The financial costs of textbooks and course materials acts as one of the primary obstacles college students are forced to overcome in order to have a fully developed and successful education in the 21st century. A survey conducted by Morning Consult in July 2018 consisted of 1,651 current and former college students, which revealed that paying for course materials was the second most reported source of financial stress, second only to paying for tuition. That same survey reported that nearly 70% of the students had to get jobs in order to afford their class resources, more than 40% had to apply for loans, and more than 30% had to enroll in fewer classes than they wanted.
A major solution that educational institutions are looking towards to help college students overcome the affordability gap is edtech and digital resources. College administrators and faculty members are starting to partner with eLearning platforms to significantly lower costs for all students. eLearning platforms allow professors to post course materials and useful resources online, as well as record analytics on students’ study habits that allow them to send direct feedback to their professors.
Using digital solutions also have significant benefits that physical resources do not offer. A research article by Eun-Ok Baek and James Monaghan from California State University San Bernardino cover the key findings of the eTextbook pilot project conducted in Fall 2010. The project involved 33 courses in 5 different state university campuses incorporating eTextbooks, and having students recount their experiences using them, in which 662 student surveys were recorded. The most important finding was that the eTextbook’s cost, accessibility, light weight, and keyword search functions were the features that students found most appealing when using the eTextbook compared to a normal physical textbook.
The purpose of Omega Notes is to improve learning outcomes while keeping the costs of our services as low as possible. We believe that all students should have access to the resources and materials that will help prepare them for their future careers. Implementing Omega Notes tools in college courses can lessen the financial burdens of both students and institutions.
Professors can create interactive eBooks using Omega Notes Course Packs. Course Packs are designed to allow college faculty to fully customize their courses with required materials, textbooks, and other resources they feel will help students succeed in the class. By making a Course Pack digitally available to all the students taking a specific class, the course materials become more accessible and much more affordable compared to purchasing physical resources.
By Jeffrey Chin