With new processes, come new challenges; that’s a fact of life. But, many also offer new benefits. That was the case at Indian Hills Community College Bookstore this term. The store, which has always relied on paper requisition forms for faculty book orders, transitioned to online faculty adoptions through MBS Systems inSite for the first time during their 2013 winter quarter.
“We’d done traditional book orders for more than 15 years,” explained Mary Kay Handling, textbook manager. “I met with the Dean to discuss implementing online adoptions, and she thought it was a great idea. I told her that I would educate faculty members on the new process to ensure the transition went smoothly.”
Handling chose to offer an interactive approach. She scheduled six one-hour sessions over a two day period to teach staff members the new submission process. Rather than educating the entire campus at once, she opted to start with one department, so she could assess the classroom format and determine its effectiveness.
“I wanted to host a trial run and make sure there were no bumps in the road, before we rolled it out to everyone,” she said.
There was no sign up process; attendees were simply given an open invitation via email to choose the class that best fit their schedule. They were asked only to bring their book information for that term.
“I picked one faculty member from each session to be my guinea pig and used their book information to complete the process from start to finish. I had a projector set up so everyone could see exactly where I was clicking. I showed them how to set up an account, add departments to their account, look for new editions; the whole thing,” she described. “Because we held the sessions in a computer lab on campus, each faculty member was able to follow along with me and complete their adoptions right then and there; it was great!”
Because this was her first set of sessions, Handling wasn’t sure to expect. But, she was impressed with both the attendance and feedback the classes received.
“It worked out so well! We had all but five faculty members attend and three of those were out sick,” she said. “They all had very positive things to say, too. They love how streamlined inSite’s online adoption process is and the simplicity of building a library. They really liked the fact that it automatically displays available new editions, as well.”
Best of all, the sessions allowed the store to receive virtually 100% of that department’s adoptions on time.
“We just did them all together, so it was quick and easy,” she said.
Handling believes the classes will have a lasting effect. She provided each faculty member who attended with a step-by-step instructional worksheet, which they can use as a refresher when submitting future adoptions, and also plans to hold open sessions each term, allowing those who have questions to stop in and resolve their issues face-to-face.
“It really opened up the lines of communication between the store and our faculty and it was a great relationship building opportunity to work hand-in-hand together,” she emphasized. “I think it will help them be more responsible for their book orders and more aware of new edition changes, too.”
For now, Handling is focusing on expanding her sessions to other departments.
“I’m hoping to have the rest of campus trained for our summer and fall terms by hosting these workshops,” she said.
Overall, she’s more than satisfied with the new online adoption process and is thankful it’s been positively received by faculty, as well.
“It’s changed my job a bit too, so it’s a new challenge for all of us – but it’s a good one!”