Verba User Stories | Baldwin Wallace University Campus Stores

From Stress to Success:

Baldwin Wallace Delivers Student Savings With New Store Tools

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Baldwin Wallace may be a small institution with a small campus store, but the school still strives to deliver big savings for their students. While the campus store had offered low-cost and digital course materials for some time, one critical aspect was missing: Inclusive Access. But given the store’s limited staff and resources, were they ready to overhaul their current program and make the transition—especially while navigating the turmoil created after a key vendor went out of business?

George Schiller (CCR, Director, Campus Store Operations) was well aware that demand for digital course materials and Inclusive Access was growing at a rapid rate. He recognized that Inclusive Access programs were incredibly beneficial to students, who could not only take advantage of significantly lower prices over print, but also day-one access to their required course materials. Given the popularity and benefits of digital materials, Schiller knew it was time to make a change for Baldwin Wallace’s students.

Implementing New Tools with Ease

When their previous partner, Sidewalk, went out of business, Schiller and his staff turned to Verba | VitalSource for its industry-leading tools for faculty adoptions, student web sales interface, and best- in-class Inclusive Access platform. “The use of the Verba ConnectTM system and its integration with other Verba tools helped us make the decision to take this path with great confidence,” says Schiller. “Working with the Verba Customer Success team, we had the support we needed to move ahead. That team helped guide the work needed to get our ‘ducks in a row.’”

When a vendor goes out of business, the fallout can often leave the campus store in a messy situation. However, working with Verba | VitalSource, the campus store at BW was up and running with all four Verba tools in just a month with minimal disruption. Verba Connect would deliver Inclusive Access materials to students on or before their first day of classes, while Verba CompeteTM helped cut costs for courses not in the Inclusive Access pilot. In addition, the store was able to offer a textbook price comparison tool with Verba CompareTM, helping students know that they were getting the right book at the right price. And with Verba tools provided for free under the Powered by VitalSource model, Schiller’s team was able to do things they couldn’t have afforded to do otherwise.

"Working with the Verba Customer Success team, we had the support we needed to move ahead.”

Supporting Instructors

It isn’t just students who reap the benefits of Verba’s tools—they’re incredibly helpful for faculty, too. With Verba CollectTM, instructors can find the right book quickly thanks to a search algorithm that factors in popularity. It also displays past books used for each course, making it easy for instructors to re-adopt materials. Even better, affordability scores are provided for each book, so instructors can factor cost into their adoption decisions. It’s a one-stop shop that helps instructors select relevant, affordable materials for their course.

Piloting Inclusive Access – And Preparing to Scale

“[Inclusive Access] provides a positive impact on our students’ ability to have course materials at the best cost, which is something our administration and faculty appreciate and are looking for,” says Schiller. “The email tool for us is one of the best features—we did not know we would need to send and monitor codes so much when stepping up to this level. Connect Dashboard and the other tools within the system are well developed, and the software is well supported.”

Their experience with the Inclusive Access program has proven so positive that Schiller was able to expand the program from 30 to 125 sections in just one year—an increase of 316%. As for Schiller’s goals going forward, he says, “Working with deans and department heads, we look toward sustaining and expanding this where it makes sense for students, faculty (and their pedagogy), as well as the provost’s and university’s expectations.”

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