Student Choice (Program Administrators)

As a Program Administrator, you use Order Tool to enforce your institution's "student choice" policy. This policy governs whether and how students may opt-in or opt-out of digital course materials, adopted for their courses, through your institution's digital content program.

There are several key concepts in Order Tool that govern your student choice policy:

  • Student choice policy. An institution asserts a student choice policy that is enforced in Order Tool. There are two policy types: opt-out (most common) and opt-in.

    1. An opt-out policy will, by default, assert that every student will purchase and receive the digital course materials adopted by their instructor. Students must then opt-out on a title-by-title basis.

    2. An opt-in policy will, by default, assert that every student does not elect to purchase and receive their digital course materials. Students must then opt-in on a title-by-title basis.

  • Student choice period. Students may only assert their choices during open student choice periods. Student choice periods vary course by course. Your institution asserts the student choice period for courses in their SIS integration.

  • Offer. A title, associated with a particular term and section, that has a price and length of access. Students can accept or decline an offer.

  • Length of access. Determines the period of time students may access a digital course material once purchased. Length of access is specific to each offer of a digital course material and is defined by the publisher. All eText materials have a length of access equal to the duration of the student’s institutional enrollment. Length of access for Digital Learning Tools (DLTs) varies.

  • Payment waiver. A payment waiver represents that a student will not be responsible for the cost of their digital course materials in a particular course. Institutions grant individuals payment waivers, on an enrollment-by-enrollment basis, in their SIS integration. Institutions will still be charged for the cost of the course materials. Students who are granted a payment waiver will be automatically opted-in to course materials and cannot opt-out (since they receive them for free).

  • Title exemption. Institutions may decide, at their discretion, that certain titles should be exempt from student choice entirely. When exempt, a student will automatically receive the title, purchase it, and will not be able to opt-out of it. Institutions have the right to exempt titles (or disable opting out) according to the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Ultimately, each institution must exercise judgment to determine which titles should be exempt from student choice. For more information, please refer to the Code of Federal Regulations.

  • Entitlement. Proof of purchase. Entitlements are records established upon purchase of an offer by a student or on behalf of a student (i.e. payment waiver).

Establish your student choice policy

Program Administrators will work with Unizin Services to establish their institution's student choice policy in Order Tool. Institutions will customize their student choice experience in the following way:

  • Opt-out or opt-in. You must determine, institution-wide, if your policy will require students to opt-out of course materials or opt-in to them. An "opt-out" policy is most common.

  • Terms and conditions. Institutions may customize policy terms and conditions that a student must accept when making a student choice. When making their choice, students will be required to check a box below the policy terms and conditions. This checkbox indicates their consent before their choice is applied.

  • Title exemptions. You will want to consider your institution's criteria for determining that titles are exempt from your student choice policy. Title exemptions are asserted manually by Program Administrators through the user interface.

  • Payment waivers. You will want to work with your SIS integration team to identify the criteria by which students in courses are waived from paying for their course materials.

Review a student's course materials

Program Administrators may, at any time, review any particular student's digital course materials for an academic term. In doing so, Program Administrators may also see which course materials a student has opted-out or opted-in to.

Select the "Students" tool from your tool menu.

Once presented with an institution-wide student directory, you can search for any particular student by name or email address.

When you have identified the student you wish to review, click on the "View" link. To be presented with a summary of their digital course materials and student choices for a particular academic term, select the Courses header.

In this screen, you can complete the following:

  • View student courses. A student's course enrollments are presented in a list view for any given academic term.

  • View student course materials. The digital course materials for a student's course will appear below the student's course enrollments. The materials presented will be those adopted through your Order Tool-powered program.

  • View student choices. For each digital course material, the student's choice is displayed. This includes any factors that affect student choices, such as payment waivers and title exemptions.

  • Switch academic terms. Use the Term menu to review the student's courses and choices from another academic term.

Understanding digital course materials

Order Tool presents the following information for each digital course material adopted in a course.

For each course and its course materials, Order Tool will display the following information:

1. Course subject number and course title.

2. Whether your "student choice" period is open and time remaining for the course.

For each digital material adopted in the course, Order Tool will display the following information:

3. Title, edition, and ISBN. Publisher details can be found if you click on the "Show more details" menu.

4. Indication of a Title Exemption and details of whether or not you will receive, and purchase, the digital course material.

5. The cost of the digital course material to you.

6. The % savings compared to the print list price.

Opt-in or opt-out on behalf of the student

As a Program Administrator, you may assert an individual student's choice to opt-in or opt-out of a digital course material. This can be useful if a student is not, for whatever reason, able to assert a choice themselves.

Program Administrators are subject to the same constraints in asserting a choice as students. Program Administrators may only assert student choices during open student choice periods and may not override a title exemption.

To change whether the student will receive or not receive a course material, check or uncheck the box.

If a course material's checkbox is unchecked, the student will not receive the title or be charged for it by your institution.

If a course material's checkbox is checked, the student will receive the title and be charged for it by your institution.

Once you have completed the modification, press the "Save" button at the bottom of the screen.

If changes are made without saving, a pop-up warning will appear.

If you've made a change to the student's choice, the student will receive an email notification confirming that you have made that choice on their behalf. You may also view student choices, at any time, in Order Tool.

Set title exemptions

Program Administrators may define which titles are exempt from your student choice policy via the Catalog tool in Order Tool. To exempt a title from your policy, use the Catalog tool.

Search for the title whose exemption status you wish to review and change. Once you have found the title, use the context menu on the far right of the title's entry (shown below) and select "View details" to open an information pane for the title.

When you view the details of a particular title in your Master catalog, you can toggle on and off whether the title is exempt from your student choice policy.

All changes take immediate effect. This means that, for any courses with an open student choice period, the title exemption will be applied to those existing offers and any future offers of that title. Please see more information on this below.

Title exemptions and existing student opt-outs

In the event that a title is exempt from student choice during an open period, the status of that title will change for the current term but any existing student choices will remain the same.

This means that, if a student has already decided to opt-out of the title (opt-out policy) or has not opted in (opt-in policy), those student choices will not be changed. However, if the student chooses to opt-in after the title exemption is in place, they will no longer be able to opt-out again.

For future terms, the title exemption will mean that students are automatically opted-in to the title and cannot opt-out.

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