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Textbook Provision - Case Study

Posted on: July 14, 2022

At Taylor and Francis, we offer a variety of ways for you, as faculty or an institution, to provide textbooks for your students. Below is a case study from a leading UK institution about their experience with one of our textbook provision methods. To discover more about the textbook provision services we offer, please click here. 

For the last year, lecturers on the Sport Business course at a leading university in England have been providing their first year students with a custom, printed textbook during their first week at the institution. This textbook contains a selection of chapters from all their modules on the course in once place. This was created by course co-ordinators and Sales Representatives at Taylor & Francis as part of our textbook provision programmes, where the book is provided free of charge to students and the cost is absorbed by the university themselves.

One of the reasons for providing this custom-made textbook is to “give students something tangible in induction”. The Programme Manager for the course explained, “The first few weeks are a bit of a whirlwind and students are given lots and lots of information. We find giving them a textbook and slowly easing them in with, first the textbook, then electronic sources, and then the physical library afterwards has worked and creates better engagement.” Another initial benefit to providing this textbook to their students is that it helps them to feel like they’re part of the course. Although custom textbooks can be created for individual modules, the Sport Business course wanted something that would show they are “a cohesive unit, we’re not siloed into our individual modules.” As every student receives the same textbook, they all feel like they are a part of the same team.

From both a course and institutional perspective, the benefits are plenty. Textbook provision ensures that “all students get a book, no matter whether they can afford them or not”. There’s also a clear benefit for student engagement, with the course, textbooks and with their university experience as a whole. “There’s no excuses there. You say to a student, ‘Have you read the chapter?’ No? ‘You’ve got the textbook.’ It’s different. It makes the process a little bit slicker.” Good habits are formed early in the course and the textbook can be used alongside other sources and reading materials to increase independent learning skills. Within this university, it’s seen as good practice, with other course leaders showing an interest in producing their own textbooks, both on a course and modular level. The response has been “overwhelmingly positive from academics” because lecturers are able to “pick and choose from various textbooks what sort of chapters the students should read”.

Not only is the feedback from institutions and academics positive, but students can see and experience the clear benefits too. For Sport Business, the feedback from the last year has been “very positive” with students able to ease into academic research at their own pace. Additionally, changes have been able to be made this year, as this is an ongoing project that can be changed with the course and the modules. Student feedback showed that individual chapters and books were hard to find, but because the textbook can be evolved each year, the team have been able to remedy this. This has enabled students to “include more references” within their projects. Another change the team have been able to make this year, which is as important as the academic aspect of the textbook, is including QR codes within the first few pages. These personalised QR codes will go to static addresses on the university website, linking to things such as the Library and student health and well-being resources within the institution. In a recent survey performed by Taylor & Francis, 55% of UK and EU respondents reported the worsening of student wellbeing in 2021. This makes the ability to edit textbooks and add these kind of resources incredibly important to helping students with their mental health and overall university experience. The Programme Manager for Sport Business adds, “That’s another reason we do [custom textbooks] as well. It’s to add more of those shoutouts to the sort of places we think students will need in the first six months.”

The Sport Business course and students at this North West university have experienced great results and feedback from utilising custom textbook provision. Student engagement has increased and all students are equal when it comes to being able to access the resources they need for their first year at university.

Taylor & Francis offers the flexibility you need as an academic, whether you’re interested in eBook platform integration or simply purchasing books for your students. The majority of Taylor & Francis content is available as both print and eBooks and we work with some of the top eBook platform providers, such as Vitalsource, Kortext and BibliU. To find out more about how Taylor & Francis can help you and your students, reach out to us today.