Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



Textbook Wisdom: What Do You Lose Without the Required Texts?

Posted by Lori Reese on 4/17/18 5:30 AM

Given the careening cost of higher education, it might be tempting to cut required texts from your syllabus in order to help students save money. If you’ve been teaching a while, you likely have ample resources for giving lectures, assigning homework and conducting assessments. However, if you eliminate the opportunity for students to engage with a text, you eliminate more than an expense. You deprive students of the ability to develop one of our most fundamental skills — reading — in your class.

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Textbook Wisdom: What Can You Learn from a Textbook Manager?

Posted by Lori Reese on 4/11/18 5:30 AM

Administrators and academics differ on a host of topics, but, politics aside, you know there are a lot of non-faculty on campus you appreciate. Without the department office manager, you would be stuck laboring over a copy machine more hours than you’d like. Without a well-staffed counseling center, you would have nowhere to send students in need of emotional support. Without advisors, your students would be even more confused about their path to graduation, especially at a large university where the bureaucracy is complex. An official school bookstore textbook manager is an oft-overlooked member of the administration who deserves your appreciation.

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Virtually Confused: How to Talk Digital With Faculty

Posted by Lori Reese on 4/10/18 5:30 AM

When faculty adopt low-cost digital options like inclusive access or alternative content, it serves the bookstore. Even if it doesn’t boost overall revenues, students are more likely to purchase the lower-priced texts on time. When students have required materials, their grades improve, retention increases and administrators more readily recognize the campus store’s fundamental place in the academic community. There’s only one problem: too many faculty members aren’t aware of digital options. That places the onus on bookstore associates to educate teachers.

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3 Ways You Need to Reach Faculty About Adoptions

Posted by Lori Reese on 3/27/18 5:30 AM

In my first week at MBS, I told a colleague something about faculty adoptions that stunned him. He was writing a blog about why it’s essential for bookstores to get all their adoptions in early.

“Impossible,” I said.

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The 3 Big Secrets to Early Adoption Success

Posted by Lori Reese on 2/27/18 5:30 AM

Persuading faculty to turn in adoptions early can be like trying to turn the Titanic. It often seems like academics exist in a world apart from administrators and retailers. In a way, they do: Many see their work as a last refuge for higher ideals within capitalist society. They take pride in how little they think about things like business and money. So, how can a humble retailer hope to catch their attention?

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Why Now? The Adoption Answers You Need for Faculty

Posted by Lori Reese on 2/7/18 5:30 AM

It’s a distraction, an onerous bit of red tape or just an abstract requirement that seems out-of-step with classroom reality: Your earnest early-adoption request ends up deleted, routed to junk mail or ignored because faculty don’t understand why you’re sending requests out so early.  If you want teachers to cooperate with the college store schedule, it’s critical to anticipate their questions, understand confusion and offer succinct, concrete answers.

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Winning Faculty Allies in the Struggle for Affordable Course Material Solutions

Posted by Lori Reese on 1/22/18 5:30 AM

Want to know how and why faculty treat textbooks the way they do? According to our report, “Winning Faculty Allies in the Struggle for Affordable Course Material Solutions,” many teachers are emperors of their classrooms: They select their books with a keen interest in maintaining academic freedom — and they don’t expect input from others. Find how faculty choices affect the cost of education and how you can help the administration win allies in the effort to reduce course material costs in this exclusive report.

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5 Ways You Need to Ensure Your Committees Are Vibrant and Productive

Posted by Lori Reese on 1/11/18 5:30 AM

Are your committees truly committees? Are they environments that draw on dynamic discussion and teamwork to resolve tenacious institutional problems? Or are they dominated by a single talker, and undone by the glaze in other members’ eyes as they fidget and not-so-inconspicuously check the time. Are they vibrant fonts of creativity or cesspools of politics, gossip and dissent-for-its-own-sake? Most importantly, are they generating buy-in for new initiatives, or are they simply an academic ritual — a proforma waste of time?

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Best Adoption Communication Articles 2017

Posted by Lori Reese on 1/9/18 5:30 AM

Finding ways to reach faculty about early adoptions is a perennial concern for college retailers. Faculty are often unaware that timely textbook choices do more than increase efficiency. They ultimately help students save money and receive more for their books at buyback. Because translating the nuances of the textbook industry to faculty in a way they understand is an ongoing challenge, we’ve compiled our top five most-read adoption communication articles from 2017.  Explore what you might have missed or bookmark this page as a reference.

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Adopt What? 3 Secrets You Need to Know About Faculty

Posted by Lori Reese on 10/5/17 5:30 AM

First, an apology: Before I started working for MBS, I spent more than a decade in college classrooms oblivious to the needs of campus retailers. Although I can’t speak for all faculty members, I doubt my ignorance was unique.

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