Here at Student Monitor, we stay alert to the myriad of course material options students have to choose from. One innovative option that students are turning to is the Inclusive Access (IA) delivery model, which allows publishers to partner with higher education institutions to provide digital materials on or before the first day of class at the lowest possible cost, with digital capabilities that allow students to access content whenever, wherever they need.
Students show no signs of halting their shift to the digital materials IA programs use – more than half of the students we talked to reported “purchasing or renting eTextbooks instead of printed textbook more frequently than before the pandemic” and 49% reported that “after my classes returned to in person/if my classes return to in-person I will continue purchasing unlimited use or renting eTextbooks instead of printed textbooks more frequently.” Two years into the pandemic, Student Monitor is still finding a 23% jump in student spending on digital, distance learning materials for the Spring of 2022.
The digital materials utilized in IA are sent to students on or before the first day of class. Having materials immediately available allows students to go into the classroom ready for success. Students are drawn to these features, with three in four students reporting being either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the experience of getting their course materials the first day of class, and half reporting being “very satisfied.”
Not only do student love the features that come with IA – research has shown that IA often leads to major increases in student success for diverse student groups.
In fact, researcher Michael Moore from University of New Hampshire found that Black students, Female students, and students over the age of 25 had the “largest increase in success rates” when comparing student success before and after using IA programs. IA programs may have a massive impact on increasing equity in the learning environment.
Between the features that draw students to IA and the effect it has on our diverse student population, which continues to grow, we at Student Monitor want to learn more. IA is here to stay, and we are excited to introduce IA research as a new component in our Fall 2022 report, and we look forward to reporting our findings here on the digital pages of the Good e-Reader.
Eric Weil is the Managing Partner of STUDENT MONITOR LLC, the syndicated market research study of the U.S. and international college student market. Eric has been active in the college market for over thirty years as the publisher of the College Marketing Annual and Collegiate Trends.