University increases student access to course materials


A university saves students $7 million while increasing student access to course materials

University of California, Davis

“New students come to campus prepared for everything,” Jason Lorgan, executive director, Campus Recreation, Memorial Union, and University of California, Davis (UC Davis), Stores, explained. “They have a bus pass and a gym pass. All their classes and their dorm room are assigned. Yet the default is that they have no access to their course materials. Something that is core to their education is not automatic.”

So Lorgan began investigating ways to increase student access to course materials. “As more adaptive learning digital content such as MyLabTM & MasteringTM came out, we started thinking that they could be adapted to a licensing model similar to the one our design students use for Adobe® Photoshop® versus the textbook model where the default is that you start without access to the content.”

uc-davis-thumb-740x740In the fall of 2014, UC Davis administrators agreed to pilot an opt-out digital delivery solution. Working with Pearson and several other publishers, UC Davis gave 3,000 students participating in ten courses automatic access to their course material online. Because of the number of users, the university was able to negotiate discounts for the online material, but any student who did not want to participate in the pilot could opt out during the first ten days of the quarter.

The pilot was a success. Sixty-two percent of student participants who responded to a survey said that they felt digital was more effective than print for learning, and 60 percent felt the price of their digital course materials was better than the price they would have paid for print versions.

Given the pilot’s results, UC Davis decided to expand the program under the name Inclusive Access. Over the past few years, Lorgan and the UC Davis Stores team have persuaded faculty responsible for more than 170 courses to participate in the program.

The number one thing that faculty are happy about is day-one access, particularly in a quarter school like ours where you only have ten week terms. If it takes two weeks for students’ online book orders to come in, they’ve lost 20 percent of the course.

As of February 2018, over 70,000 students have participated in Inclusive Access, saving $7 million compared to what the cost of new print textbooks would have been. In addition to saving money and establishing student access to course materials on the first day of class, Inclusive Access is providing students with adaptive learning tools. “Students are telling us that they are having a good experience with adaptive learning content,” Lorgan noted.

“We feel the Inclusive Access digital delivery program has been a huge success,” Lorgan declared. The University of California, Office of the President, agreed, recently honoring the program with the 2016 Larry L. Sautter Award for Innovation in Information Technology. The program also won the Innovation Achievement Award from the National Association of College Stores Foundation this past spring.

To learn more about how UC Davis has increased student access to course materials, read the full success story.

Read the full success story

Digital Direct Access

Improving access and affordability with digital models

The Inclusive Access model enables schools to deliver high-quality digital course materials to their students. In addition to savings of up to 60 percent, it provides learners with critical access to course materials on the first day of class and offers instructors valuable insights into students’ learning activity through data analysis.

Learn more about Inclusive Access