Textbook Summary and Implementation Plan

16 Apr

Summary:

During our research and brainstorming on lowering the cost of textbooks, we thought it would be most efficient and effective to create an MSU-based website where professors can review textbooks and their prices from different sites as well as being able to consult with other professors about what textbooks they have used that were the most cost-efficient but still useful and valuable for the class.  To implement this idea we would need to create the website design and meet with MSU administration to present the site and get the approval to have it be an MSU based website.  We may also need to ask for some sort of grant for money to get the website started but we believe the benefits of this site will far outweigh the cost in the end.  Once we work on the site and fully create it, we’ll need to create awareness of the site for professors to use it.  Finally, once the site is fully created and hopefully widely used by professors, we would begin the next phase of our plan, which would include making the site usable for students to find prices of textbooks from different stores and sites, as well as communicate with other students about buying/selling textbooks.  Once all of this is established, we would ideally reach out to other universities and encourage them to use the site to build a network of professors and students from across the country.

Steps:

 Phase 1:

1.     Meet with web designer to create mock website

·      A good example of this sort of mock website can be seen above.  We would need this to be able to show off our ideas for the site in the next step of the implementation.

2.     Meet with MSU administration to present ideas for the site

·      We would have this meeting to show the administration the functions of the website and the costs of benefits of it (and show them how these benefits will outweigh the costs in the long run).  We might also ask them for some sort of grant to get the site up and running and get approval for the site to be MSU based.

3.     Begin working on creation of the actual website

·      In working on creating the website, we would implement our ideas of creating a place for professors to compare prices of textbooks from different textbook stores and textbook sites as well as a place for professors to communicate with one another about textbooks.

4.     Create awareness of the site to professors

·      Once the site is fully created, we would need to create awareness of the site to professors either via social media, e-mail, or even encouragement from department or college heads.  We might continue this encouragement of usage of the site at end of each semester, the time when professors are likely choosing what books they’ll use for the upcoming semester.

Phase 2:

1.     Make the site accessible for students

·      Once the site is successful and widely used by professors to efficiently find cheaper textbooks for their classes, we would expand the site to make it usable for students as well.  Students would be able to use the same price comparison tool as professors, to look at the prices of their textbooks from many different stores and sites.  They would also have their own network of students to communicate with and be able to buy/sell their textbooks from one another.

2.     Create awareness of the site to students

·      We would then want to let students know about the site and what benefits it might have for them.  We might do this via e-mail, social media, and flyers/posters around campus and in book stores.  There might be increased encouragement to use the site around the time when students are most likely to be buying/selling books, at the beginning and end of each semester.

3.     Make the site accessible to other professors and universities

·      Once our site is successful at MSU, we would it expand it to make it accessible to other professors and universities across the country.  This way, MSU might be able to make some additional profit from and site and also build a larger network of professors who can give their input on the best textbooks to use.

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