access on the first day of class”. Access on the first day of class will depend upon that institutions implementation of a program (if they have LMS integrations or send emails) and how faculty prefer to use courseware (LMS integrated or through publisher website). Without a unified process, the information may not apply to all institutions.
|Answer:||Yes. Student access on the first day of class will depend on each institution’s ability to implement the faculty’s adopted materials.|
25) Print option: Will there be a % of enrollment limit for print upgrades, and a mandate that these only be sold at low cost for students that participate in the program? Will the print option be required for both etext and courseware, or is that at publisher discretion, depending upon the discount offered on digital?
|Answer:||There will be no percent of enrollment limit for print updgrades or a mandate that these be only sold at low cost for students that participate in the program. The pricing and format of the textbooks and instructional materials are at the discretion of each publisher.|
26) Faculty choice: Will faculty participation be mandated at all institutions? Will each institution or bookstore be required to create faculty training materials and training sessions on the institution’s program for procedures and communication to students?
|Answer:||There is no requirement for faculty to participate in the Action Plan. However, all institutions are required to report the number of course sections that provided required course materials for $20 or less per credit hour in the annual Textbook and Instructional Materials Affordability Report. Any faculty and student training would be determined by each institution and university bookstore vendor.|
27) Discount program: Given the difficulty to get all integrations in place at an institution (LMS, bookstore, bursars office), have all institutions committed to the Action Plan and implementing a discount program by Fall 2020 (not selling retail in the bookstore)? If an institution is not ready by fall, is it disqualified from pricing set forth by publishers for the Action Plan?
|Answer:||According to the Action Plan, by January 20 of each year beginning in 2020, publishers will have available for faculty review and consideration the list of materials that meet the components in the plan. As additional materials become available, the list may be updated. We understand that this is a work in progress. There is no disqualification for participation.|